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EMMA’S POEM by Linda Glaser


The Voice of the Statue of Liberty

by Linda Glaser and illustrated by Claire A. Nivola

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-17184-5

Emma Lazarus lived and wrote in New York City. She wrote the poem for which she is known when she was 34, in 1883, to help raise money for the building of a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. In clear cadences, Glaser describes Lazarus’s comfortable circumstances and her choice to assist the immigrants of her time not only with her writing but by helping them to learn English and get job training. It is because of her poem “The New Colossus” that the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of welcome to immigrants: The engraved plaque with her stirring words was placed there after Emma’s death. Nivola’s watercolor-and-gouache paintings are rich in color and detail, showing the elegant streets and homes of 19th-century New York City as well as its settlement houses. Line, pattern and a sense of place give young readers a rich vision of the “golden door” by which “your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” came to this country. Nicely done, enabling even young children to see how the poem and the statue came together. (Picture book/biography. 5-8)