Synopsis from Scholastic:
On America’s 100th birthday, the people of France built a giant gift! It was one of the largest statues the world had ever seen — and she weighed as much as 40 elephants! And when she arrived on our shores in 250 pieces, she needed a pedestal to hold her up. Few of America’s millionaires were willing to foot the bill.
Then, Joseph Pulitzer (a poor Hungarian immigrant-cum-newspaper mogul) appealed to his fellow citizens. He invited them to contribute whatever they could, no matter how small an amount, to raise funds to mount this statue. The next day, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters poured in. Soon, Pulitzer’s campaign raised enough money to construct the pedestal. And with the help of everyday Americans (including many thousands of schoolchildren!) the Statue of Liberty rose skyward, torch ablaze, to welcome new immigrants for a life of freedom and opportunity!
About: Let Liberty Rise!: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty is a picture book written by Chana Stiefel and illustrated by Chuck Groenink. It was published on 3/2/2021 by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, hardcover, 40 pages. The genres are picture books, nonfiction, history, United States, and 19th century. This book was intended for readers ages 6 to 8, grades 1 to 3. According to the publisher’s website, “Scholastic was founded in 1920 as a single classroom magazine. Today, Scholastic books and educational materials are in tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of homes worldwide, helping to Open a World of Possible for children across the globe” and their mission is to “encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy.” Please see below for more information about the publisher and author.
My Experience: I started reading Let Liberty Rise!: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty to my kids on 3/11/2021 and my husband read it to them again on 3/13/2021 then I read it again on 3/17/2021 and finished it in one sitting. Such a fantastic book! I loved how the author incorporated children’s voices into how they felt and what they did. The illustrations were awesome. I loved how smart the kids were dressed back then. I loved the reminder of how kids worked to earn their hard earned money and then to willingly wanted to donate for a good cause. As I read, I reminded my son that it’s true, little kids do hold jobs back in the day, unlike today. Definitely a good book, informative enough for kids to know where the Statue of Liberty came from and how it was born through the generosity of the general people. It’s interesting that the original color was copper but now through time and weather, it’s green!
Readers will learn that when America celebrated its 100th Birthday, the French presented a gift hard to refuse. This gift represent freedom and friendship between US and France. The gift was a lady named Liberty and she sailed across the Atlantic in 1885 from France to New York. She’s too big to travel in one piece so she travelled in 350 pieces stored in 214 crates. But when she arrived in New York, she couldn’t stand upright because American have yet to build her a pedestal. The pedestal cost one hundred grand and the wealthy didn’t think it was the money worth spending. Until one day…
Let Liberty Rise! is a great nonfiction read made easy for kids to understand. It’s upbeat and exciting to read. The donors were schoolchildren as small as kindergarteners. The kids voices and generosity were contagious. It makes me smile at the kids who saved their candy money to donate and others who donated instead of going to the circus. It’s wonderful to have kids read this type of books where they learn of doing something that changes history. I loved the facts at the end of the book! How cool that the sculpture traveled all over US and then decided that New York Bedloe’s Island as the gateway to America. Those last few pages were as awesome as the story. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Tag Lines: picture book, Lady Liberty, Statue of Liberty, Children’s Book, Kid’s Book, US history
About the Author:
Chana Stiefel is the author of more than 25 books for kids about exploding volcanoes, stinky castles, and other fun stuff. Her pictures were books include MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH!, illustrated by Mary Sullivan (HMH, 2019) and DADDY DEPOT, illustrated by Andy Snair (Feiwel & Friends, 2017). Recent non-fiction titles include ANIMAL ZOMBIES…& OTHER REAL-LIFE MONSTERS (National Geographic Kids, 2018), which was selected as a Top Ten YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant YA Readers in 2019. Chana’s next picture book is LET LIBERTY RISE (illustrated by Chuck Groenink, Scholastic, 3-2-21), the true story of how children helped build the Statue of Liberty. (Photo and info obtained from the author’s website).