Did you know that the Statue of Liberty was almost abandoned before it was erected in New York Harbor in 1886? I have to be honest, I didn’t know the amazing story behind Lady Liberty until I read Let Liberty Rise by Chana Stiefel.
This wonderful picture book tells us the history behind this iconic statue, and how it came to be one the most visited National Monuments in the United States.
For America’s 100th birthday in 1885, France gifted Lady Liberty, sending all 350 pieces of the statue neatly packed into 214 crates to an island we now call Liberty Island. BUT funds ran out for the massive pedestal that would be needed for the statue to stand on.
When Americans (including the richest millionaires) seemed disinterested in paying the bill, one man stepped forward with a solution. Joseph Pulitzer, a Jewish Hungarian immigrant, offered to print the name of every person who donated to the pedestal fund in his newspaper, The New York World. Americans everywhere took him up on that offer, whether they were factory workers, immigrants, mothers, or children; 120,000 donors made it possible to fund the pedestal.
Chana Stiefel flawlessly blends the historical facts and figures with an entertaining narrative to tell this amazing story. Combined with the fun illustrations by Chuck Groenink, Let Liberty Rise is a fantastic history lesson for young readers that feels incredibly relevant given the division in America today.
I would highly recommend this title for any parent who is looking to teach their children that they can have a lasting impact on the world, and that the power of unity can move mountains…or 225 ton statues.
Let Liberty Rise is available now wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you. Your support is always appreciated!)
Chana Steifel is the author of more than 25 children’s books and is based in New Jersey (just a ferry ride away from Lady Liberty herself). To learn more about her and her work, please visit her website at chanastiefel.com.
Chuck Groenink is a children’s book illustrator who immigrated to America from the Netherlands. He currently resides in Valatie, New York with his wife, their dog, and two cats. To learn more about him and his work, please visit his site at chuckgroenink.com.
I would like to thank Scholastic for generously sending me another review copy of another fantastic book.