Building Liberty: A Statue is Born

Overview

The Statue of Liberty is one of the greatest landmarks in America, but few know the story behind how this lady began welcoming people to American shores. Through the eyes of four fictional boys, readers observe the Statue of Liberty as it is designed, built, shipped to the United States, and reassembled on an island in New York harbor. A gift from France in celebration of the American Day of Independence-July 4th-the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of liberty, freedom, and acceptance in the United States. ...
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2004 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 46 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Overview

The Statue of Liberty is one of the greatest landmarks in America, but few know the story behind how this lady began welcoming people to American shores. Through the eyes of four fictional boys, readers observe the Statue of Liberty as it is designed, built, shipped to the United States, and reassembled on an island in New York harbor. A gift from France in celebration of the American Day of Independence-July 4th-the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol of liberty, freedom, and acceptance in the United States. During its earliest conception in France, readers witness a young boy's experience as an apprentice in the workshop of the creators of the statue. His experience teaches the values of hard work and perseverance and the pride that one can take in a job well done. The second boy comes across the statue in a very different form. He sees her disassembled as she crosses the Atlantic ocean to her new home in America. His role in transporting Liberty teaches him about himself and about the power of a community united. Ben, the third boy in our journey, is a young newsboy in New York City. He is helping to raise money for the stand of the statue so that she may be properly fitted onto the island. But despite his excitement over her arrival, he finds that not everyone is as thrilled about Liberty coming to America. Rebuffed by passers-by and even his friends, Ben continues to work for what he believes and to help the Statue. Finally, the Statue has arrived in America and is ready to be reassembled. The fourth boy takes part in helping Liberty to find her home. Through his eyes readers see the importance of her arrival and the impact she will have on the United States. An added bonuscan be found in the last pages of this book. They include technical drawings with detailed descriptions of the construction of the statue-any future architect, engineer, or sculptor, is sure to find it fascinating.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In cartoon panels and economical text, four fictional characters describe aspects of the progress of Building Liberty: A Statue Is Born by Serge Hochain. Beginning with young Leo's metalworking apprenticeship in France with Frederic-Auguste Bertholdi and Gustave Eiffel, the book follows the Statue of Liberty's progress across the Atlantic aboard a French naval ship through the eyes of young Francois, and young Ben describes fundraising efforts to pay for the statue in the States. The fourth perspective comes from Angus, an Irish immigrant who helps construct the statue in New York harbor. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Using four boys in different settings, this book tells of the construction, the transportation aboard ship, the raising of extra funds to pay for the base, and the erection of the Statue of Liberty. Leo is apprenticed as a gofer in the master metalsmith Gaget's workshop and begins to understand how the armature will support the copper sheathing. In fact, he even gets to hammer some of the hot sheets over the wooden shaping molds. Next, Fanch in his log recounts how the boxes come aboard the Isere and how the ship has to take on extra coal to carry so much weight. Then, Ben, a grandchild of slaves, sells newspapers in New York and meets Joseph Pulitzer, owner of The World, who exhorts the newsboys to urge common people to donate money for the pedestal on which the statue will rest. "Tell the people that Liberty is not a present from the people of France to millionaires but a present from the French people to the American people!" Last, Angus, an ironworker assists in fastening the parts to each other and Angus stands proudly in the torch, moved by this gigantic creation, an effort of so many people. Page design allows readers to study many details in several pictures and to see behind the scenes while a three-page end section shows step by step how the statue was built from the initial sketches and molds to the building of the pedestal. Adult readers may wince at the "Wow" that escapes Leo's lips and wonder why he first looks to be 11 or 12, later about 17, and, at his section's end, about 11 again. Of the three boys with fathers (Fanch is an orphan), the two white fathers are wealthy or gainfully employed, while Ben's father sings a song to the family and plays his banjoafter Ben has come home from his hard day of work, a subtle suggestion, but of what? That African American men could not find work but their young sons could? That this father is a ne-er-do-well content to let his son work while he plays the banjo? Those quibbles aside, Hochain has fashioned a friendly and approachable look at the famous statue for a slightly younger reader than Lynn Curlee's more factual and straightforwardly informational Liberty (Atheneum, 2000). His watercolor and sketched illustrations beg to be studied and the sharp eye is rewarded by many small details that advance the telling without getting in the way. 2004, National Geographic, Ages 8 to 12.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This imaginative look at the construction of the Statue of Liberty is divided into four parts. In an appealing comic-book style, with the text presented below detailed watercolor, pencil, and drybrush illustrations, each section tells the story of a young boy who played an important role in accomplishing this feat. First, readers meet Leo Pacioli, a young apprentice at the workshop where Liberty was built. He meets sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and engineer Gustave Eiffel, and also learns about the statue's design and construction. Next, Francois Penho't, a member of the crew on the steamship Isere, describes how the pieces of the monument are loaded aboard, the trip across the Atlantic, and the enthusiastic welcome they receive at the New York Harbor. In the third section, young Benjamin Lutherson of New York City, who works as a newsboy for The World, helps to spread the word and raise money to build the pedestal for the sculpture. Finally, Angus Donegal, another New Yorker, shares his feelings of pride as he helps to construct Liberty's iron skeleton and copper exterior. The book ends with a step-by-step illustrated history of the statue's creation (with captions) from Bartholdi's sketch pad to its completion. There are no source notes and children may be left wondering if these boys actually existed. This title would make a solid addition to any library but would be especially valuable in local history collections.-Christine E. Carr, Lester C. Noecker Elementary School, Roseland, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rare (and subpar) is the library that doesn't already offer several accounts of Lady Liberty's creation, but this fictionalized import merits consideration for its unusual angle. In large, sequential panels, Hochain traces major stages of the statue's construction, transportation, and reassembly through the eyes of four young workers: two French, two American. Drawn with a fine but not obsessive attention to detail (think Arthur Geisert, rather than Martin Handford), his pulled-back shop, shipboard, and street scenes deliver clear views of how Liberty's original models were scaled up, molded, riveted, and braced-simultaneously imparting a real sense of the project's massive scale, and also of dress and architecture in Paris and New York. Too many rough edges remain, from a misspelling of Bartholdi's name and some anachronistic language ("No way!" "skyscrapers" "Geronimo-o-o-o-o-o-o!" to confusing panel placement) to give this an unreserved thumbs-up, but readers already conversant with the twin histories of the statue and its pedestal might be intrigued by the personal points of view. (details of construction) (Fictionalized nonfiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792267652
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.78 (w) x 11.40 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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