I Was Dreaming to Come to America: Memories from the Ellis Island Oral History Project

Veronica Lawlor, Author, Veronica Lawlor, Illustrator, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Foreword by Viking Children's Books $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-670-86164-4
Lawlor's debut, a picture-book collection of pieces culled from the Ellis Island Oral History Project, is visually and emotionally stunning. In 15 carefully chosen excerpts, immigrants from various ethnic backgrounds recount their reasons for coming to America and describe their feelings about leaving their country, about making the trip or about arriving on a foreign shore; all but two of the narrators were under 20, one only six at the time of their voyages. Whatever the circumstances, each vignette reflects a strong sense of hope. Lawlor's handpainted paper collages are equally powerful. Their haunting images are strikingly set against ecru-colored pages that bear faintly printed motifs from the pictures they border. Spare details-a girl floating past Lady Liberty, a figure literally putting down roots in two lands-capture these travelers' turbulent emotions. This selection gives credence to the reminiscences of an Ellis Island inspector: ""In those days there were crying and laughing and singing all the time at Ellis Island."" Ages 12-up. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
Paperback - 48 pages - 978-0-14-055622-3
Prebound-Sewn - 48 pages - 978-0-613-02843-1
Prebound-Other - 38 pages - 978-0-606-11501-8
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-7807-7355-4
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