Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...
Who wrote these words? And why?
In 1883, Emma Lazarus, deeply moved by an influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe, wrote a sonnet that was to give voice to the Statue of Liberty. Originally a gift from France to celebrate our shared national struggles for liberty, the Statue, thanks to Emma's poem, slowly came to shape our hearts, defining us as a nation that welcomes and gives refuge to those who come to our shores.
About the Author
Linda Glaser's grandparents emigrated from eastern Europe in the late 1800's to New York City, where they first saw the huge statue.
Claire Nivola's parents and grandparents arrived by ship in New York harbor in 1939, passing under the gaze of the Statue of Liberty, as part of the great European flight from anti-Semitism and Fascism.
What People are Saying About This
"Nivola's rectilinear compositions and poses, her generalized figures, and her bright, limited palette recall Barbara Cooney's period scenes, capturing New York City's opulent upper crust and the indigent yet dignified newcomers with equal skill. An excellent introduction to both Lady Liberty and the poem."Horn Book, starred review
"The art and words are moving in this picture book, which pairs free verse with detailed, fullpage paintings in watercolor, ink, and gouache to tell the history behind Lazarus' famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty."Booklist
"A gentle tribute to Emma Lazarus, very much in the style of Barbara Cooney’s Eleanor (Viking, 1996)...The pictures, with their slight folk-art feel, capture both the time and action of the story, while the text illuminates the woman. An author’s note and the full text of the poem complete the book. A worthwhile addition for most collections."School Library Journal
"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."Kirkus
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you have Lady Liberty in your collection from 2008, you'll have to add Emma's Poem, which also in free verse (as is Lady Liberty) despite being different authors. Wealthy Emma Lazarus -- writer, humanitarian--has had a life of luxury. But when she realizes that poor immigrants have nothing, she worked with them, wrote about them -- and her sonnet "The New Colossus" honors them on the Statue of Liberty.
Summary:This book is about a wealthy woman, Emma, who realized how immigrants struggle. Most of the wealthier families do not pay much attention to the immigrants because they are poor and wear bad clothes. Emma started to make a point to help save the immigrants. She wrote poems to try to get the wealthier families attention, but many didn¿t seem to care. Then, she was asked to write a poem to help raise money for the building/parts of the Statue of Liberty. With her choice of the poem, she wrote about the immigrants. She did all she could to help improve life for the immigrants and herself as well.Personal Reflections:I thought this book was really cute and very informative. It was not really relative to me but it was a good book to learn about the background of the Statue of Liberty.Classroom Extensions:1. This book would be great to learn about the Statue of Liberty.2. With all the different diversity of the different people.
Emma¿s Poem the Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser is about Emma Lazarus. The book starts by telling about Emma as a little girl. The book tells how she had become a well known writer. One day Emma visited Ward¿s Island in the New York Harbor. Emma saw the ragged, tired and sad immigrants. The immigrants were Jews like herself. She then decided she wont to help them. Emma heard of the statue being built in New York Harbor. She was asked to write a poem to raise money for the statue¿s pedestal. Emma decided to write about immigrants. Emma poem is now engraved on a plague at the entrance to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Today, Emma¿s poem is well known.I enjoyed reading this book. I learned things about the Statue of Liberty that I didn¿t know. This book is great for older students. The pictures are refreshing. I liked how at the end of the book it talked about Emma Lazarus and told some of the history. At the end of the book it has Emma¿s actual poem. The name of the poem is The New Colossus.I would use this book as a read-aloud for upper elementary grades. I would use this book when talking about the Statue of Liberty or immigration. I would also have a grand conversation talking about the book. We would discuss everything from the pictures to why Emma wrote of immigration. I would have this book available for students to read in class some time throughout the year.