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by Jane Yolen & illustrated by Jim Burke

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-399-24250-2
Publisher: Philomel

Gitl, the youngest in her Jewish family, looks forward to escaping the pogroms and persecution of Czarist Russia. After eldest son Shmuel (now Sammy) spends two years in the States, the family joins him, following a long journey by cart, foot, train and ship. Facing pages tell the story of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and the creation of the Statue of Liberty. Arriving in New York Harbor, the sight of the welcoming great lady encourages Gitl to choose a new uniquely American name for herself: Libby, short for Liberty. Yolen’s graceful text and Burke’s illustrations balance the events and emotions of the parallel stories. Oil-painted panels in deep browns, greens and grays depict bearded Eastern village Jews against the modern cities of Paris and New York. The two Atlantic crossings come together in one New York Harbor view of the copper Statue, symbolizing the unifying themes of new ideas, freedom and the opportunity for a fresh start. (Picture book. 6-9)