God Bless America: The Story of an Immigrant Named Irving Berlin
God Bless America is a lovely picture book that tells the story of Izzy Baline, known better as Irving Berlin. He was a Russian immigrant who immigrated with his family to the US in 1893 when they had to flee Russia because they were Jews.
Life in the US wasn’t easy, but they were happy and thankful to be here. The whole family lived in a small place, and Izzy had to find ways to make money. After his father died, he moved out and worked more and more as a songwriter. People liked his music, and Izzy gave himself a new name: Irving Berlin.
Soon he decided to become a US citizen, and after that he was drafted into the US Army. He didn’t enjoy being a soldier much but kept spirits high with his music. He continued to write songs and soon wrote one of his most famous pieces, “God Bless America,” which didn’t actually become famous until 20 years after he composed it when it was played for Armistice Day during WW2.
I enjoyed learning about Irving Berlin through this book. I imagine many people don’t even know that an immigrant wrote the song “God Bless America.” I think it’s more important than ever to remember our roots and history. I thought the book also had beautiful art, and it would make a great read-aloud for kids six and up!
|Author||Adah Nuchi • Rob Polivka, Illustrator|
|Page Count||40 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|