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An Ellis Island Christmas by Maxinne Rhea Leighton – Illustrated by Dennis Nolan 


“An affecting, beautifully illustrated story.” — Vogue Magazine

A moving story about one family’s daring journey from Poland to America and their hope for a better future in their new home. 

Krysia does not want to leave her home and her friend, Michi, but there are soldiers with guns on the streets and her mother says that they must go. Krysia, her two brothers, and her mother pack their favorite belongings and begin the long, harrowing journey to America. Krysia is scared but she finds courage when she thinks of her father waiting for her in America with the promise of a better tomorrow.

Inspired by Maxinne Rhea Leighton’s father’s journey from Poland to America, this is a powerful reminder of the beacon of hope and opportunity that Ellis Island symbolized and the importance of family at Christmastime. 


  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
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