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Ellis Island: An Interactive History Adventure
Ellis Island: An Interactive History Adventure
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Reviewed Titles Award Winners
You Choose Books

Ellis Island: An Interactive History Adventure

You’re one of millions of immigrants leaving your home in the early 1900s to move to the United States. You’re searching for a better life. Ellis Island, near New York City, is your first stop in your search for opportunity and freedom. Officials on the island have been processing immigrants there for decades, but not everyone gets through. If you pass the tests, you’re on your way to a new life in the United States. If you don’t, you may find yourself being sent back to your homeland.  What path will you take? Will you: Be a Jewish youth leaving the violence of Russia in hopes of a better life in America? Be an Italian teen who lands at Ellis Island during World War I? A German immigrant who faces deportation? Everything in this book happened to real people. And YOU CHOOSE what you do next. The choices you make could lead you to opportunity, to wealth, to poverty, or even to death.

PublisherCapstone Press
BrandYou Choose Books
Age Level8-11 Years
Reading LevelGrades 3-6
SubjectAction & Adventure, History
Trim Size5 1/4 x 7 1/2
Page Count112



Booklist - Angela Leeper

"History can take many paths and these entries in the You Choose: History series prove just that. After a brief introduction to the time period, the books use a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style format that follows three fictional young people through historical ups and downs – including, sometimes, death. Complemented by archival photographs and reproductions, the brisk text highlights key events, people, and places. . . .Each title concludes with a chapter about the time period’s legacy and extensive back matter to encourage further exploration." - Booklist

December 1, 2013

Smart Books for Smart Kids blog - Debbie Glade

"Author and history buff, Michael Burgan writes in a format that is easy for readers to comprehend, while at the same time engaging them and keeping the topic fascinating at all times. . . .When I was in elementary school, I dreaded history lessons because they were incredibly boring! It was pure rote memorization and not at all engaging. In contrast, the interactive nature of Ellis Island is more like a real life adventure – both happy and sad – that teaches without clobbering students over the head with straight facts. Where was this book when I was growing up?" - Smart Books for Smart Kids blog

January 29, 2014


Jewish Book World, Jewish Book Council - Dina Weinstein

"Spring 2014; Page 83 The famous photograph of an immigrant family on the deck of a ship looking at the Statue of Liberty decorates the cover of Ellis Island: An Interactive History Adventure. That one iconic image of the anonymous and hopeful immigrants symbolizes the big picture of the mass European immigration. Within are the diverse experiences of three different young immigrants who passed through the Ellis Island immigrant processing center, which is now a museum of the immigration experience. In each section readers can decide, Encylopedia Brown-style, what choices the immigrants should make at various crossroads and then see the consequences of each decision." - Jewish Book World, Jewish Book Council

San Francisco Book Review - Alexander, Age 13

"Most choose-your-path books I find to be very impersonal. Because everything is written in second person, it is hard to relate to the characters. However, this book overcomes this and I can connect very well with the character’s thoughts and emotions. . . .I also liked that there were writing prompts and resources to learn more and a time line of the island in the back of the book. I gave this book five stars for an adventure that challenged the reader’s decision-making and was both educational and entertaining." - San Francisco Book Review

October 7, 2013


Library Media Connection - Michelle Bridges, McClintock Middle School, Charlotte, North Carolina

"STAR REVIEW! These books are a great way to present historical fiction to young readers in a way that they will enjoy. The stories are fast-paced, realistic, contain a lot of good historical facts, and often involve life or death choices. . . .These unique titles should be purchased for any elementary school or middle school collection." - Library Media Connection

August 1, 2014

New Moon Girls, "Lacey Recommends" - Lacey Louwagie

"What if what YOU thought should happen made a difference in the plot of the stories you read? The You Choose books allow you to imagine yourself as a character from history and take the story down different paths based on the choices you make. Books in the series include Ellis Island, The Child Labor Reform Movement, The Salem Witch Trials, and more." - New Moon Girls, "Lacey Recommends"

January 1, 2016



Learning Magazine

2015 Teachers' Choice Award

September 1, 2014

Michael Burgan

Michael Burgan

Michael Burgan has written numerous books for children and young adults during his nearly 20 years as a freelance writer. Many of his books have focused on U.S. history, geography, and the lives of world leaders. He has also written fiction and adapted classic novels. Michael has won several awards for his writing, and his graphic novel version of the classic tale Frankenstein (Stone Arch Books) was a Junior Library Guild selection.  Michael has also worked as an editor at Weekly Reader, the classroom news magazine used in schools across the United States. Michael graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in history. When not writing for kids, he enjoys writing plays, and his works have been staged across the United States. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his cat, Callie.

Go to the Author’s Page →