Public Programs

an-ellis-island-christmas-book-cover-artOur 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, 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.


From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants entered USA through the portal of Ellis Island in New York Harbor

We are part of America's story

Ellis Island tells the story of the journey of millions of men, women and children from around the world who sought a new future on these shores.

Walking around these buildings we're not just talking about history-visitors are able to touch, feel, and understand in a way that connects them to the past. As we rebuild parts of Ellis Island, we are rebuilding its legacy and revitalizing living landmarks to a world gone by. Save Ellis Island is working to create a destination that echoes the beacon of hope that it once was for nearly twelve million immigrants and continues to be for the nearly two million visitors each year.

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Our Supporters

The Save Ellis Island website is made possible by a generous donation from Heidi Liebi Root in memory of her father Fred Liebi