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Children's LiteratureNine year old Sophia has just been released from being quarantined on Ellis Island because of a possible eye disease. Her new home is sparse at best, but it is home and she is with her family a month after their arrival in America. Sofia is the kind of daughter every mother wishes for—good natured, optimistic, studious and caring. This installment in the "My America" series is an engaging quick read. It is a story of dreams begun, dreams fulfilled and of hope. While reading this I couldn't help but notice similarities to the "Little House on the Prairie" television series, right down to the storeowners and local doctor. We are shown glimpses into the historic North End of Boston at the turn of the twentieth century. Most anecdotes are well placed, but do we really need to know about Marco swallowing the eye of a doll, and mentioning Rose Fitzgerald with no further explanation is just plain name-dropping! Sofia's story is one of encouragement for any age. From her Ellis Island release, her academic achievements, overcoming infantile paralysis, to the reality of possible losing her best friend, Sofia never loses her positive outlook and her penchant for bettering herself and others. 2003, Scholastic, $12.95 and Ages 9 to 12.
— Elizabeth Young