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Around her the workers were screaming out prayers and curses.... She herself was sobbing tearlessly.... Her only prayer was still, "I don't want to die." Oh, please, God, don't let me die, she thought. I've never even had a chance to live. Bella, newly arrived in New York from Italy, gets a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. There, along with hundreds of other immigrants, she works long hours at a grueling job under terrible conditions. Yetta, a coworker from Russia, has been crusading for a union, and when factory conditions worsen, she helps workers rise up in a strike. Wealthy Jane learns of the plight of the workers and becomes involved with their cause. Bella and Yetta are at work -- and Jane is visiting the factory -- on March 25, 1911, when a spark ignites some cloth and the building is engulfed in fire, leading to one of the worst workplace disasters ever. Margaret Peterson Haddix draws on extensive historical research to bring the tragedy of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire to tangible life through her thrilling story of Bella, Yetta, and Jane.
Newly arrived in New York City, Bella is desperate to send money home to her family in Italy, and becomes one of the hundreds of workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. But one fateful March night in 1911, a spark ignites some cloth in the factory, resulting in a fire that will become one of the worst workplace disasters in history.
The fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City, which claimed the lives of 146 young immigrant workers, is one of the worst disasters since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the disaster, which brought attention to the labor movement in America, is part of the curriculum in classrooms throughout the country. Told from alternating points of view, this historical novel draws upon the experiences of three very different young women: Bella, who has just emigrated from Italy and doesn't speak a word of English; Yetta, a Russian immigrant and crusader for labor rights; and Jane, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. Bella and Yetta work together at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory under terrible conditions--their pay is docked for even the slightest mistake, the bosses turn the clocks back so closing time is delayed, and they are locked into the factory all day, only to be frisked before they leave at night to make sure they haven't stolen any shirtwaists. When the situation worsens, Yetta leads the factory's effort to strike, and she meets Jane on the picket line. Jane, who feels trapped by the limits of her own sheltered existence, joins a group of high-society women who have taken an interest in the strike as a way of supporting women's suffrage. Through a series of twists and turns, the three girls become fast friends--and all of them are in the Triangle Shirtwast Factory on March 25, 1911, the day of the fateful fire. In a novel that puts a human face on the tragedy, Margaret Peterson Haddix has created a sweeping, forceful tale that will have readers guessing until the last page who--if anyone--survives.
eBay Product ID (ePID)
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Number Of Pages
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Young Adult Audience
12 - UP
"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
'Haddix is a masterful storyteller and succeeds in putting a human face on a historical tragedy. Recommended.' Library Media Connection
'This deftly crafted historical novel unfolds dramatically with an absorbing story and well-drawn characters who readily evoke empathy and compassion.' School Library Journal
âA compelling message about labor, sacrifice, and the price of freedom in America.â Publishers Weekly
âHaddix is a masterful storyteller and succeeds in putting a human face on a historical tragedy. Recommended.â Library Media Connection
âThis deftly crafted historical novel unfolds dramatically with an absorbing story and well-drawn characters who readily evoke empathy and compassion.â School Library Journal
âWill keep readers turning the pages. An excellent authorâs note provides additional historical information.â Booklist
“A compelling message about labor, sacrifice, and the price of freedom in America.” Publishers Weekly
“Haddix is a masterful storyteller and succeeds in putting a human face on a historical tragedy. Recommended.” Library Media Connection
“This deftly crafted historical novel unfolds dramatically with an absorbing story and well-drawn characters who readily evoke empathy and compassion.” School Library Journal
“Will keep readers turning the pages. An excellent author’s note provides additional historical information.” Booklist