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The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams Hardcover – June 23, 2015
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—This charming picture book details the life of social worker and activist Jane Addams. At a young age, Addams became aware that not all people had the advantages in life that she enjoyed, and she was determined to "find a way to fix the world." Because of the influence of her enlightened father, she went to college at a time when most women didn't. She graduated at the top of her class but was uncertain what to do next. While visiting London with friends, Addams saw poor people begging to buy rotten food at a market. Reminded of her early resolve to help the needy, she visited Toynbee Hall, a London settlement house that proposed that rich and poor live together, "settled in," so they could learn from one another. She returned home with a plan. Chicago in 1889 was home to many immigrants in search of a better life, but language barriers made it difficult to find decent jobs. Stone describes how Addams located a large house in a rough neighborhood and named it Hull House in honor of a benefactor. Addams's efforts transformed neighborhoods and lives, and by 1907 Hull House had grown into 13 community buildings. Rendered in watercolor with pen and ink, the illustrations, both full bleed and spot, beautifully evoke the time period and enhance the well-researched, accessible text. The author's note shares more of Addams's remarkable accomplishments. VERDICT A fine introduction to the first American female recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY
An NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Recommended Book
A CBC NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
An Illinois Bluestem Award Nominee
A Junior Library Guild Selection
“In a moving portrayal of empathy and innovation in action, Stone and Brown convey both the significance of Addams's contributions, as well as the physical transformations of those she helped.” ―Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Rendered in watercolor with pen and ink, the illustrations, both full bleed and spot, beautifully evoke the time period and enhance the well-researched, accessible text. . . A fine introduction to the first American female recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize” ―School Library Journal
“Stone is deft with characterization:readers see the young Addams enjoying a childhood game with her stepbrother,and while no connection is articulated, this seems contiguous with her launching Chicago's first playground as an adult. . . Addams's matter-of-fact noblesse oblige is captured in Brown's handsome watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations” ―The Horn Book
“Stone capably discusses Addams' early years at Hull House, the mansion she converted into a neighborhood center and encircled with related enterprises; Brown's ink and watercolor pictures complement the hopeful tone of the text” ―The Bulletin
“* A short, incisive biography. . . . The cameos of action, matched by full-page pictures, make the history accessible. A must for library shelves.” ―Booklist, starred review on Elizabeth Leads the Way
“This biography brims with upbeat energy as the spirited woman sets out to change the system--an energy amplified by Rebecca Gibbon's bright folk art-styled pictures.” ―The Washington Post on Elizabeth Leads the Way
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As a journalist, I've also reported on many men and women still working away in needy communities, many of them making remarkable headway and many of them well aware of Jane Addams' early example. Unfortunately, in our popular culture, we've forgotten this amazing woman.
As another reviewer has noted, this book is simply a gateway story with relatively concise text, so lots of Jane Addams' life and work is left out. But perhaps after enjoying Jane's story in this beautiful format, readers might be tempted to go on and read her classic, 20 Years at Hull-House
Bravo to the team that created this fun picture book! We need all the Jane Addams memories we can summon.