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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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal
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Gr 1-3An introductory history of immigration from thousands of years ago through the present, focusing on why different groups of people came to America and how they became a part of our national heritage. Maestro points out that when Christopher Columbus "discovered" the Americas, millions of people were already living on these continents. Different perspectives are incorporated into the text, including the harsh treatment Indians received and the forced immigration of Africans. The various laws that the U. S. has adopted to control immigration are explained. A brief history of Ellis Island is included. The colorful, exuberant watercolors show men, women, and children of all nationalities. Most of the scenes are hopeful or festive, although one illustration of a crying child being held back from a relative who was rejected at Ellis Island is upsetting. A table of dates provides a quick summary of immigration highlights. A useful overview of a complex issue, attractively designed and clearly written.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.