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Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  250 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Angel Island, off the coast of California, was the port of entry for Asian immigrants to the United States between 1892 and 1940. Following the passage of legislation requiring the screening of immigrants, "the other Ellis Island" processed around one million people from Japan, China, and Korea. Drawing from memoirs, diaries, letters, and the "wall poems" discovered at the ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Clarion Books (first published September 1st 2013)
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Joyce Yattoni
Dec 24, 2016 Joyce Yattoni rated it it was amazing
An informational book authored by Russell Friedman this book gives the reader insight into the lesser known Angel Island, the immigration port for the west. This port is very similar to the Eastern immigration hub and more widely known Ellis Island. The big contrast being, most white European immigrants were welcomed, Asians, on the other hand, had to to a lot of "jump hooping" to get here. An interesting read and there are some great "nuggets" of information. This would be great for our histori ...more
Marjorie Ingall
I'm frantically reading for my annual Tablet best-Jewy-books Hanukah-gifting roundup. And waaah, I somehow missed this book last year! (I'd thought it pubbed in 2014 but it's 2013 so i can't use it BOO HOO.) But let me gush here. This is a photographic history of immigration (mostly Chinese, but also Japanese and Jewish and other groups) through "the Ellis Island of the West." I had NO CLUE. And I used to live in SF in the late '90s! I went hiking on Angel Island! I picnicked there! How did I ha ...more
Richie Partington
Jul 11, 2013 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie's Picks: ANGEL ISLAND: GATEWAY TO GOLD MOUNTAIN by Russell Freedman, Clarion, October 2013, 96p., ISBN: 978-0-547-90378-1

"It is said that these Chinese are entitled while they remain to the safeguards of the Constitution and to the protection of the laws in regard to their rights of person and of property, but that they continue to be aliens, subject to the absolute power of Congress to forcibly remove them. In other words, the guaranties of 'life, liberty, and property' named in the Con
Katie Lebkuecher
1. Twin Text: Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America, Helen Foster James & Virginia Shin-Mui Loh, 2013
2. The non-fiction text, Angel Island, describes the challenges facing Asian and other immigrants entering San Francisco through Angel Island Immigration between 1910 and 1940. It tells about the groups of people attempting to immigrate to the United States and how the US government made it difficult, if not impossible, for certain groups. Paper Son tells the story of how one boy, like many Chi
Feb 28, 2014 LauraW rated it really liked it
While I think this book would make an extremely valuable contribution to a collection of immigration books, it is also very discomfiting. I must admit that I had to skim a lot of it, because it was a bit too painful for me to think about.

From a technical standpoint, this book is less about narrative than it is about presentation. The pictures and the poems tell a lot of the story. History is not my biggest interest and I usually prefer story. This book doesn't have quite as much story as I gene
The Reading Countess
Superb. Russell Freedman never disappoints. Historic photographs help highlight the west's Ellis Island. As a history minor, I'm embarrassed to say that I've never heard of Angel Island. Freedman makes this bleak time in U.S. immigration compelling for readers young and old. The poetry shared on the pages isn't enough for me, I am now in search of more that was preserved on the center's walls. My students will surely love reading this required text. Paired with VOICES FROM THE FIELD: CHILDREN OF ...more
Jenn Estepp
Looks like I'm in the minority with this one, but I found this pretty middling. The subject matter is interesting and not as well known as it should be, and the comments and reviews I'd heard have been so great. Thus, maybe my expectations were too high, but. I just found this treatment skimpy, scattered and not nearly as compelling as I would've liked.
Julie Barrett
Jan 17, 2017 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it
Angel Island, gateway to Gold Mountain by Russel Freedman
Know of Ellis island and never thought of one on the west coast and we' stood at north end of Golden Gate Bridge and saw the island for ourselves without even knowing what it was.
Enjoyed all the history especially carvings on the walls that have been preserved.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).
Melissa Mcavoy
Grade range 5-8
A park ranger’s discovery of Chinese calligraphic poems etched into the walls of the derelict Angel Island detention station sets in motion the preservation of the remains of the Ellis Island of the West. Freedman tells the larger story of immigration on the West Coast and the shameful history of institutional and individual discrimination against Chinese immigrants.

