What’s The Nine-Year-Old reading this week?

If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine

ellisislandWhat the book’s about:   Ellen Levine’s book talks about what it was like for people who immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1914. Although the title implies that the book talks mostly about what happened to immigrants who had their names changed at the border (whether by choice or by imposition), Levine actually covers much more than that. Levine breaks down the process of immigration through Ellis Island into one or two page chunks that cover issues like medical exams, literacy tests, what happened if/when people were detained, and the situations in which families were allowed to stay together or broken up.  

Why The Nine-Year-Old thinks you’ll like it: “The one-sentence stories about people who had their names changed and why are really interesting. One guy changed his name from SomethingSomethingNelson* to just Nelson because he was afraid the longer version would be too hard for Americans to say and so they wouldn’t let him into America at all.” (*I would like to note for the record that in telling me this story The Nine-Year-Old said the man’s real name, not SomethingSomethingNelson, but I didn’t write the name down at the time and now I can’t remember what that original name was.)

The Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl by Daniel Pinkwater

catwhiskeredgirlWhat the book’s about: Big Audrey has cat whiskers and cat eyes (sort of). She’s heard a rumor that there’s another cat-whiskered cat-eyed girl somewhere, so she says goodbye to her friends in Los Angeles and sets off on a road trip with a bongo-playing Marlon Brando to track down her cat-whiskered doppelgänger. Will Big Audrey find the answers she seeks in that international city of mystery, Poughkeepsie, New York?

Why The Nine-Year-Old thinks you should pick it up: “Daniel Pinkwater is a really funny writer. This book is amazing. I’d rate it six stars if I could.”

Come find us on Goodreads:

The Caterpickles Goodreads page is coming along swimmingly. I haven’t shelved quite as many books this week as I had hoped, but there are still some 130 or so up there to browse through.

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About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Nine-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, or musing about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.wordpress.com.
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