Title: Liberty's Voice: The Story of Emma Lazarus
Author: Erica Silverman
Illustrator: Stacey Schuett
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Concepts: immigration, discrimination, economics of gender
Review: Emma Lazarus, author of the poem "The New Colossus" that is engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, grew up during the mid-1800s when societal norms in the U.S. discouraged girls from getting much of an education. Emma, though, grew up in a household that believed otherwise and had the financial means to pay for tutors. Over time, Emma developed a passion for writing and the talent to turn her strong convictions about pressing social issues into eloquent words. She used this talent, along with guidance from powerful mentors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, to start publishing her work and ultimately become a leading voice for social justice, fair treatment, and immigrant rights.
With its graceful illustrations, this book presents young readers with a meaningful description of some of the events and experiences that motivated Emma Lazarus to become a poet and to pen her famous poem about the Statue of Liberty. Conversations with children about careers often include discussions about what motivates people to choose particular career paths. This theme is central to the biography, thus making it a useful teaching tool.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children