October 28, 2014

Lady Liberty

When you hear the words “New York City” what comes to mind?  Traffic?  Times Square?  Central Park?  Wall Street?  Broadway?  For me, the first image is of the Statue of Liberty.  I remember the first time I gazed upon this bronze majesty. That feeling of awe and gratitude remain.  My father’s family came through Ellis Island from Ireland a little over one-hundred years ago.  They saw “her” there welcoming them to America with the promise of a new life, new opportunities, a new beginning.  I saw her there in that same harbor some eighty years later.  Time passed, but Lady Liberty and all she represented remained.

As with most things, I learn more information in a concise understandable manner by reading juvenile nonfiction books. So, I walked over the 974.7 section and found a treasure trove of well-written children’s books on Lady Liberty.  And here is a sampling of what I learned:
Alexander Gustave Eiffel, the builder of France’s famous Eiffel Tower, built the steel  “skeleton” of the Statue of Liberty.
During WW II, the statue acted as a Navy signal station, with sailors flashing Morse code from Liberty’s crown.
Lady Liberty has appeared on stamps in at least 35 countries.
The 25 windows in the crown stand for 25 gemstones found on Earth.  The crown’s 7 spikes stand represent the 7 oceans and 7 continents of the word.

So if you’d like to learn even more about this American symbol of freedom, check out Liberty by Lynn Curlee or Lady Liberty: A Biography by Doreen Rappaport.  The library even has a graphic novel (comic book format) called The Story of the Statue of Liberty by Xavier Niz.  Let freedom ring to all the huddles masses.  Check out some books to enjoy today!

Kathleen Ahern
Children's Librarian

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