Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924

by Deborah Hopkinson

Leonard Covello left Italy and arrived at Ellis Island with his mother and younger... read more

Leonard Covello left Italy and arrived at Ellis Island with his mother and younger brothers in 1896 when he was nine years old. Rahel Gollup came to New York City from Belarus in 1891 at the age of 12, accompanied by her aunt. Maurice Hindus also came from Belarus, arriving in New York by himself in 1906 when he was 13. Thirteen-year-old Pauline Newman left Lithuania in 1901, a year after 16-year-old Marcus Ravage immigrated from Romania. All of these teens started out their new lives in America living in New York City’s tenement, and each one grew up to write about that part of their lives. Based on their first-person accounts, Deborah Hopkinson provides a picture of what life was like for impoverished turn-of-the-century immigrants in New York City. Numerous documentary photographs by Jacob Riis and others provide a visual counterpart for her engrossing account. (Ages 12–16)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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