Like me, you might associate Joseph Pulitzer with the Pulitzer Prize. But, you might not know how he was instrumental in bringing the Statue of Liberty to the United States. Here is the inspirational story of Saving Lady Liberty (Calkins Creek, 2020) which author Claudia Friddell packed into forty-eight informative pages. The illustrator, Stacy Innerst, is not new to my blog. Check out his illustrations from Lincoln Clears a Path.
Joseph Pulitzer loved words. And the word he loved best was liberty.Maybe that's because Joseph, the son of a wealthy Jewish merchant, enjoyed freedoms that other Jewish boys outside of Pest, Hungary could not. But after his father died when Joseph was eleven, his world changed forever.
After weeks of sleeping on park benches, Joseph hopped a train and headed for St. Louis--a city filled with German-speaking immigrants.
When he wasn't working or learning how to read and write English, Joseph played chess in the library. He caught the attention of an owner of a German newspaper and finally got a job he loved--he was a reporter!
Grateful for the freedom to write what he chose, Joseph uncovered corruption and inequality. His brash manner and relentless drive didn't earn him many friends but no matter--Joseph kept moving up until he owned the newspaper alongside his chess-playing boss.
Joseph married and traveled to the 1878 Paris World's Fair where he was entranced by Graham Bell's talking machine and the "colossal copper leaf of Auguste Bartholdi's unfinished statue, Liberty Enlightening the World.."
Albert Fernique/New York Public Library
But although the United States had agreed to build a pedestal for the statue, New Yorkers didn't want to pay for it. When he returned to the States, Joseph vowed to convince his fellow citizens to pay to have the pedestal built and installed on Bedloe's Island (renamed Liberty Island in 1956).
|Claudia's newest fan,|
"Uncle Bob" Toupal.
This book is an excellent resource for any student studying immigration and American history. Eight pages of back matter include little-known facts about the statute and Joseph Pulitzer. Claudia Friddell has created an educator's guide with a variety of activities for students in grades 2-6.