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Naming Liberty

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3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  79 Ratings  ·  37 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
Nov 05, 2009 Lisa Skripps rated it it was amazing
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
NebraskaIcebergs
May 17, 2017 NebraskaIcebergs rated it liked it
Naming Liberty by Jane Yolen contains two parallel stories. The first is of a family who decides to move to America. The dad says that life will be better across the ocean. There will be no more burning of houses, killing of family livestock, and taking sons into the army without permission. But to have this better life, the family must give up their home, their names, their language, and everything familiar to them. They must also endure long train rides and filthy packed boats. The second stor ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 30, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
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
...more
Claire
Nov 17, 2014 Claire rated it really liked it
Shelves: 520ya
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
Chase Vombaur
Sep 16, 2014 Chase Vombaur rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jess
Jun 20, 2017 Jess rated it really liked it
Naming Liberty, by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Jim Burke is an extremely unique book. This book weaves in two separate stories that tell about what it is like coming to American. On the left side of each page is a young girl's story. Gitl lives in Russia but is leaving with her family soon to find freedom in America. Meanwhile, on the right side of the page, Yolen chronicles the life of young artist Frederic Auguste Bartholdi who hopes to build a memorial to represent freedom, which will later ...more
Victoria Bright
Nov 14, 2016 Victoria Bright rated it liked it
Shelves: 21-30
genre: Realistic Fiction
Awards: A Sydney Taylor/Association of Jewish Libraries Award, 2009 Honor Book.
Summary: I personally thought the book was okay. It was hard to follow at times because it had two storylines going at the same time. The story tells about the creation of Liberty; as well as, the story of an immigrant coming to America and seeing Liberty for the first time. She also is excited about having an American name like her brother who has lived in America for a year now.
Teaching Promp
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Kelly Shiverdecker
Published: 2008

This historical fiction book is almost like two stories in one where on the left page is about a family who is moving to America to start a new life and a girl wonders what that like will be like and what her new name will be, which ends up being Liberty; while the right page is in a letter format from different countries about the journey of Bartholdi who was going to create a monument for America, which is the Statue of Liberty, first made in France.
Maggie Cook
Title: Naming Liberty

Author: Jane Yolen

Illustrator: Jim Burke

Type of Book (format and literary genre): Picture Book/ Historical Fiction

Awards the book has received (national): None

Short original summary of the main plot, describe the content and themes of the book: Gitl and her family are moving to America to find a new life free of war. It’s a long and hard process but Gitl is excited to go to the new land and get an American name. They finally arrive at Eillis Island and the first thing they s
...more
Caroline Merwin
Aug 27, 2016 Caroline Merwin rated it really liked it
Shelves: teacher-books
Naming Liberty (Yolen, 2008) depicts two different stories by intertwining them throughout the book. As young children, both Gitl and Frederic had very ambitious dreams. Gitl dreams of moving with her family from Russia to America in search of freedom and a new name. Frederic, on the other hand, dreams of using his art passion to build a monument to freedom. Both believe that simply chasing after their dreams will not be the only thing required to get them there.

Although the book incorporates t
...more
Cynnea Schreibman
Apr 23, 2015 Cynnea Schreibman rated it liked it
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
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
...more
Gabrielle Blockton
Aug 31, 2014 Gabrielle Blockton rated it really liked it
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
...more
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
Deirdre
Apr 28, 2015 Deirdre rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 26, 2015 Ally Irwin rated it really liked it
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
...more
Pam
Jul 30, 2010 Pam rated it it was ok
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
...more
Clarissa
Dec 03, 2014 Clarissa rated it really liked it
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
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
Dolly
Aug 28, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
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
Monica A
Dec 05, 2014 Monica A rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Sherrie
Jul 27, 2011 Sherrie rated it it was amazing
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
Shelli
Oct 14, 2013 Shelli rated it really liked it
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
...more
Lindsay Kaiktsian
Sep 08, 2014 Lindsay Kaiktsian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
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
...more
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
Apr 21, 2012 Janice Redding rated it liked it
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.
David
Feb 25, 2009 David rated it really liked it
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.
Matthew
Dec 23, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing
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.
Amanda Goodman
Dec 17, 2010 Amanda Goodman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: el-ed-340-books
Great book introducing immigration to America, and giving a historical account of the statue of Liberty. Fun facts and pictures.
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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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