Written by Linda Glaser
Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola
Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2010
“Give me your tired your poor/your huddled masses yearning to breath free…”
We associate this poem by Emma Lazarus with the Statue of Liberty, but how did it come to be written? In this simple to read picture book by Linda Glaser we learn about Emma’s life as a child and her eye-opening introduction to poverty and immigration as an adult, a cause that quickly became near and dear to her heart.
She wrote her famous lines in The New Colossus as one of many poets in a collaborative book written to raise money for the statue’s pedestal. Writing from the heart, about a cause she was passionate about, Emma’s became the words we all remember. Her legacy was secured when friends engraved her text on a brass plaque and placed it inside the entrance to the pedestal for all to see.
“Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
This is a great introduction to immigration, the Statue of Liberty and an example of how a single poem can change lives. The last page contains an author’s note with more information about Emma as well as the entire text to the poem.
—Heidi Håvan Grosch, educator and children’s literature enthusiast
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