Italian Americans: A story based on Real History
by By Tana Reiff, Illustrated by Tyler Stiene
This is the story of the Trella family. In 1920 Vito's land is worn out, and he can't sell his oranges. Sadly, he leaves his Italian homeland and sails to New York to get work and save enough money to bring his wife, Rosetta, and their three children to America. For more than two years he works as a stonecutter, building the new skyscrapers of New York. It is dangerous work. Finally, he saves enough money for four tickets. Rosetta and their children join him. They make their new life on Mulberry Street in New York's “Little Italy.” Rosetta finds the city dirty and depressing at first, but she learns to love her Italian neighbors and her church. They have four more children. Then Vito falls, is injured, and must take a job making paper flowers; the whole family helps. All seven children finish high school and get good jobs. Vito and Rosetta stay in Little Italy. The novel ends as their youngest child, Dominick, graduates from high school with honors.
For age 12+
80 PAGES, 5.375 X 8.375