word craft


Lost in the Empire City

Lost in the Empire City Avi

Quill Tree  Books, Harper­Collins
Octo­ber 29, 2024

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audio book nar­rat­ed by 
Jonathan Myles

if you liked this book, try:

What’s this book about?

When Santo’s father left their tiny town in Italy for Amer­i­ca, he made San­to promise to keep their fam­i­ly togeth­er until he has enough mon­ey to bring the rest of them to the US.

It takes a few years, but Mama final­ly gets word that their fam­i­ly can join Papa. San­to couldn’t be more excit­ed to go to Amer­i­ca — and to see his father again. How­ev­er, San­to gets sep­a­rat­ed from his moth­er and sib­lings at Ellis Island, and he is left to fend for him­self on the mean streets of Man­hat­tan. San­to doesn’t speak Eng­lish, he doesn’t know any­one, and he has nowhere to go. He has no mon­ey and no help.

While search­ing des­per­ate­ly for a clue as to where his fam­i­ly has gone, San­to gets caught up with a gang of boys who steal to stay alive. But when an unex­pect­ed betray­al leaves San­to scram­bling, it will take all the street smarts he’s gained to find a way back to his family.


VIDEO: “A Film from 1974 Offers a Rare Glimpse Inside an Aban­doned Ellis Island,” Phil Buehler and Steve Siegel, The New York Times, 28 May 2024 (may be behind a paywall)

buy the book 
if you liked this book, try: