Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Immigrant Kids” as Want to Read:
Immigrant Kids
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Immigrant Kids

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  230 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
America meant "freedom" to the immigrants of the early 1900s—but a freedom very different from what they expected.  Cities were crowded and jobs were scare.  Children had to work selling newspapers, delivering goods, and laboring sweatshops.  In this touching book, Newberry Medalist Russell Freedman offers a rare glimpse of what it meant to be a young newcomer to America.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Puffin Books (first published 1980)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Immigrant Kids, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Immigrant Kids

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nicola Mansfield
Jul 09, 2010 Nicola Mansfield rated it liked it
Reason for Reading: Read aloud to my son as part of his history curriculum.

Russell Freedman is an award winning author with an extensive backlist and I've always been confident when seeing his name on a book. This is an over-sized book, profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs. Sometimes the photograph will take up more page space than the text and many times a whole page is devoted to the photograph. The text concentrates on 1890s-1900s immigration, coming into Ellis Island and livin
Souaad Asar
Apr 02, 2012 Souaad Asar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman this is very interesting book with a very true story about what it meant to be a young newcomer to America. Many Americans doesn’t get how hard is it to be immigrant a hundred years ago. Their exposure to the significance of mass immigration to the growth of the United States is so limited that they have no real understanding of the critical role that it played in the development of the country. The author Uses images that explains the immigrant experience to t ...more
May 10, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it
This book written for children about children was very interesting. From 1880-1920, 23 million people immigrated from Europe to the US, many of them children. The book is divided into chapters: At Home, At School, At Work, At Play. Life for immigrant children was hard. Was it actually better than in the "old country"? I was spurred to read this because of my recent foray into genealogy. I have ancestors who came over from Ireland during this period, some of them children, some of them adults. Wh ...more
Oct 29, 2010 Lorie rated it it was amazing
Immigration from the eyes of children and how they had to deal with their changing lives. They explain what it was like coming to America and what life was like at home, work, school, and play. The photographs of New York City immigrants during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s provide the reader with real life visuals to help place yourself in their situation. Students could use a venn diagram or other graphic organizer to compare and contrast children from this time period and today.
Just a short history book for kids that we read to go along with our mini-unit on immigration, but we really enjoyed all the first-hand accounts that were quoted and the great black and white photos so clearly illustrating the history we were reading.
Informational text about immigrant kids in the late 1800's. Wonderful photos to use as conversation starters in a classroom
Jackie Grinstead
Jan 27, 2017 Jackie Grinstead rated it really liked it
I've had this book a long time, great look into our past
May 31, 2015 Katherine rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-stuff
Immigrant Kids by Russell Freedman is a social history that discusses the lives of children that came to America in the early 1900s. Freedman begins by describing the cramped nature of the immigrants’ trek across the ocean, characterized by foul smells and hungry stomachs. He then moves on to discuss the events that occurred upon arrival, the results of which would often determine whether or not the family would be allowed to stay. The next section of the book, "At Home", talks about the living ...more
A wonderful resource for elementary or older students on the experiences of immigrant kids. The author has a lovely way of combining concise text with period photographs to give new insight into the time period. The author's decision to focus on the experiences of children makes it highly approachable for younger children and fires the imagination of older children. Empathetic children will need a guide to help them process the difficult aspects of the immigrant experience (war in home country, ...more
Mitzy Rodriguez
An informational book that describes the physical difficulties that are endured among immigrants. The book talks about the children traveling from Europe to the States, and where they would be left when their parents were not available to care for them. The living conditions were very uncomfortable especially for those who were less fortunate, schools helped the youngsters become Americanized a lot faster, fourteen years old was the legal working age but many children under that age were found t ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Deirdre rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book depicts the stories of European immigrants coming to the United States, but most importantly, it focuses on the immigrant children. Freedman goes through the processes and experiences of immigration from boarding the boat to come over seas, to how children played in the streets of the United States. Accompanied by many vivid black and white photographs, this book does an amazing job of describing life as an immigrant. This book would be very useful in a school curriculum because it cou ...more
Nov 19, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
This book is a great resource for so many reason. First, it can be used to talk about the early european immigrant experience (1880-1920). Secondly, the book contains so many photos that can be use in a lesson in themselves, such as writing prompts. My third reason for liking this book it is not overwhelming. Teachers for 3 and up can benefit from using this book in their class in different ways. My last,is for a more personal reason. I have a hard time when I come across a student, who believes ...more
Kelli Oliver George
May 16, 2011 Kelli Oliver George rated it really liked it
This was a quick read, I finished it in one sitting. I was drawn to this book because of the photographs - they were mostly of real families, real kids, real settings. Very few were in portrait studios. It was a very brief take on the experiences of immigrant children. This book was definitely meant FOR children, so the topics of child labor are discussed, but the disturbing details are left out.
Nov 21, 2010 Shareena rated it really liked it
This book includes real life action photos of immigrants and how they spent their time in America. I like the book because instead of only showing the immigrant people as laborers they showed them as families. The book includes photos of children smiling, laughing, and playing baseball. It was good to see that these people who had gone threw so much were able to find joy and persevere through hardships.
Reading Level: intermediate and up

