In 1920, 10-year-old Sammy Levin and his teenage sister, Malka, sail from Poland to America to be reunited with their father. Upon their arrival at Ellis Island, Malka is held back because of a persistent cough, but after a suspenseful few days, doctors rule out consumption and the siblings are allowed to enter the United States. This story of their adjustment is reminiscent of Amy Hest's When Jessie Came across the Sea (Candlewick, 1997) and Patricia Reilly Giff's Water Street (Random, 2006), although Arato focuses on a male protagonist and how he navigates the various gangs in his Lower East Side neighborhood. The author describes how each character comes to terms with being together again as a family, nicely weaving in Jewish traditions as well as the customs and cultural mix of their new country. Despite rather two-dimensional characters, this is a richly detailed, solid piece of historical fiction that gives insight into the early-20th-century immigrant experience. Purchase this novel where there is high interest in fiction covering this period and be prepared to booktalk it to get kids past the humdrum title (which refers to one of Sammy's favorite things about America: vanilla ice cream) and not-very-appealing cover art.
Kim DareCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Ice Cream Townby Rona Arato
CLA Children's Book of the Year Award 2008 longlistCCBC's Best Books for Kids&Teens, 2008 Children's Crown Award 2009 FinalistIce creamÃ You scream!Sammy has learned to live by his wits on the voyage from Poland to the Jewish immigrant community that is to be his new home in New York City. It is here he discovers that the vibrant, noisy streets of New… See more details below
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CLA Children's Book of the Year Award 2008 longlistCCBC's Best Books for Kids&Teens, 2008 Children's Crown Award 2009 FinalistIce creamÃ You scream!Sammy has learned to live by his wits on the voyage from Poland to the Jewish immigrant community that is to be his new home in New York City. It is here he discovers that the vibrant, noisy streets of New York are alive with challenge - even more of a challenge than his new school. Will it be Sammy's wits, or his beautiful singing voice that will keep him out of trouble in the games of stickball in the rough-and-tumble streets?Rona Arato has written a humorous, life-affirming story about a young boy standing up for himself in the midst of peer pressure from a local gang, prejudice against new immigrants, and his own desire to be accepted for who he is."
"Ice Cream Town is a delightful novel for young readers, filled with the adventures of the new kid on the block struggling to adjust to the New World. It's a fine introduction to immigrant life in the early part of the 20th century, touching upon the inferior living accommodations in the tenements and the poor working conditions. Arato, with humour and wit, depicts the inferiority complex suffered by many newcomers who desperately tried to blend in with the American-born population. . . Ice Cream Town is a pleasurable, inspiring read with historical value."
-- Jewish Tribune
"Rona Arato's first novel for young children is to be applauded."
-- CM Magazine
"This is a feel-good tale about values, and offers a window on a time and place without the typical teen-lit "gritty realism" which is so often more gritty than real."
-- Victoria Times-Colonist
"Readers of historical fiction - perhaps especially those who recognize aspects of their own family history in Sammy's experience - will appreciate the details of the book's setting and its portrait of growing up where "everything is upside down."
"This is a richly detailed, solid piece of historical fiction that gives insight into the early-20th-century immigrant experience."
-- The School Library Journal
"Experienced readers of the Sydney Taylor books will get a grittier and more realistic side of immigrant life from child's point of view."
-- Jewish Book World (US)
- Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 683 KB
- Age Range:
- 8 - 11 Years
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