Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Story of the Statue of Liberty

The Story of the Statue of Liberty

Cynthia Martin, Xavier Niz
Illustrator:  Brent Schoonover 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 7 to 10
Capstone Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-0736854948

One day a French scholar and historian called Edouard de Laboulaye had a dinner party and he talked about the need to build a monument which celebrated the bond of friendship between France and the United States. Seven years later he arranged for Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, a sculptor, to go to the United States to “study the country and the people.” He hoped that the visit would inspire Bartholdi and give him ideas for the monument.

When he got back to Paris Bartholdi began work on a statue of a woman holding a tablet and a flaming torch. She was to be a version of Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom.

After many years of work Bartholdi presented his design to the world in 1875 and efforts to raise funds to pay for the statue began. Work on the full size statue began soon after. There was much controversy in the American press about who was going to pay for the statue which greatly upset Bartholdi. He explained again and again that the statue was a gift from the people of France. The only thing the Americans would have to pay for would be the pedestal on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor.

When Bartholdi ran into structural problems because of the size of the statue, engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel stepped in to help and back in New York the money was raised to build the needed pedestal on Bedloe’s island.

Finally, on October 28th, 1886 the Statue of Liberty was officially unveiled in the presence of hundreds of people. Since then she has welcomed thousands of people to America who have sailed past her on their way to New York City.

This excellent title in the Graphic Library series tells the story of the Statue of Liberty using an engaging and easy-to-follow format. With a well written text and its graphic novel style layout, this title is ideal for readers who prefer books with plenty of illustrations.