The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

By: Jill Braithwaite
Publisher: Lerner Classroom
Publication Date: August 2010
ISBN: 978-0761360520
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
ReviewDate: September 2010

A young girl and her father are inside the crown of the Statue of Liberty. This massive statue holds her torch aloft as she “towers over New York City.” The statue is actually made of copper, but “copper turns green when it sits outside." The statue itself has come to stand for freedom. She is sporting robes and a crown, has a torch in one hand and a tablet in the other. The tablet has the date July 4, 1776. The numbers are carved in the Roman numerals IV MDCCLXXVI, which “is a way of writing numbers with letters of the alphabet.”

Americans were once under the rule of a British king, but “fought a war to be free.” France also helped in our effort to be free and when the war was over the “French people wanted to give the United States a gift.” It was decided that French artist Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi would create a “big statue for Americans.” Eventually it was decided that the statue would end up on Bedloe’s Island in New York City’s harbor. The island was eventually known as “Liberty Island.” Work began on the “statue in Paris, France in 1875.” In this book you will see how they hammered the copper sheets, how they nailed them to an iron frame, how they transported the statue to New York, how it was put back together, the celebration on October 28, 1886, what it came to stand for, when the statue was cleaned up a century later, and how people can now visit her.

This is a nicely written overview of the history of the Statue of Liberty and what she now stands for. The text was very easy to understand and the accompanying photographs were very well chosen. When the history of the statue is discussed we are able to view art reproductions and striking period photographs of the actual construction of the statue in France. Small captions also give out important informative vignettes. For example, when we see a ferry boat crossing the water, the caption states, “There’s no way to drive to the statue. So visitors travel by boat.” In the back of the book is a general map of the “New York City Area,” some “Fun Facts,” an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.

Quill says: This book would be an excellent resource for young students to learn about one of our most cherished symbols of freedom, the Statue of Liberty.

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