Freedman begins the story with Weiss’s enthusiastic discovery: ” I looked around and shined my flashlight up and I c
Dec 26, 2016 Catherine rated it really liked it
Newbery winner Russell Freedman tackles the issue of immigration through a look at the western gateway to the United States in the early 20th century. From 1910 – 1940, the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay was the “Ellis Island of the West” for immigrants arriving from Asia. The building, destined to be razed in the 1970’s, was saved through the efforts of the Asian-American community and became a National Historic Landmark in 1997. In 2009, the site was opened to the public ...more
Michelle Schnell
Mar 23, 2014 Michelle Schnell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Twin Text: Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, @ 2011

Rationale: I selected this fiction book because, quite frankly, Angel Island broke my heart and I wanted to find a fiction book that would make the feelings of being lost in a new place relevant to today's readers. I wanted to put a face and a name to the feelings of being alone, different, misunderstood, muted by language barriers, and marginalized. I wouldn't want a student, after reading Angel Island, to think "That was then. Everythi
This may have been about Angel Island, but it missed the topic I was looking for. It was told in an uninteresting and boring way. Also, there was some grammar errors that urked me.
Jarrett Bell
Dec 15, 2016 Jarrett Bell rated it it was amazing
The year is 1775. As Juan Manuel de Ayala of Spain explored the San Fransisco bay for the first time, he had no idea that as he named "Angel Island" for the hospitality of the Miwok Indians, he would set a dark contrast to the discrimination, interrogation, and prison-like setting that this island took upon itself over 70 years later as the U.S. government began screening and detaining Chinese immigrants after the mass influx from the 1849 gold rush. By 1853, some 25,000 Chinese immigrants had r ...more
Jan 29, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
4.5 stars

This is an excellent book about a topic I didn't know much about. Angel Island is the West Coast "Ellis Island" but the island was no Angel. There was a lot of atrocities caused to Chinese people who wanted a better life in the US. So they try to immigrant to the US but instead they are put in a detention center until they were approved to be in the US. The building was described as "Two Story Shack" This wasn't just Chinese but most Asians.

In the 1840's the Chinese came to the US to
Jacquelynn Ruot
Feb 28, 2016 Jacquelynn Ruot rated it liked it
Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain was about mostly Chinese immigrants who were coming to the United States to make more money to support their families back home. At first, it was only men who were allowed to make the journey and it was frowned upon for women to leave their villages. Angel Island is like Ellis Island just on the west coast. Unlike Ellis Island though, Angel Island kept Immigrants for days, weeks, or even months. It was believed that the Asian immigrants carried more disease ...more
Jul 19, 2016 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, juvenile

I’ve wanted to read “Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain,” since I added it to the library collection a year and a half ago. Summer is my prime reading time, so this is one of the non-fictions I picked up for my time off. Newbery medalist Russell Freedman is always a good bet for historical non-fiction, and this book is no exception. Geared toward readers from 3rd-5th grade, this book explores the history of Angel Island, which was the major stop for Chinese immigrants coming to work the gold

Mar 25, 2014 M. rated it really liked it
Angel Island, by Russell Freedman

History of mostly Chinese immigration through Angel Island, San Francisco, from the late 19th century through about 1940.

Before the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Chinese immigrants walked off their ships and found jobs mostly as railroad workers and as miners. When the railroad jobs ran out, white racism toward the Chinese erupted and the Chinese opened laundries and worked as farm laborers.

With the Chinese Exclusion Act, the immigration station on Angel Islan
Nov 04, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain by Russell Freedman gives history and background on this main west coast port of entry for Asian immigrants to the United States between 1892 and 1940. Drawing from memoirs, diaries, letters, and the "wall poems" discovered at the facility long after it closed, Freedman describes the people who came, and why, the screening process, detention and deportation, changes in immigration policy, and the eventual renaissance of Angel Island as a historic site.

Jun 16, 2014 Starbubbles rated it really liked it
I picked this up because I was curious as to how the subject of Angel Island and Chinese/Asian immigration would be presented to children. I have to say, I have mixed feelings. A lot was skipped, glossed over, and over-generalized. This book was however filled with photography and is a good introduction to the subject.

