Jewish Values: Naming Liberty

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32 p.
Naming Liberty tells the story of an Eastern European Jewish family seeking a new life in America. Their story is balanced with the history of the Statue of Liberty. Told through the eyes of seven-year-old Gitl, readers gain a sense of the personal struggles as the family gives up the life they know to seek freedom in America. On alternating pages, the parallel story of the creation of the Statue of Liberty comes to life. The monument was created in France as a gift to America for its 100th birthday. Readers will learn about Frederic Auguste Barthodi, the sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty, and the passion that fueled his work. As the Statue of Liberty makes its way to America, so does Gitl's family. The story of the statue is as emotional and heartfelt as the journey of the immigrant family. The two stories merge as Gitl's family reaches the shores of New York. When Gitl learns that Lady Liberty came to America " crates, by train, then by boat,” she responds, "Just like me." Wanting to choose a new name in her new country, she asks, "Is Liberty an American name?" Later, she declares, "Here in America …my name is Liberty. But you can call me Libby." The stunning art is done in a muted pallet, reflecting the era represented. Yolen has done a tremendous job of bringing history to life in a dual story that is full of heart, hope, and pride.
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