Dominic has never had a place to belong. He goes from one foster home to the next trying to hide from his different classmates. He's not like the rest of them. When his new class visits the Ellis Island Museum, he is embarrassed because he has no family history to speak of and no relatives that he can look up during the visit. Not only that, his shoes are too tight, and he is exhausted. When he falls asleep in a closet and wakes up hours later after everyone is gone, he panics. After picking up the phone and talking to someone from Italy in the early 1900s, he finds himself in a mysterious field with three boys speaking Italian, which he's shocked to find he can understand. Salvatore, Francesco, and Antonio are three brothers without a home. Dominic’s behavior seems so strange that the brothers assume he hit his head during an earthquake in another part of Italy. The boys become fast friends and after some interesting encounters, they tell Dominic that he is like family to them now. Unfortunately for Dominic, the boys soon find out that they will be traveling to America to be adopted and must leave in a few days. Making matters even worse, the boys are being blamed for the death of a local villain and must flea their village. Will Dominic be alone when the boys leave for America? Is it possible for four orphans to slip away undetected from those trying to capture them? Will Dominic ever get back to the time period he came from? Read this heartwarming story to find out how the story ends.
When I read The Orphan of Ellis Island by Elvira Woodruff I was immediately drawn into the story. I could relate to Dominic and felt so bad for him that he felt completely alone in the world. Once he traveled back in time to Italy I was immediately captivated by Francesco, Salvatore, and Antonio because of their unique and irresistible personalities. Reading about the small village in Italy made me want to hop on a plane and check out its countryside. I would recommend this book to kids in grades three and up. Anyone who likes history and time travel will love the story and will be piecing together clues to see if Dominic really did travel back in time. The story has a wonderful theme of friendship, family, and acceptance. I even shed some tears towards the end of the book! I enjoyed reading the author notes at the end of the book and finding out where her ideas came from and some of her personal family history. I look forward to reading more books by this author!
Has anyone else read The Orphan of Ellis Island? Or have you read another book by Elvira Woodruff? We would love to hear your thoughts!Follow my blog with Bloglovin