Saving Lady Liberty: Joseph Pulitzer's Fight for the Statue of Liberty

(Author) (Illustrator)
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Product Details

Calkins Creek Books
Publish Date
8.7 X 11.1 X 0.4 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

For children's author Claudia Friddell, the next best thing to time travel is discovering and sharing exciting real life stories from long ago. A former elementary school teacher, Claudia loves talking to students and teachers about the magic of bringing history to life through books. When she's not visiting schools, digging for treasure in the library, or writing at her home in Baltimore, she's reading, walking, and kayaking on Maryland's Eastern Shore. To learn more about Claudia and her books, log onto

Stacy Innerst is the award-winning illustrator of multiple picture books, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Jonah Winter, The Music in George's Head by Suzanne Slade, and Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation by Peggy Thomas. Visit


NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book

★ "In this soaring account, which spans Pulitzer's birth in Hungary to Lady Liberty's debut in 1886, the author highlights both Pulitzer's rags-to-riches personal success story and his profound idealism: he 'had always loved words. And the word he loved best was liberty.' Innerst adds to the high tone of this celebration with impressionistically brushed scenes of Lady Liberty's grand features, her frail-looking champion bouncing back from multiple reverses, and ordinary people pitching in coins and small bills to see the iconic statue raised at last. Though histories of the Statue of Liberty often mention Pulitzer's campaign, this is the most detailed presentation for younger audiences to date. Just another immigrant getting the job done." --Booklist, starred review

"A poor Jewish immigrant who understood what liberty meant crusaded for Lady Liberty's pedestal. This is a well-written, inspiring ode to the contributions of immigrants. Pulitzer quotes and excerpts from some of his editorials are included; particularly wonderful are replicas of some handwritten letters from children who donated, literally, pennies. Atmospheric illustrations in brown and blue brushed on sepia-toned backgrounds give a historical feel... excellent information about Pulitzer and the Statue of Liberty... appears in the backmatter. Pulitzer's permanent legacy now beams a beckoning welcome to all American newcomers--a timely reminder." --Kirkus Reviews

"This nonfiction picture book sheds light on Joseph Pulitzer's connection to Lady Liberty and his role in bringing the American icon to the United States. Young readers will particularly enjoy reproductions of donation letters from kids, pledging money to support the cause. Innerst uses watercolor and acrylic paint, with some ink drawings. Back matter includes fun facts about the Statue of Liberty and Pulitzer, a bibliography, an afterword, a time line, and photos of the statue during its construction and inauguration. (T)his [biography] is a good jumping-off point for discussions of civic responsibility and philanthropy." --School Library Journal

"Friddell... [focuses] on New York World newspaper owner Joseph Pulitzer's rags to riches backstory as a poor Hungarian immigrant who fought for the Union in the Civil War, worked odd jobs before his break into journalism, and used his public influence to cajole Americans into supporting Frederic Bartholdi's monumental beacon. Innerst's mixed media artwork, rendered in tan and sepia evocative of an era antedating color news coverage, have an airy, slightly hazy lightness that contrasts well with the weight of Liberty's component copper parts scattered throughout scenes, awaiting their ultimate reassembly. Nine pages of end matter...could pivot a recreational read into a middle-grade research project." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Both the con­cep­tion and the exe­cu­tion of this won­der­ful book are excep­tion­al...Clau­dia Frid­dell and Sta­cy Innerst have ele­vat­ed this impor­tant mes­sage for young read­ers into a pro­found­ly orig­i­nal work of art." --Jewish Book Council