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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Exploring New York and Its History with Books & More

Disclosure: Candlewick Press sent me these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Last week we explored the history of our home state, Massachusetts. This week we are sharing a bit about New York with some books and a couple of visits. We are lucky enough to have my best friend living in Westchester County. The past six months Hazel and I have visited her twice. Both times she was kind enough to take us into New York City for some sightseeing. To go with our visits we are sharing two books today. The first book is Lady Liberty A Biography by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Tavares. 


The first thing Hazel wanted to see in New York was Lady Liberty. This book is perfect for anyone interested in the Statue of Liberty. Doreen Rappaport begins and ends this book with a bit of her family history. She tells about how her grandfather left Latvia about 120 years ago on a boat. He left his parents and family behind. He came to New York. Rappaport wonders in this book what went through his mind about Lady Liberty. Then the book goes person by person and the roles they played in the Statue of Liberty. It starts with Edouard de Laboulaye in 1865. He wanted a birthday gift for America to celebrate its 100th birthday. He shared his dream with some friends one night after dinner. However they realize this cannot happen while Napoleon III rules France. Next is the sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi. 
Hazel next to Bartholdi display at the Statue of Liberty
The book goes on with various people who made the statue what it is today. The list includes Gustave Eiffel, Emma Lazarus, Joseph Pulitzer and more. This book gives you a very clear history of the statue and how she came to be. 
As with all Candlewick Biographies the book is easy to read and really shares a good deal of history. Hazel LOVES this book and every Candlewick Biography we have read. At the back of the book there quotes from people arriving in America and seeing the Statue of Liberty, Dimensions of the Statue and Important Events. 

To give you an idea of some of the dimensions there are models in the Statue of Liberty Museum. You can see how Hazel is about the size of the statue's nose. Here she is near the torch inside the statue.

We also have the view from the pedestal. It was a bit foggy and wet that day.

And of course the size with the whole statue.

On the trip we went to see Lady Liberty we also stopped at the American Girl Doll Store in New York. We like our smaller "Boston" one better though. Hazel did like sitting in Julie's egg chair and seeing all the Girls of the Year of the past. 

We also saw St. Patrick's Cathedral.

We even went inside, but didn't go into through security to really get in.

We also walked past Trump Tower. It was a little scary to see all the secret service with the large guns outside the building.

We also walked in Central Park. Unfortunately it was a rainy day.

Hazel loved walking around the city!! She also got tired pretty quickly and did not appreciate the walk back to Grand Central Station.

We just went to see my friend this past weekend. This time we went to the American Museum of Natural History. Hazel loved it!! This photo is from the Roosevelt Room. The room focuses on Teddy Roosevelt and his setting up the National Parks. My friend recently went to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Historic Site with her parents. We may have to plan that for another trip. I would love to see Eleanor's house. 



Our second book for tonight is Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez.

Have you heard of Arturo Schomburg? I hadn't. This Afro-Puerto Rican man collected various books about black people and/or black people. His amazing collection became the cornerstone of the Negro Division of the New York City Public Library. He lived during the Harlem Renaissance. Today in Harlem there is the Schomburg for Research in Black Culture, which is part of the New York Public Library. We did not visit this library. 

Schomburg-center.jpg
By Dmadeo - Own workCC BY-SA 3.0Link
This book tells the story of Arturo Schomburg and his collection. He searched for books about his history as well as the other African Americans. At the time there were not many out there and available to the public. He got some for very little money because the used books stores considered them junk. When his books took over his house and his wife said something had to be done, he donated them to the library to open a black history section. This man started the movement for black history. He also got people to really look at the point of view in history. 


This book shares his life with everyone. It is broken into pages with headings. Each part shares a bit of his story and the story of his preserving black history for generations to come. What an amazing man!

I hope you will check out these books and join us as we explore the states. We would love to have you join us for our US state post card exchange!

For more posts about New York and its history check out Eleanor Roosevelt, Cinder-Elly, Travel with Books, Exploring the States, Lucky Broken Girl, Vacation Week Crafts, Jack and the Geniuses, Dear Molly, Dear Olive, Rockefeller Ice Queens craft, Pete Seeger, Ann Cole Lowe, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke, and Mary Anderson.