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Naming Liberty

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  56 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A double celebration for Independence Day! In this wonderfully unique book, Jane Yolen and Jim Burke weave two stories at once, as readers see young Gitl in Russia leaving her home for faraway America, wondering what new name she will choose for herself when she arrives, and young artist Frederic Auguste Bartholdi dreaming of a monument he wants to build to honor freedom. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 3rd 2008 by Philomel Books
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Lisa  Skripps
Naming Liberty, by Jane Yolen, is the combination of two stories. On the left side of the book, we are introduced to a young girl named Gitl and her family. The family lives in Russia, but the story is about their immigration to the United States in the search for freedom. Gitl’s parents send her older brother Shmeul ahead to find a job and to start to make money. Gitl and the rest of her family follow to America once Shmeul is settled. Yolen does an amazing job of depicting what life was like f ...more
Chase Vombaur
Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen introduces us to a young girl named Gitl and her family. The family is from Russia, the story is about this family's immigration to the United States in search of freedom and a better life. The family wants a better life but they really want their kids to have a chance at a better life then they did. Gitl's parents send there son Shmeul to find a job and start earning income. The family follows Shmeul after he finds and job and has his feet grounded. The author does ...more
This picture book by Jane Yolen parallels two stories: a family from Russia and their journey to America along with a French man's idea to build a monument for America. Each page splits the two stories: the family story on the left and the monument to America on the right. The family sends their son Shmuel to America to investigate, find work and a place to live. After a few years Shmuel's family was able to join him in America. The opposite page continues the story of the idea of a monument bei ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 30, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who have interest in history, immigration, the Statue of Liberty’s story
The inside front cover gave away too much about what is going to happen in the story. True, I am often dense, and it’s likely that the vast majority of readers would quickly, maybe immediately, figure out what is revealed without reading the synopsis on the cover, but I was a bit disappointed to learn something prematurely.

But, I was not disappointed in the book. This is a historical fiction picture book, a dual story about the creation and gift of and installation of the Statue of Liberty and
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I liked the format of this book. On each 2-page spread, the left-hand page tells the story of Gitl and her Jewish family, who make the long journey from Russia across Europe to America. The right-hand page tells the story of how the Statue of Liberty was conceived, built, and shipped to America. The two stories come together when Gitl's family arrives at Ellis Island and sees the Statue. Nicely done. I was surprised to learn at the end that, for the welcoming ceremony for the statue, on October ...more
I absolutely love this book! Naming Liberty integrates two separate stories about coming to America. The first story tells the journey of a young girl named Gitl whose family decides to immigrate from Russia to the United States. Her story follows her journey of finding independence and liberty. The second story takes place from 1865 to 1886, telling the story of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and his creation of the Statue of Liberty. The book documents his troubles and successes from coming up w ...more
Ally Irwin
Naming Liberty Yolen, J. (2008). Naming Liberty. New York: Philomel Books.

Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen integrates two separate stories about coming to America. The first is the story of a young girl named Gitl whose family decides to immigrate from Russia to the United States. First, her older brother Shmuel moves to the U.S to find work and a place to live. Shortly after, Gitl, her mother, father and two brothers join Shmuel (who now goes by his American name Sammy) in America. The book descri
Cynnea Schreibman
Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen integrates two separate stories about coming to America. The first is the story of a young girl named Gitl whose family decides to immigrate from Russia to the United States. First, her older brother Shmuel moves to the U.S to find work and a place to live. Shortly after, Gitl, her mother, father and two brothers join Shmuel (who now goes by his American name Sammy) in America. The book describes their journey traveling by train and boat until they finally reach Amer ...more
Gabrielle Blockton
Date: August 30th 2014

Author: Jane Yolen; Paintings by Jim Burke

Title: Naming Liberty

Plot: Gitl is a seven year old girl that dreams about going to America with her family to find liberty in the land of America. Meanwhile, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi plans to build a monument for America that will change the course of its history.

Setting: Yekaterinoslaf; Paris; America

Characters: Gitl/Liberty; Frederic Auguste Bartholdi

Point-of-View: First person (Gitl); Third person (Frederic Auguste Bartholdi
Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen is a clever mixture of historical fiction and informational text with a painted masterpiece on every page. Two stories for the price of one. Yolen tells the story of young Gitl and her family as they make the long arduous journey to America; there is also the journey that young artist, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, will take to fulfill his goal of giving America Lady Liberty. Both stories take the reader through the journey that both individuals are taking to reach the ...more
Monica A
Two thumbs up for this/these story/stories. This picture tells two stories of celebrations of independence. One story is about a young girl and her family who make the move from Russia to American where she looks forward to finding her new American name. The other half of the story about Bartholdi's dream of a monument that will have a great representation of freedom.
I like how this story takes you on two adventures circling around new life and liberty. This book not only shows what is was like
Lindsay Kaiktsian
Yolen, J.,& Burke,J. (2008). Naming Liberty. New York: Philomel Books

