Pick-And-Shovel Poet: The Journeys of Pascal D'Angelo

by Jim Murphy

Pascal D’Angelo came to the United States from Italy as a teenager in 1910.... read more

Pascal D’Angelo came to the United States from Italy as a teenager in 1910. He stuck close to other Italian immigrants in New York City and worked—when he could find work--at the menial jobs where so many immigrants were underpaid, ill-treated, and exploited. Safety and survival were real concerns. So, too, was earning enough money both to support himself and to send back to his family in Italy. Pascal refused to be beaten by these challenges: he had a passion for life and learning. He taught himself to read and write English word-by-word, and in so doing found a means of expression that sustained him: poetry. Pascal eventually had several of his poems in English--about his experience as an immigrant and laborer, about his memories of his life in Italy--published in the United States. What author Jim Murphy understands and conveys in this intriguing biography is that Pascal’s life is at once singular and part of a larger story. Murphy quotes extensively from Pascal’s autobiography as he tells the tale of one remarkable man’s life and about the struggles of immigrants–especially Italian immigrants–early in this century. (Ages 11-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

show less