I guess what bothered me the most was the clear bias in the writing style. The Chinese were not the only ones discriminated against, nor were the immigration laws and determining
Jan 05, 2015 Peg rated it really liked it
While European immigrants primarily entered America through Ellis Island in New York, those from Asia were “welcomed” at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. Opened in 1910 as a replacement for a detention shed that had been used to hold, interrogate, and process immigrants, for many it was as much, if not more, a detention center as a welcoming entry point. Freedman’s well-researched, relatively brief narrative pulls no punches regarding the blatant discrimination and restrictions encountered by ...more
For the Chinese and most Asians, coming to the United States was not easy nor was it welcoming. The Chinese first began coming in large numbers during the Gold Rush of 1949. Some Chinese men became rich and came back to China. Most who came by 1850 on, did not get rich and found other ways to make money, including laundries, restaurants, and selling miners goods such as shovels, pick axes and rope. Chinese also took on work in the intercontinental railroad where they were often abused, starved a ...more
Chelsea Davis
Feb 28, 2016 Chelsea Davis rated it really liked it
"Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain," is a nonfiction book about Asian immigrants and the obstacles they faced during their stay at the Angel Island Immigration Station. Immigrants could be detained for weeks to months while waiting for their ticket into America's Gold Mountain (California). Some immigrants were sent back during the process, and sometimes, immigrants would die because of the harse conditions they faced while being detained. It was very interesting reading about the life in t ...more
Emily Lanz
Mar 15, 2016 Emily Lanz rated it really liked it
Angel Island is a nonfiction book about Chinese immigrants coming to the united states as a result of the California Gold Rush. The immigrants were looking to make more money, take advantage of the opportunities in America and make a better life for themselves. Angel island, similar to Ellis Island but on the west coast, is where the immigrants would go while waiting to be granted citizenship. They were inspected for disease and then quarantined for days, weeks or months and kept in detention ba ...more
Walls in an abandoned building covered with decades-old calligraphy... Russell Freedman catches me from the get-go. This book about Angel Island, the immigration station in the San Francisco Bay, is amazing.

Over half a million people, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Punjabi, and Chinese, came through Angel Island hoping to make a better life in the United States. Some were allowed passage into the country within a few hours but many, especially Chinese people, were detained on the island until a dec
Michele Knott
Most of us have heard of Ellis Island and the immigrants that have passed through there in order to gain entry into the United States. Many of us, myself included, have not heard about Angel Island, aka the Ellis Island of the west. Located in San Francisco Bay, Angel Island is the immigration and detention center that many Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian descent passed through before (hopefully) being allowed into the United States. This is their story, which is not a widely known one. Ma ...more
Luke Azzarelli
Mar 14, 2016 Luke Azzarelli rated it really liked it
Angel Island was a nonfiction book on the Chinese and other immigrants coming to America on the West coast in the mid 1800's to the mid 1900's. They originally came because of the California gold rush but also to make more money and take care of their families. After a while, an examination center called Angel Island, which was built off the coast of San Francisco to check immigrants, was built. Immigrants were taken into this barbed wired area to be examined and interrogated. These people had t ...more
Jan 21, 2014 Paula rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads
I love Russell Freedman. To me his books look and feel a bit like a scrapbook of family history. The "story" is often unique and interesting and I find the pictures fascinating.

Angel Island: Gateway to Gold is no exception. It provides insight into a historical place, time, and culture people may not know about or if they do, very little. I for one did not know about Angel Island. Information is presented in large text and black and white photos that make me think of a family album. Some times
Jordan Brewer
Mar 28, 2016 Jordan Brewer rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaitlyn Norris
“Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain” is a very informational text by Russell Freedman. This book explains quite a bit about the history of Chinese immigrants (mostly men in the beginning) who first came to Angel Island in which they were kept for extensive periods of time to make sure they would not spread disease to America. If they were tested positively with a disease, they were deported back to their homeland. Then the Chinese Exclusion Act came into play which made it harder for these i ...more
Mar 18, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
I have a personal connection to Angel Island: my grandfather immigrated to the United States through Angel Island in 1921 and was detained for several months there. I have also visited with my family, and read about the poems carved on the walls of the barracks by the detainees there. Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain was a very concise and informative book about this place that could reach a younger age range than most children's materials on the topic. It's less than 70 pages long, with a ...more
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Russell Freedman is the award-winning author of 47 books, some of which have been translated into a diverse number of languages, including Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Flemish, Arabic and Bengali. But Freedman wasn't always a children's book writer.

He grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Pre
More about Russell Freedman...

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