This book is great for pairing up with a historical fiction book on immigration. It allows students to see what it was like for immigrant children in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They can compare the information provided in the book with the historical fiction book to determine what was true historically. The pictures add to the text in that they show the immigrant children coming through Ellis Island, at home, work, and school.
Amy Carr
May 07, 2008 Amy Carr rated it it was amazing
My second grader has been studying immigration in America around the turn of the 20th century and so we have been reading this out loud. It is a beautiful book with haunting illustrations that show what life was like for these people in the land of "opportunity". The perfect blend of well-written text, including first person narratives, and documentary photography. NOthing could bring home this topic better!
Nov 30, 2010 Tara rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Mainly, the pictures are what hooked me. I liked seeing a picture and than being able to read about it. I also liked how the book was split into sections so that it was easier to navigate through the text and the arrangement made it easy understand and follow. It gave a great dipiction of what life was like and as a child and it was interesting to read.
May 01, 2013 Shelly♥ rated it it was amazing
Freedman's book is about eh Immigrant Experience in large cities during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is full of classic photos of children of the era at work, at play, with their families and in their tenements. Great addition to any study of the 3rd component of the Great Immigration.

Read to both my 1st and 3rd grade aged children. The pictures said more to the younger student, while my older one enjoyed the text and the photos.

Awesome book.
Dec 01, 2010 Deanna rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book to incorporate into a 4th or 5th grade Social Studies lessons. Students can take a picture walk through this book. Since the subjects of the photographs are the same age as the students, they can write reflections of what they think the kids are thinking in each picture.

This is a great book for students because it is effortlessly moving. It really touches adults and children alike.
Caren Harrington
Nov 02, 2009 Caren Harrington marked it as to-read
This is an interesting chapter book about immigrant children in the nineteenth century. The book contains several heart wrenching and education photographs taken by Jacob A. Riis, an immigrant himself turned New York City newspaper reporter. The text and images capture and highlight the struggles of the nineteenth century immigrants living in the urban New York City setting.
Nov 22, 2010 Brittany rated it liked it
This is a really cool book because it focuses on children and how they lived when they first immigrated to America. It has real photographs from those times and discusses the types of activities the kids liked to do such as play in the streets and play in the water from the fire hydrants. This would be a good book to use to discuss immigration and people of different cultures.
Nov 22, 2010 Rachael rated it really liked it
This book would be great in a social studies unit on immigration in the early 1900s. This book shows pictures of real children in their daily activity. Even if you only used the pictures in this book your students would gain so much. You could also pick excerpts from the book. It does a great job of describing the different aspects of life for children who immigrated.
Leah Lemon
This book is a dense childrens' book. It is heavy with informational facts, but they are written in a way that children can understand. It addresses the many aspects of a new immigrants life through the children of immigrants. It has a lot of great pictures, but most of all... it is about kids. This alnoe will make it easier for the students to relate to the book.
Kira Richardson
Nov 28, 2010 Kira Richardson rated it really liked it
This book had very intense and controversial pictures of child labor. The photography was phenomenal and very touching. This book shows true, real accounts of what some immigrant children had to go through. This could relate to a social studies unit of immigration and human rights.
Nov 21, 2010 Natalie rated it really liked it

This book has alot of great pictures that portray children in the late 1800's and early 1900's. These pictures would make great discussion in a classroom. This book gives a good perspective of how children lived, grew up, and played during that time period in New York.
Jul 10, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it
I loved Russell Freedman's book on Abraham Lincoln, so I decided to read this one by him. It gave a good look into the life of immigrant children in the late 1800s/early 1900s in the big cities. However, it wasn't nearly as good as the Lincoln biography.
Nov 14, 2010 Sabrina rated it really liked it
Excellent book! I used this book during my PTLS for the kids to do research about immigratn kids. From the information shared in this book, they wrote newpaper articles, journal entries, and role played. They really enjoyed all the activites.
Nov 03, 2013 Carrie rated it liked it
An interesting read. This book provided a nice, quick overview of what life was like for immigrant families (especially the children) who arrived to the United States in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The photographs are wonderful! A GREAT text to use in the classroom!
Nov 28, 2010 Schuerra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-studies
The pictures and the information behind them were amazing. This S.S book also dealt with immigration and dealt with it head on. There was no sugar coating and I loved it because it gave kids a reality of how life was during this time.
This book chronicles the experiences of immigrant children during the 19th and 20th centuries on coming over, life at home, at school, at work, and at play. Black and white photographs make the text more vivid. The author credits these children who helped to make the American Dream come true.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Picnic in October
  • The Scrambled States of America Talent Show
  • Lives of the Presidents: Fame, Shame (and What the Neighbors Thought)
  • Lemonade for Sale
  • How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark
  • Molly's Pilgrim
  • If Your Name Was Changed At Ellis Island
  • Shipwrecked!: The True Adventures of a Japanese Boy
  • Lady Liberty: A Biography
  • Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
  • You Wouldn't Want to Be Cleopatra!: An Egyptian Ruler You'd Rather Not Be
  • When Jessie Came Across the Sea
  • Letters from Rifka
  • If You Lived 100 Years Ago
  • Me on the Map
  • If You Lived At The Time Of The American Revolution
  • The Lotus Seed
  • The Orphan of Ellis Island
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...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »