Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty

by Linda Glaser

Other authorsClaire A. Nivola (Illustrator)
Book, 2010



Call number

E 799 GLA


Boston [Mass.] : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.


The story of Emma Lazarus, who, despite her life of privilege, became a tireless advocate for the immigrants who arrived in New York City in the 1880s and wrote a famous poem for the Statue of Liberty.

User reviews

LibraryThing member pataustin
If you have Lady Liberty in your collection from 2008, you'll have to add Emma's Poem, which also in free verse (as is Lady Liberty) despite being different authors. Wealthy Emma Lazarus -- writer, humanitarian--has had a life of luxury. But when she realizes that poor immigrants have nothing, she
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worked with them, wrote about them -- and her sonnet "The New Colossus" honors them on the Statue of Liberty.
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LibraryThing member barnes08
Emma’s Poem the Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser is about Emma Lazarus. The book starts by telling about Emma as a little girl. The book tells how she had become a well known writer. One day Emma visited Ward’s Island in the New York Harbor. Emma saw the ragged, tired and sad
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immigrants. The immigrants were Jews like herself. She then decided she wont to help them. Emma heard of the statue being built in New York Harbor. She was asked to write a poem to raise money for the statue’s pedestal. Emma decided to write about immigrants. Emma poem is now engraved on a plague at the entrance to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Today, Emma’s poem is well known.

I enjoyed reading this book. I learned things about the Statue of Liberty that I didn’t know. This book is great for older students. The pictures are refreshing. I liked how at the end of the book it talked about Emma Lazarus and told some of the history. At the end of the book it has Emma’s actual poem. The name of the poem is The New Colossus.

I would use this book as a read-aloud for upper elementary grades. I would use this book when talking about the Statue of Liberty or immigration. I would also have a grand conversation talking about the book. We would discuss everything from the pictures to why Emma wrote of immigration. I would have this book available for students to read in class some time throughout the year.
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LibraryThing member laceyfield
This book is about a wealthy woman, Emma, who realized how immigrants struggle. Most of the wealthier families do not pay much attention to the immigrants because they are poor and wear bad clothes. Emma started to make a point to help save the immigrants. She wrote poems to try to get the
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wealthier families attention, but many didn’t seem to care. Then, she was asked to write a poem to help raise money for the building/parts of the Statue of Liberty. With her choice of the poem, she wrote about the immigrants. She did all she could to help improve life for the immigrants and herself as well.

Personal Reflections:
I thought this book was really cute and very informative. It was not really relative to me but it was a good book to learn about the background of the Statue of Liberty.

Classroom Extensions:
1. This book would be great to learn about the Statue of Liberty.
2. With all the different diversity of the different people.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
This lovely picture-book biography of the nineteenth-century Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus, and her best-remembered work, The New Colossus, whose final lines - "Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send
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these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, / I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" - are indelibly connected to the Statue of Liberty, and to the idea (well, one of them, anyway) of the immigrant in American culture, moved me to tears this morning, as I read it on my morning commute.

Opening with Lazarus' comfortable childhood and youth, as the daughter of prosperous New Yorkers, and then moving through her gradual awakening to the realities of poverty and suffering, particularly amongst immigrants (many of them Jewish, like herself), her growing involvement as an educator in the immigrant community, and as an advocate for the less fortunate in the press of the day, the book concludes with her penning of her famous sonnet, as part of an effort to raise money for a base for the Statue of Liberty, and the great fame the poem has won, even down to the present day.

Linda Glaser's deceptively calm narrative has an emotional depth to it that will immediately draw the reader into her story - into Emma Lazarus' story. The accompanying watercolor and gouache artwork by Claire A. Nivola is incredibly beautiful, with a somewhat stylized feeling that never detracts from its emotional impact. I'm struggling to express just why it is that this title so moved me... perhaps because, through Lazarus' awakening to the world around her, and her incredible commitment to doing something about the injustices of that world, the reader too feels awakened? In any case, Emma's Poem is just a lovely, lovely book, one I recommend to anyone (teacher, parent, librarian) putting together a lesson on immigration or the Statue of Liberty, and to young readers interested in those topics, or in Emma Lazarus.
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LibraryThing member npetzold
This is the story of Emma Lazarus and how she came to be the voice of the Statue of Liberty. It tells the tale of her privileged background, her interest in writing and poetry and her active philanthropic work with refugees in the city of New York.
LibraryThing member MataSoolua
A story of a girl who grew up with everything and later became an woman with everything. She then met some poor immigrant people on a boat to New York harbor. That was the first time she met them and ended up helping those people read, write, and even helped with what she could. She started
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writing to help make people realize that these poor people were people as well. It helped some but not a lot. Until the Statue of Liberty was to be built and she wrote a poem about what the lady of the Statue of Liberty would be thinking and saying to the people she saw passing by.

Personal Reaction:
I really loved Emma's Poem. Its so great how the poem from this lady really impacted a lot of people and how they think and react to people. Its a great message and I would definitely love reading this story to children.

Classroom Extension:
1) History day where everyone will learn about the Statue of Liberty and make their own hats
2) Have students write a poem of what they think they would say if they were the Statue of Liberty. :)
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