Sydney Taylor/ Association of Jewish Libraries Award

Picture Book

If you like history, then this is a book for you. On one side of the book pages is the story told through a Russian girl that is immigrating to America. On the other side of the book pages is the story of how Frederic Auguste Bartholdi wants to show freedom. This book allows history to shine through both stories and at the end is a couple pages of the non-fic
Catherine Woodman
Naming Liberty is a fabulous book, with multiple entry points:
1) There are two different story lines on each double-page layout. The left side is told by a little girl in first person narrative. She and her family are hoping to immigrate to America from the Ukraine. The right side is about Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the creator and designer of the Statue of Liberty. This side is about the vision of Lady Liberty, and how that vision became a reality.
2) Both parts of the story are written in vers
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
The parallel but disjointed story lines do not work organically. The illustrations do not always highlight or accentuate the most momentous part of the text. For example, where the "height" of the text for America, Paris, and Rouen, 1884 - 1885, "After a month on the ocean, she arrived in New York, where she was greeted by a huge number of ships. Some 10,000 people on the ships and shore cheered and waved handkerchiefs and flags." And you see a very quite picture of a flimsy looking ship in the ...more
Jerald Belofsky
Yolen is one of the most prolific children's authors. Here she combines her personal family history immigrating to the United States from Europe in the late 1800s with the story of Bartholdi creating the Statute of Liberty. The two stories are shown in face to face panels with beautiful pictures that really enhance the words and the feelings of the characters. One historical error however. Yolen indicates that France prevailed in the war with Prussia in 1870. It did not.
I love picture books that capture immigration stories. I expected to really enjoy this one because it was by Jane Yolen, a very competent children's author. Unfortunately the attempt to combine or "interweave" two stories in this one book was confusing and distracting to both plot lines.

Half of the book focused on a Russian girl and her family immigrating to America. Yolen stresses the reasons for immigration, how long it takes to plan such a move, and how grueling the journey her family undert
Ashley Sparks
I absolutely loved this book! This is written by the same author who wrote The Devil's Arithmetic,Jane Yolen. There are two stories in this book, one on each side of the page. The pages on the left tell the story of a family escaping the Holocaust. This story is very similar to that in The Devil's Arithmetic The pages on the right tell the story of Frederic Bartholdi, the man who built the Statue of Liberty. Both stories are very informative and interesting. I love the idea of having two perspec ...more
When I went looking for books for immigrants at my library this one really stood out. The paintings by Jim Burke are really good. Very bright and colorful so they keep a child busy looking. The book is written so that you are following a family making it's way to America in the 1800's and the making of the Statue of Liberty. The little girl, Gitl and the artist, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, are both so excited about getting their places in America. Gitl wants and American name and Federic wants h ...more
Aug 31, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
This is a very uniquely formatted book that combines the a journalized tale of a young girl who immigrates to America with her family and describes their long journey to get here (based loosely on the experiences of the author's family), with the nonfiction explanation about the creation of Lady Liberty and how she came to America. I love how the stories are blended, with one side of each page explaining Gitl's tale, and the other explaining the history of the Statue of Liberty. The illustration ...more
Naming Liberty is unique in the fact that it tells parallel stories of a young girl & her family as they immigrate to America in the early 1900’s and the story of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the architect of the Statue of Liberty, from the birth of the idea of the statue to its inception. Both stories complimented one another in explaining the hard work and determination that went into Frances gift to America and the struggles an immigrant faces to start a new life in America.

This book is b
Okay, maybe four and a half, but it's Jane Yolen. For her I will always round up.
Andrew Perry
Naming Liberty is really two separate stories rolled into one fantastic book. On the left side of pages the reader sees the story of a young girl and her family emigrating from Russia to America. On the right side of pages there is the story of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi as he plans and creates the statue of liberty in France. This book provides both historical information and a fictional account of immigration during the mid to late 1800's.
Janice Redding
This book discusses how the statute of liberty was built, as well as how it was made. It is a very interesting read to discuss its location and the impact of the statue of liberty today. An interesting fact that I found while I read the book is that the statue has stairs inside of it. As a teacher, I can use this book during a Social Studies lesson on geography and known figures. I would read this book beginning in second grade.
Having been to Ellis Island I liked seeing the room where the immigrant family in the story was on Ellis Island. This is really two stories told at the same time. I had a little trouble reading this as it jumps back and forth between the making of the Statue of Liberty and the family's journey to America. Very inspiring. I am glad Gitl picked Libby as her name. I think it suits her.
This is quite possibly my favorite work by Jane Yolen of this millennium. Written from two points of view this story manages to twine together the story of immigration with the story of the origins of the Statue of Liberty. It requires a bit of patience, but this is a very well written, cleverly presented book.
Kelli Dana
*Interesting book to read when beginning a unit on the statue of liberty or that time period of history.
*Shows a lot of good details
*Good for read aloud that could lead to good class discussions
Amanda Goodman
Great book introducing immigration to America, and giving a historical account of the statue of Liberty. Fun facts and pictures.
Nov 30, 2008 Paige rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Paige by: CLAU
Shelves: picture-books
two simultaneous stories about freedom and immigration; fun read.
Megan marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2015
Laurie marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2015
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
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