Gift Guide

Journey to a New Land: An Oral History

Sending request ...

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Turn of the century immigration to America is brought to life in this vivid narrative taken from the Ellis Island Oral History Project. Elda Willitts recalls her large family's life in northern Italy and the financial difficulties which prompted her father's decision to emigrate in 1912. Elda is three years old when her father and oldest brother leave for San Francisco. The family does not raise the money to reunite until she is seven. Then, their long-awaited journey to America is postponed by red tape. Bitter disappointment dissolves into prayers of thanksgiving when they learn that the ship the family had originally booked was torpedoed and sunk. The family is blessed once again on Ellis Island when seven-year-old Elda has a temper tantrum during the dreaded medical examination. Miraculously, the doctor allows the child to pass through with her family anyway. The lifelike illustrations invite a sweet intimacy with the reader by showing Elda's expressive face in nearly every picture. At the end, Elda Willitts illuminates the nature of oral history by beautifully explaining how family stories and personal memories become intertwined over the years. Teachers could use this picture book to inspire students to record the stories of their own family histories. 2000, Mondo, Ages 7 to 10, $15.95. Reviewer: Jackie Hechtkopf
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572558113
  • Publisher: Mondo Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,272,468
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 10.96 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)