From School Library Journal
Grade 6–8—This deftly crafted historical novel unfolds dramatically with an absorbing story and well-drawn characters who readily evoke empathy and compassion. Haddix has masterfully melded in-depth information about the history of immigration, the struggle for women's rights, the beginnings of the organized labor movement, and the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 within a narrative that will simultaneously engross and educate its readers. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Bella, an Italian immigrant teen; Yetta, a Russian Jewish immigrant; and Jane, the daughter of an upper-class American businessman. Yetta is opinionated and aware of how immigrants, especially women, are mistreated. She is outspoken and ready to work toward improving conditions. Bella is a new immigrant and easily taken advantage of. She only wants to earn money to send home so the rest of her family can join her in America. Though wealthy, Jane is influenced by college girls who are starting to work for women's rights. The three girls meet during the strike at the Triangle factory. Jane bravely leaves home when she learns that her father was involved in trying to break the strike. This absorbing and informative read is a wonderful companion to Mary Jane Auch's Ashes of Roses
(Holt, 2002).—Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
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“Haddix is a masterful storyteller and succeeds in putting a human face on a historical tragedy. Recommended.”—Library Media Connection
“A compelling message about labor, sacrifice, and the price of freedom in America.”—Publishers Weekly
“Will keep readers turning the pages. An excellent author’s note provides additional historical information.”—Booklist
“This deftly crafted historical novel unfolds dramatically with an absorbing story and well-drawn characters who readily evoke empathy and compassion.”—School Library Journal