Children's LiteratureBetween 1892 and 1954, 12 million people entered the United States through the Ellis Island immigration station. The average processing time for immigrants was five hours, but for many it was months. There were as many as 4000 people on the island at one time. As excited as these newcomers were, it was potentially a very frightening time. Because of the sheer numbers of people involved and communication problems, the threat of deportation created a great deal of anxiety. An eye disease, trachoma, was one of the most common reasons an immigrant would be deported. Many of the deported had nowhere to return to, having sold all of their possessions to pay for passage to the United States. Like any facility, Ellis Island evolved to become more efficient and humane. A look at our long tradition of welcoming immigrants is important today as our country continues in that role. 2000, Lucent Books,
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8-A well-organized and thorough account of this historic landmark. The introduction provides background information concerning immigration to America and conveys the immigrants' feelings of confusion, sadness, and hope. Chapters focus on topics such as detainment and deportation, food and entertainment, and aid societies and services. The numerous firsthand accounts range from dismal to uplifting. While some immigrants recalled overcrowding, endless delays, and painful medical practices, others reminisced about the Kissing Post and island marriages. Rebman's straightforward, objective presentation successfully balances both the positive and negative aspects of the Ellis Island experience. In addition, the author details the island's role as an immigration center to its abandonment and eventual restoration. Black-and-white photos relate a sense of the bewilderment and wonder that many of these new arrivals felt.-Laura Glaser, Euless Junior High School, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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