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Books for Students – Primary Grades:

Bader, Bonnie. East Side Story. New York: Silver Moon Press, 1993. Fiction, elementary.

Bial, Raymond. Tenement: Immigrant Life on the Lower East Side. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. Non-fiction (photo illustrations), upper elementary and middle school.

Bresnick-Perry, R. Leaving for America. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1992. Narrative non-fiction (picture book), early elementary.

Cech, John. My Grandmother’s Journey. New York: Bradbury Press, 1991. Narrative non-fiction (picture book), elementary.

Cohen, Barbara. Molly’s Pilgrim. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepherd, 1983. Fiction (picture book), elementary.

Costabel, Eva Deutsch. The Jews of New Amsterdam. New York: Atheneum, 1988. Non-fiction (picture book), elementary.

Fisher, Leonard Everett. The Statue of Liberty. New York: Holiday House, 1985. Non-fiction, upper elementary and middle school.

Freedman, Russell. Immigrant Kids. New York: Puffin, 1995. Non-fiction (photo illustrations), upper elementary.

Gundisch, Karin. How I Became an American. Translated by James Skofield. Chicago: Cricket books, 2001. Fiction, upper elementary and middle school.

Harvey, Brett. Immigration Girl: Becky of Eldridge Street. New York: Holiday House, 1987. Fiction (picture book), elementary.

Hest, Amy. When Jessie Came Across the Sea. Illustrated by P.J. Lynch. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 1997. Fiction (picture book), elementary.

Levine, Ellen. If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island. Illustrated by Wayne Parmenter. New York: Scholastic, 1993. Non-fiction (illustrated), elementary.

Schanzer, Rosalyn. Escaping to America: A True Story. New York: Harper Collins, 2000. Narrative non-fiction (picture book), elementary.

Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998. Narrative non-fiction (picture book), early elementary.

Taylor, Sydney. All-of-a-Kind Family. New York: Yearling, 1980. Fiction, elementary and middle school.

Wells, Rosemary. Streets of Gold. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1999. Narrative non-fiction (picture book), early elementary

Woodruff, Elvira. The Memory Coat. Illustrated by Michael Dooling. New York: Scholastic, 1999. Fiction (picture book), early elementary

Books for Students – Secondary Grades:

Auch, Mary Jane. Ashes of Rose. New York: Laurel-Leaf Books, 2002. Fiction, middle school to high school.

Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. The Jewish American Family Album. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Non-fiction, middle school and up.

Kenvin, Helene Schwartz. This Land of Liberty: A History of American Jews. West Orange, NJ: Behrman House, 1986. Non-fiction, middle school.

Lasky, Kathryn. Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl. New York: Scholastic, 1988. Fiction, middle school.

Lawlor, Veronica. I Was Dreaming to Come to America: Memories from the Ellis Island Oral History Project. New York: Penguin Group, 1995. Non-fiction (illustrated), upper elementary and up.

Leiman, Sondra. America: The Jewish Experience. New York: UAHC Press, 1994. Non-fiction, upper-elementary and middle school.

Morrison, Joan, and Charlotte Fox Zabusky. American Mosaic: The Immigrant Experience in the Words of Those Who Lived It. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993. Non-fiction, high school.

Roseman, Kenneth. The Melting Pot: An Adventure in New York. New York: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1984. Fiction, middle school.

Rubin, Susan Goldman. L’Chaim to Jewish Life in America: Celebrating from 1654 Until Today. New York: Harry N. Abrams, published in association with The Jewish Museum, 2004. Non-fiction (illustrated), middle school and up.

Strom, Yale (1996). Quilted Landscape: Conversations with Young Immigrants. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996. Non-fiction, middle school to high school.

Telushkin, Joseph. The Golden Land: The Story of Jewish Immigration to America. New York: Harmony Books, 2002. Non-fiction, upper elementary and middle school.

Wolfman, Ira. Do People Grow on Family Trees? Genealogy for Kids and Other Beginners: The Official Ellis Island Handbook. New York: Workman Publishing, 1991. Non-fiction, upper elementary and up.

Worth, Richard. Jewish Immigrants. New York: Facts on File Publications, 2004. Non-fiction, middle school and high school.

Books for Teachers*:

Baicker, Karen. Immigration Then and Now. New York: Scholastic Professional Books, 1997.

Berman, John S. Ellis Island: The Museum of the City of New York (Portraits of America). New York: Barnes and Noble, 2003.

Braunstein, Susan L., and Jenna Weissman Joselit, eds. Getting Comfortable in New York: The American Jewish Home, 1880–1950. New York: The Jewish Museum, 1990.

Brownstone, D.M. The Jewish-American Heritage. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1998.

Chermayeff, Ivan, Fred Wasserman, and Mary J. Shapiro. Ellis Island: An Illustrated History of the Immigrant Experience. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991.

Coan Peter Morton. Ellis Island Interviews: In Their Own Words. New York: Facts on File, 1997.

Cohen, Jocelyn. My Future Is in America: Autobiographies of Eastern European Jewish Immigrants. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Cordasco, Francesco, ed. Dictionary of American Immigration History.
Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1990.

Daniels, Roger. Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life (2nd Edition). New York: HarperPerennial, 2002.

Diner, Hasia. Jewish Americans: The Immigrant Experience. Hong Kong: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc., 2002.

Diner, Hasia R. A New Promised Land: A History of Jews in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Dublin, Thomas. Becoming American, Becoming Ethnic: College Students Explore Their Roots. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.

Edinger, Monica. Far Away and Long Ago: Young Historians in the Classroom. Portland, ME: Stenhouse, 1997.

Foner, Nancy. From Ellis Island to JFK: New York’s Greatest Waves of Immigration. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002.

Howe, Irving. World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the Eastern European Jews to America and the Life They Found and Made. New York: Shocken Books, 1989.

Kleeblatt, Norman L., and Susan Chevlowe, eds. Painting a Place in America: Jewish Artists in New York. New York: The Jewish Museum, 1991.

Lehrer, Warren, and Judith Sloan. Crossing the Boulevard: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2003.

Metzker, Isaac, ed. A Bintel Brief: Sixty Years of Letters from the Lower East Side to The Jewish Daily Forward. New York: Behrman House, 1982.

Riis, Jacob. How the Other Half Lives. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.

Schoener, Allan. The American Jewish Album: 1654 to the Present. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1983.

Walzer, Michael. What It Means to Be an American. New York: Marsilio Publishers Corp., 1996.

*Many of the resources for educators are appropriate for high school students as well.


The American Jewish Historical Society

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Homepage

"Immigration…The Changing Face of America"
(Library of Congress educational resource)

"Selected Images of Ellis Island and Immigration, c. 1880–1920"
(from the collections of the Library of Congress)

“The New Americans”
(PBS educational page)

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
(U.S. Department of State)

"Immigration: Stories of Yesterday and Today"
(from Scholastic)

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

JewishGen: The Home of Jewish Genealogy
(An affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust)

From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America
(An online exhibition from the Library of Congress)