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I lived in New York for tweleve years and never once visited the Statue of Liberty. I rode past it several times on the ferry but never actually toured the statue. I’d like to think that makes me a true New Yorker, although now I just generally regret not going.
In October we celebrated the 130th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. I collected the following books to help me in my tutoring, and I never post them here. When the moment passed, I felt it wasn't as relevant. Learning about Lady Liberty seems pretty relevant now.
Have you seen this movie? I watched it and read the book. It's so good!
We Came To America By Faith Ringgold – This book is probably my favorite on the list. It’s straight to the point and doesn’t avoid the heaviness of the topic. Short and beautifully illustrated, the author of ‘Tar Beach’ uses bright, bold, captivating images to display diversity and freedom that makes up America. I can see this being very useful for first introducing immigration to young children.
Anna & Solomon by Elaine Snyder – This is a very touching and sweet love story of sacrifice and family. Solomon goes to America alone and leaves Anna behind. He works hard to send her money so that she may join him, yet, Anna sends all of her family members before her until finally the two are reunited to create a beautiful life in Brooklyn.
Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser – Emma Lazarus was a wealthy Jewish New Yorker, who recognized her privilege when she witnessed poor immigrants in the harbor. She wrote a poem from the perspective of Lady Liberty welcoming the immigrants. Her words were so moving that they are now displayed within the statue. This book is illustrated with detailed paintings that look like prints you would see in a museum.
The Story of the Statue of Liberty by Betsy & Giulio Maestro - Full of facts, this story is of the making of the statue. The book is useful for older children and students studying timelines in history or social studies.
A Picnic In October by Eve Bunting – An oldie but goodie. The story is about a family who travels to Ellis Island in the cold New York fall weather each October on the anniversary of Lady Liberty’s dedication. If I were still teaching in a classroom, I would take the opportunity to read this every Oct. 28. It's a touching one.
Do you have any books that help you introduce liberty?