Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of Her Right Foot

Her Right Foot
by Dave Eggers; illus. by Shawn Harris
Primary, Intermediate    Chronicle    104 pp.
9/17    978-1-4521-6281-2    $19.99

In digressive, idiosyncratic prose, Eggers outlines the history of the Statue of Liberty, gradually leading readers into the detail he’s really interested in — the statue’s right foot, poised as if to take a step. While it takes rather a long time to get there, the book’s point that “the Statue of Liberty is an immigrant, too. And this is why she’s moving” is well made and worthy of attention. However, Eggers clutters up the resonance of his theme with arch posturings (“You have likely heard of a place called France,” begins the book) and twee asides (in teasing us about the statue’s intended destination, Eggers asks, “Is she going to the West Village to look for vintage Nico records?”). Such fatuities surround the interesting facts about the statue’s construction and Eggers’s heartfelt thoughts about its meaning with a sea of banality. While the construction-paper collage illustrations aren’t always stylistically coherent from page to page, individual illustrations are frequently arresting, such as a silhouette portrait of the statue seemingly gliding past a full moon in a salmon-hued sky.

From the November/December 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.


Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. I loved this book straight away. It brought me back to my last 5th grade classroom, sitting on the edge of my desk with a clipboard in my hand, listening to students speak on research topics. The winding introduction, the construction-paper collage, and the moment the audience forgets they’re being informed of anything and gets sucked into the passion the speaker feels for his/her subject. I always loved that. Reading Her Right Foot with my 7 and 8 year-old was an emotional moment for me. They loved those facts about the statue. They loved that they already knew some of them. I loved that they (and I) will now see the Statue of Liberty as an idea in motion. Talk about a book that prompts a positive discussion and a healthy way to digest current events. I imagine my kids will remember it for years to come. This tends to happen when their mother “happy cries” while reading.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind