Review and Giveaway!: Let Liberty Rise!: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty by Chana Stiefel, Illustrated by Chuck Groenink


Let Liberty Rise!: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty
Author: Chana Stiefel
Illustrator: Chuck Groenink
Anticipated Publication: March 2, 2021 by Scholastic

Goodreads Summary: How did 121,000 Americans save their most beloved icon? Here is an inspiring story about the power we have when we all work together!

“This charming history title is a true inspiration for the present. An informative must-have for all libraries.” — School Library Journal, starred review

“All rise to this evocative, empowering offering.” — Kirkus Reviews

“[A] true tale of cooperation among all ages.” — Publishers Weekly

On America’s 100th birthday, the people of France built a giant gift! It was one of the largest statues the world had ever seen — and she weighed as much as 40 elephants! And when she arrived on our shores in 250 pieces, she needed a pedestal to hold her up. Few of America’s millionaires were willing to foot the bill.

Then, Joseph Pulitzer (a poor Hungarian immigrant-cum-newspaper mogul) appealed to his fellow citizens. He invited them to contribute whatever they could, no matter how small an amount, to raise funds to mount this statue. The next day, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters poured in. Soon, Pulitzer’s campaign raised enough money to construct the pedestal. And with the help of everyday Americans (including many thousands of schoolchildren!) the Statue of Liberty rose skyward, torch ablaze, to welcome new immigrants for a life of freedom and opportunity!

Chana Stiefel’s charming and immediate writing style is perfectly paired with Chuck Groenink’s beautiful, slyly humorous illustrations. Back matter with photographs included.

About the Creators:

Chana Stiefel is the author of more than 25 books for kids. She hails from sunny South Florida and now lives in New Jersey, just a ferry ride away from the Statue of Liberty. Chana loves visiting schools and libraries as well as sharing her passion for reading and writing with children. She earned a master’s degree in Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting from New York University. To learn more, visit Chana at Facebook: Chana Stiefel; Twitter: @chanastiefel; Instagram: @chanastiefel

Chuck hails from an overgrown village among the peat bogs in the north of the Netherlands, where he spent his formative years climbing trees, drawing, reading, and cycling. He attended the Artez Institute of Visual Arts in Kampen, graduating from the Department of Illustration in 2004. He now resides in Valatie, New York, with his wife, dog, and two cats. Visit Chuck at; Instagram: @c.groenink

Ricki’s Review: Wow! I did not know about this story, and it is really quite inspirational. As a person who values community and coming together for shared causes, I fell in love with this book. As one of the children in the text who donated 60 cents said, “Drops make an ocean.” After looking at the cover, my kids wanted to know why the statue of liberty wasn’t green, which started our first conversation. Then, we had many other wonderful conversations together. We even did some math to determine how much 40 elephants weigh! The illustrations feel majestic–they offer up-close looks at the different parts of the Statue of Liberty. I can’t get enough of this book. Also, be sure to check out the timeline and photographs. 

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Reading this story will make kids want to work toward a cause themselves. Culturally sustaining practices ask educators and schools to be accountable to their communities. I’d love to use this book to kick off a class discussion of how the students could work toward a cause in their own communities. 

Download a free curriculum guide and check out the book trailer on the book page for Let Liberty Rise!

Discussion Questions: 

  • What did you learn from the book?
  • Who is the hero of this book? Are there many heroes?
  • How can you give back in your own community?

Flagged Spreads: 


Read This if You Love: Nonfiction picture books, history books, stories of heroism and community

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you go Barbara at Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review!**

2 thoughts on “Review and Giveaway!: Let Liberty Rise!: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty by Chana Stiefel, Illustrated by Chuck Groenink”

  1. I didn’t know this story either and can’t wait to learn more about it. I never came across this information when researching the Statue of Liberty.


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