Title: GOD BLESS AMERICA: THE STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT NAMED IRVING BERLIN
Author: Adah Nuchi, Rob Polivka (Illustrations)
Pub. Date: June 5, 2018
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
An inspiring portrait of an immigrant and the gift he gave his new home.
Persecuted as Jews, Izzy Baline and his family emigrated from Russia to New York, where he fell in love with his new country. He heard music everywhere and was full to bursting with his own. Izzy’s thump-two-three, ting-a-ling, whee tunes soon brought him acclaim as the sought-after songwriter Irving Berlin. He ignited the imaginations of fellow countrymen and women with his Broadway and Hollywood numbers, crafting tunes that have become classics we still sing today.
But when darker times came and the nation went to war, it was time for Irving to compose a new kind of song:
A boom-rah-rah song.
A big brass belter.
A loud heart-melter.
A song for America.
And so “God Bless America” was born, the heart swelling standard that Americans have returned to again and again after its 1918 composition.
This is the tale of how a former refugee gave America one of its most celebrated patriotic songs. With stirring, rhythmic text by Adah Nuchi and delightful, energetic art by Rob Polivka, readers will be ready to hum along to this exuberant picturebook.
So many of us are descendants of immigrants who fled their countries for various reasons and landed in New York to make their way in the American dream. Flipping the first few pages of God Bless America stirred feelings of remembrance and gratitude for me as I’ve studied the sights and places my third great grandparents experienced coming over from their homeland to the docks, markets and tenements of a new land. Busy, corded conditions, yet exciting and new. A land of opportunity and work. I loved the true to era illustrations which captured all Irving and other refugees would have seen in the city.
A hopeful children’s book which teaches young ones about the songs we know and love as well as their own roots. Irving endured hardship with grace, striking it out on his own to make a living as a young teen. He followed his natural talent and his dreams to rise to the top of the nation as an underdog. This is a story of grit and grace. We will be reading and relating God Bless America to our own early history as a family. What a wonderful story!
Adah Megged Nuchi was first introduced to the children’s publishing world at home, as the daughter of a children’s book art director. She began her own publishing career at the National Book Foundation, and later at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, where she was an acquiring editor of picture books, middle-grade, and young adult fiction for seven years. Her books have been named to the Kids’ Indie Next List, YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, and Indies Introduce New Voices lists. As an editor, she most loved finding new talent and working with authors to shape a story.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of GOD BLESS AMERICA: THE STORY OF AN IMMIGRANT NAMED IRVING BERLIN, US Only.
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