Let Liberty Rise!: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty

Scholastic. Mar. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338225884.
Gr 1-3–Children are often enchanted by large things, and the size of the Statue of Liberty, even in her original unassembled state, will capture their interest. Readers learn how Americans initially turned their noses up at this gift from France, which would require America to build and pay for an expensive pedestal. Playful, engaging illustrations feature speech bubbles that quote outraged citizens. The heart of the story focuses on Joseph Pulitzer’s plan to publish the name of any donor, regardless of the size of the donation. Pulitzer, born in Hungary to parents of Jewish descent, bought the New York World and printed his call to action in the paper. The fundraiser galvanized schoolchildren, who individually and collaboratively sent in their coins, contributing to Pulitzer’s success and the raising of more than $100,000 to complete the pedestal. Characters are depicted with light skin and brown skin. The story of Lady Liberty’s precarious beginnings shows how much can be accomplished when people band together. Rich back matter includes a time line, photos, additional information, and a bibliography.
VERDICT This charming history title is a true inspiration for the present. An informative must-have for all libraries.

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