Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story is an award-winning picture book from author Lesléa Newman and illustrator Amy Bates. Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health inspector, Gittel must make the journey alone. Her mother writes her cousin’s address in New York on a piece of paper. However, when Gittel arrives at Ellis Island, she discovers the ink has run and the address is illegible! How will she find her family? Both a heart-wrenching and heartwarming story, Gittel’s Journey offers a fresh perspective on the immigration journey to Ellis Island. The book includes an author’s note explaining how Gittel’s story is based on the journey to America taken by Lesléa Newman’s grandmother and family friend. “Beautifully designed and illustrated . . . The watercolor illustrations artfully capture an era and people.” —School Library Journal (Starred Review)“Newman’s spare yet evocative text works well as a read-aloud, and the solution to Gittel’s problem . . . is both clever and true.” —Booklist (Starred Review)
Lesléa Newman is the author of over 80 books for children and adults. She has received many awards, including two Stonewall Book Awards honors, the National Jewish Book Award (Gittel’s Journey), fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Book Award, a Sydney Taylor Book Award and Honor, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, and the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, among many others. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists. She is also a popular guest lecturer at college campuses across the country, and currently she is a faculty mentor at Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing.
Amy Bates is the illustrator of many books for children, including The Boy and the Sea, Gittel’s Journey, Minette’s Feast, and The Dog Who Belonged to No One. She lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.