Tatiana Comes To America
An Ellis Island Story
Author: Joan Holub
Series: Doll Hospital (Book #1)
Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Immigration, Determination and Perseverance, Extended Families, Jewish Experience, Tolerance and Acceptance
Sisters Lila and Rose are spending the year with their eccentric grandmother, who runs a doll hospital. The girls are not pleased with this arrangement, but they begin to enjoy themselves when they learn their grandmother has a special power to "read" the lives of the dolls she is working to restore. In each book in this series, their grandmother tells the girls the story of a different doll.
In the first book, we meet Tatiana, a doll who travels to Ellis Island with her owner, a Russian girl named Ella.
Ella (and Tatiana) must leave Russia to flee the Pogroms. Ella's father has to stay back in Russia to care for his ailing mother, so Ella travels with family friends from whom she becomes separated on the ship bound for America. Because they are alone, Ella and Tatiana spend several months in a children's detention center on Ellis Island waiting for Ella's father. Upon his arrival, Ella gives Tatiana to a Romanian girl she has befriended — and it is this woman's granddaughter who brings Tatiana into the doll hospital, becoming Lila and Rose's first friend in their grandmother's town.