Uprising By Margaret Peterson Haddix
New York Simon & Shuster 2007 346p.
TAGS: The Way It Was, Historical Fiction
Uprising tells the same story as Mary Jane Auchs, wonderful story of Ashes of Roses, where a young immigrant girls come to America often alone to make their way in America. In both stories the girls end up working for the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory which is the site of one of the U.S. worst factory disasters. A fire that traps hundreds just because the management wanted to keep the girls from “stealing” which in reality was not happening. The American bosses took advantage of these naïve, hard working young immigrants as retold in this book by three young ladies; Yetta, Bella and Jane. Yetta, a Russian Immigrant who is a revolutionary of sorts—actively involved in establishing a union to fight the work conditions and the unfair pay. Bella is from Italy, with only a cousin to give her guidance who is trying to earn money to send back to her starving family. The third main character is Jane, she is the daughter to one of the hired strikebreakers and was the nanny to the factory owner’s children–she joins forces with the girls during a strike and is at the factory on March 25, 1911 the day a fire took the lives of 146 individuals. Margaret Haddix does a wonderful job giving voice to the struggles of young immigrant women and the unfair working conditions of the day in this well written historical fiction book. This book is told in alternating chapters by these three remarkable young ladies. Young women like these three changed work conditions in America: so that all employees were safe and paid fairly. Teen girls will enjoy this coming of age story that will leave them wanting more on this time in history. Cover art is by Alicia Mikles and depicts three young women in front of a high rise building with flames coming up from the bottom of the page. The cover will attract teen girl readers as well as the author’s name. Many students read Shadow Children Series in elementary school and have followed this author ever since.
Quality 5Q Popularity 4P Grades: MJS Lexile: 790
Readalikes: Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auchs, The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire by Donna Getzinger.