Hope in My Heart, Sofia's Ellis Island Diary, Book One (My America Series)

Overview

In Book One of Sofia's Ellis Island Diary, renowned author Kathryn Lasky tells the story of Sofia Monari's arrival in America from Italy.

When Sofia and her family arrive in Ellis Island after a long and difficult journey from Italy, a cruel twist of fate separates Sofia from her parents and sends her into "quarantine." There, in a state-run hopsital, she and her new friend, Maureen, must learn to overcome the twin hardships of immigration and alienation, while they maintain the...

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Overview

In Book One of Sofia's Ellis Island Diary, renowned author Kathryn Lasky tells the story of Sofia Monari's arrival in America from Italy.

When Sofia and her family arrive in Ellis Island after a long and difficult journey from Italy, a cruel twist of fate separates Sofia from her parents and sends her into "quarantine." There, in a state-run hopsital, she and her new friend, Maureen, must learn to overcome the twin hardships of immigration and alienation, while they maintain the hope that they will be reunited with their families.

After her family immigrates to America from Italy in 1903, ten-year-old Sofia is quarantined at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, where she makes a good friend but endures nightmarish conditions. Includes historical notes.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Sofia's entrance to the United States was far from enjoyable. Her excitement on seeing the Statue of Liberty turned to fear and anger. After a three-week trip on the boat from Italy, she was separated from her family and put into quarantine due to an eye injury that the doctors labeled highly infectious. Although Sofia's experience was not the norm, 20% of the immigrants coming through Ellis Island in the early 1900s were detained due to vague reasons. Corrupt officials would accept bribes and sell illegal citizenship papers. Unable to communicate and eat the food, Sofia fortunately met another nine-year-old girl from Ireland who was also being sequestered due to an eye injury. One of the nurses was especially mean—yelling at the patients, stealing from them, and making their lives miserable. An illusive gypsy boy, who was also being detained but had "escaped" and was hiding from the authorities, showed the girls trash bins with stolen goods. Baggage helpers and dishonest inspectors stole the immigrants' property right off the boats and sold them to people in New York City. Finally the girls were "rescued" and reunited with their families. This book is part of the series, "My America," and includes historical notes and pictures. 2003, Scholastic, Ages 9 to 11.
—Janet L. Rose
Library Journal
Gr 3-4-In Hope in My Heart, nine-year-old Sofia and her family arrive in America from Italy in 1903. The child is immediately put in quarantine on Ellis Island, where she remains throughout the book. In Home, Sofia finally settles with her family in Boston, eventually adjusting to her new life. Language and writing style in the protagonist's brief, readable diary entries flow smoothly from one to another. Each story ends with notes about the setting. Good choices for historical fiction fans, including reluctant readers.-Krista Tokarz, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Nine million immigrants came to the US between 1880 and 1900, and this entry in the My America series is the fictional diary of one such immigrant: nine-year-old Sofia Monari, from Italy. When Sofia's grandparents die and the family farm goes to her father's oldest brother, as was custom, the family decides to come to America. Lasky creates a character and tells the story, personal and anecdotal, of one girl's journey. Lasky's polished writing captures the thoughts and feelings of a young girl, sticking mostly to such telling details as throw-up buckets, a mysterious stowaway, a dead mouse in a coffee cup, tortellini dreams, mean nurses, and kind friends. Like one in five immigrants, Sofia is quarantined on Ellis Island and separated from her family. After much loneliness, she finds a new friend in Maureen O'Malley and is helped by Father Finnegan to reunite with her family. Book Two, Home in My Heart, continues Sofia's story and the move to Boston, where the Monaris create a life for themselves in America. Hopkinson's Shutting Out the Sky (p. 1175) makes a good nonfiction companion. (historical note) (Fiction. 710)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439188753
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Series: My America Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.41 (w) x 7.69 (h) x 0.55 (d)

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