cover image Coming to America: The Story of Immigration

Coming to America: The Story of Immigration

Betsy Maestro. Scholastic Press, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-590-44151-3

Clearly tuned into her audience, Maestro (The Discovery of the Americas) offers a neatly distilled overview of U.S. immigration, covering extensive ground without oversimplifying. She astutely makes each reader a part of her story, stating, ""All Americans are related to immigrants or are immigrants themselves."" Referring to the arrival of the first Americans many thousands of years ago, the author emphasizes that there were millions of inhabitants by the time Columbus ""discovered"" America. She describes the many waves of settlers from European countries, the grim horror of the slave trade (""Instead of finding freedom, these Africans lost theirs""), the ordeal of inspection at Ellis Island and the ongoing stream of refugees who take shelter in the U.S. for a variety of reasons. Ryan's (Darcy and Gran Don't Like Babies) busy, expressive watercolor art makes it easy for readers to share both the anxiety and exhilaration of the individuals it so vividly depicts. Ages 5-9. (Feb.)