Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Coming to America: The Story of Immigration

Coming to America: The Story of Immigration

by Betsy Maestro

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A useful overview of a complex issue, attractively designed and clearly written." - SLJ

"Clearly tuned into her audience, Maestro offers a neatly distilled overview of US immigration, covering extensive ground without oversimplifying." - PW

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Clearly tuned into her audience, Maestro (The Discovery of the Americas) offers a neatly distilled overview of U.S. immigration, covering extensive ground without oversimplifying. She astutely makes each reader a part of her story, stating, "All Americans are related to immigrants or are immigrants themselves." Referring to the arrival of the first Americans many thousands of years ago, the author emphasizes that there were millions of inhabitants by the time Columbus "discovered" America. She describes the many waves of settlers from European countries, the grim horror of the slave trade ("Instead of finding freedom, these Africans lost theirs"), the ordeal of inspection at Ellis Island and the ongoing stream of refugees who take shelter in the U.S. for a variety of reasons. Ryan's (Darcy and Gran Don't Like Babies) busy, expressive watercolor art makes it easy for readers to share both the anxiety and exhilaration of the individuals it so vividly depicts. Ages 5-9. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Brava to Besty Maestro for taking the complex issue of "immigration" and making it accessible for all children. Kudos to Ms Ryan whose paintings are a joyous depiction of the diversity of this country. From the first Americans thousands of years ago to those who arrived only yesterday, their goal was always the same: a better life for their children.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-An introductory history of immigration from thousands of years ago through the present, focusing on why different groups of people came to America and how they became a part of our national heritage. Maestro points out that when Christopher Columbus "discovered" the Americas, millions of people were already living on these continents. Different perspectives are incorporated into the text, including the harsh treatment Indians received and the forced immigration of Africans. The various laws that the U. S. has adopted to control immigration are explained. A brief history of Ellis Island is included. The colorful, exuberant watercolors show men, women, and children of all nationalities. Most of the scenes are hopeful or festive, although one illustration of a crying child being held back from a relative who was rejected at Ellis Island is upsetting. A table of dates provides a quick summary of immigration highlights. A useful overview of a complex issue, attractively designed and clearly written.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Hazel Rochman
The sentiments of this picture book celebrate America's rich diversity as a nation of immigrants, and the history is inclusive; but the determinedly upbeat message is overdone, especially in the illustrations, which exaggerate folksy culture, beads-and-feathers kind of costuming, festive foods, and gleeful holiday togetherness. Diversity is enriching, and it's who we are, but few Americans will recognize this cute idyll. The history is better. Maestro begins with the first nomads, the American Indians, and does mention that Indians were later pushed off their land. She also notes that millions of Africans were forcibly brought to the Americas as slaves. She describes the successive waves of people who have come here through the centuries: why they left their homes, how they journeyed, what their hopes were, how they settled, and how today's new immigrants continue to come in search of a better life for themselves and their children. It's in the present scenes that the style lapses into sermonizing about "the growing appreciation and understanding of the special character and unique contributions of each cultural or ethnic group" --hardly picture-book text. But the history is a useful introduction.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.81(w) x 11.27(h) x 0.37(d)
AD890L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Betsy Maestro was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1944. Inspired by her mother, who taught nursery school and went on to be a school guidance counselor and administrator, Maestro always wanted to be a teacher, and in preparation she filled her high school summer vacations with jobs baby-sitting, tutoring, and even supervising playgrounds. She received a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education at Southern Connecticut State College and a Master's degree in Elementary Guidance from the same institution. Maestro taught kindergarten and first grade for 11 years, during which time she became aware of the need for imaginative nonfiction to spark children's interests.

After marrying artist Giulio Maestro in 1972, Maestro decided to try writing herself. Since then the couple has collaborated on more than 50 books for children, all of them picture books, many of them nonfiction and concept books. They have received numerous awards and citations for their work. When she is not writing, Betsy Maestro enjoys reading, cooking, photography, travel, art, and antiques. She and her husband have two children and live in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews