My eight-year-old twins and I pored over At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices written by Louise Peacock and illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop the night before we toured Ellis Island. It was the perfect introduction to one of the most fascinating spots in American history and the place where my daughters' great-grandparents arrived from Ireland years ago.

This book packs plenty into its pages in a compelling way: historical photos, quotes from various immigrants and Ellis Island workers, illustrative paintings and the fictional diary of Sera, a 10-year-old girl whose mother has died, on a ship from Armenia. These different facets work well together to create an incredibly vivid, informative look at the difficulties of traveling to a strange land and experiencing the joy, confusion and fears of the Ellis Island bureaucracy.

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