The Other Side

An Ellis Island Christmas – Book Reading

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Posted on November 22, 2016 at 9:22 pm

Our Literature Series continues with a book reading by Maxinne Rhea Leighton of her beloved children’s book, An Ellis Island Christmas – illustrated by Dennis Nolan.

This free event,an-ellis-island-christmas-book-cover-art5 Hosted by Save Ellis Island, Inc., will take place on Sunday, December 18, 2016 from 12:00 – 2:00 on Ellis Island in the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, 1st floor, Eastern National bookstore.

Ms. Leighton will autograph copies of the book available for sale in the bookstore and on line at

America sounds like a fairytale to Krysia, a young Polish girl, as she learns that she and her family will soon be joining their father in America. As they prepare for the long journey, packing only necessities and enough food for the voyage, Krysia dreams of the beautiful house with trees and flowers in the yard, plenty of food on the table, and no soldiers in the street. Finally, on Christmas Eve, after a long hard journey, the family arrives on Ellis Island.

Told from a child’s perspective of what it is like to leave one’s home and everything familiar in hope of a better life, the story and the illustrations powerfully evoke the uncertainty, wonder, and hope of this young immigrant, who arrives at Ellis Island on Christmas Eve.

Along with An Ellis Island Christmas, Maxinne Rhea Leighton is co-author of Grand Central: Gateway to a Million Lives (W.W. Norton), recipient of the Chartered Institute of Building Awards, England; co-author Educating for Social Justice: A Dangerous Game: Matilda Joslyn Gage Center (Journal of Museum Studies); and co-editor of The Future of Cities: An Integrated Approach to Urban Cities.

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