Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop
Wendy Lamb Books
Published in 2006
Not a series.
5 out of 5
Despite the child labor laws in 1910, at twelve years old, Grace and her best friend, Arthur, are expected to quit school and go work in the mill with her family. With the high-risk job as a doffer, Grace has to learn how to do the work right, so that her family won’t lose any money. Grace is noticing that Arthur is willing to do anything to get out of mill, and Grace tries to stop him. She tells him that help will be coming, not to give up hope. When Lewis Hine comes, they believe their prayers have been answered. Though, will Lewis Hine be able to keep the promises he made? Will their hopes be raised by this event, only to be destroyed later?
This book shows a certain creativeness since the author uses a picture that Lewis Hine took of a child working in a mill during the 1900′s as inspiration, instead of making it up from thin air. The author even adds Lewis Hine into the book, which makes it even more like the actual history. It kind of read like those Dear America or Royal Dairies books. And, like those books, it includes the actual history that the author found out about the photographer and the girl in the 1910 picture.
Counting on Grace is very well written and lets us know how horrible even America’s history is — like involving child labor and how lax the law was enforced during that time. It leaves you thinking and grateful for how Lewis Hine and the Child Labor Commission changed the laws, so that children wouldn’t have to work that young and get those injuries like the characters in the book.
Even though it is only a junior level book, it there is enough history, emotion, and description to get you interested and thinking about how different things actually was. So, even though this might be way below your reading level, it is a great read for your children.
Where I Got It:
Checked out from the library.
Challenges Apart Of:
Not planning to re-read, but leaning towards maybe.
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