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Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924 (Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)) Hardcover – October 1, 2003


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Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924 (Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)) + 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement + 97 Orchard Street, New York: Stories of Immigrant Life
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 990L (What's this?)
  • Series: Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books; 1ST edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439375908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439375900
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Through the stories of five immigrants, the world of New York City's tenements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries comes alive with descriptions of the newcomers' struggles and triumphs as they attended night school, abandoned customs, or in other ways acclimated to life in America. Some came as children, others as teenagers, all eager either to succeed on their own or to help their families. Leonard Covello, who left Italy and arrived at Ellis Island with his mother and younger brothers six years after his father, became a high school principal. Pauline Newman began her working career in 1901 as a child laborer in the garment industry and later became one of the first women organizers of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Citing sources, Hopkinson quotes frequently from her subjects' and others' writing, and provides a detailed and intimate picture of daily life in Manhattan's Lower East Side. The text is supported by numerous tinted, archival photos of living and working conditions. Although this book will appeal to students looking for material for projects, the writing lends immediacy and vivid images make it simply a fascinating read.
Carol Fazioli, formerly at The Brearley School, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 5-12. In the tradition of Russell Freedman's Immigrant Kids (1980), but much more detailed, this history of the 23 million immigrants who came to New York City from southern and eastern Europe at the end of the nineteenth century humanizes the statistics by weaving together the personal stories of five young people with the social conditions that caused them to emigrate, what they left behind, what they hoped for, what they found, and how they changed America. Amazing documentary photos by Jacob Riis and many others, as well as riveting quotes from archives and memoirs, add depth and drama to the accounts of young people, from street to school to sweatshop. At 16, Marcus Ravage convinces his parents to sell the family cow to pay for his journey from Romania. Lithuanian immigrant Pauline Newman becomes one of the first women labor organizers. Italian American Leonard Covello is ashamed to bring his friends home, even as he learns that he can become American without rejecting where he came from. Meticulous documentation, including full chapter notes, will help the many young people--and their parents and grandparents--who will want to know more and to research their own family roots. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Deborah Hopkinson is as award-winning of picture books, fiction, and nonfiction for young readers. In 2013 she received a Robert F. Sibert Honor and YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award honor for Titanic: Voices from the Disaster.

She has won the SCBWI Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text twice, for A Band of Angels and Apples to Oregon. Sky Boys, How They Built the Empire State Building, was a Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor awardee. She lives near Portland, Oregon.

Deborah's most recent book, The Great Trouble, A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel was named a Best Book of 2013 by School Library Journal.

Visit her on the web at www.deborahhopkinson.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on June 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I hope by the time you read this review that you will be able to "take a look inside" this book on this website. Then you could really appreciate how beautifully illustrated and crafted this outstanding book is. For the time being, you'll have to take my (and other reviewers') word for it.
There are many books geared toward young readers on the subject of the immigrant/tenement experience in New York City at the turn of the last century, and many of them are quite good. But Deborah Hopkinson's "Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924" is far and above the best in recent times. The photographs are exquisite and exquisitely moving. The text is engaging, and, unlike other books aimed for this age group, Ms. Hopkinson's book doesn't dumb things down toward her audience. This is an admirable book that I would recommend to parents and teachers!
Rocco Dormarunno, author of "The Five Points"
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "pohina" on October 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you've ever heard family stories about grandparents or greatparents who came through Ellis Island, this book is a must. Hopkinson follows the true stories of five young immigrants. She tells the story of life on the Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th century using excerpts from oral histories and memoirs. Somehow the stories of the young Russian Jewish and Italian immigrants tie in seamlessly with information on coming to America, what it was like to live in a tenement, work (including conditions in the sweatshops and the Triangle factory fire), going to school, and what the future held for these young men and women. The historic photos are so evocative and powerful. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a real page-turner, and absolutely fascinating. The author tells the stories of five immigrants to the U.S. and New York City around 1900, but what's amazing is the power of the voices here, plus the photos. The focus is on young people, but my adult book group read this and loved it. Everyone has seen photos of the crowded Lower East Side, but this book makes you think of the individuals and their families who lived there.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My son loves history and when he brought home this book I immediately got hooked on the photos. Then I began reading the stories of the immigrants and I couldn't put it down -- I couldn't wait to find out what happened to the five young people whose stories are recounted here. Somehow the combination of the photos, the quotes and the personal stories all works together to let us into a world gone by. A wonderful book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I finished this book in a spell. Hopkinson weaves the stories of young immigrants and the story of the growing city into a rich experience for the reader. Her choice of detail, her gift for story telling, and the wonderful and often poignant photographs make this (beautifully designed book) irresistible. In the end you believe-as Hopkinson clearly does-that the past has meaning because of the individuals that lived it, and that their stories must continue to reverberate. It isn't "just" the past; it's what we're made of.
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