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When Jessie Came Across the Sea: 01/09/14
When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest is a historical fiction picture book about a Jewish immigrant who is sent to America by her village's rabbi. She is picked due to her Grandmother's determination to get her a good education — learning both how to read and write, and sewing — a skill that gives her a job when she arrives in New York.
The book covers Jessie's childhood in the village, her trip across the sea and her years of living and working in New York. Her time in New York is chronicled through letters home to her grandmother.
Though a picture book, it's a coming of age story that will appeal to older readers as well. It could be used as part of an Ellis Island lesson in school.
The story is accompanied by illustrations done by P.J. Lynch. He won Kate Greenway Medal for his work on When Jessie Came Across the Sea.