Six days a week Minnie and Tessa sit, shoulder to shoulder, bent over sewing machines in a big room overflowing with piles of fabric, patterns, and lace. There is no fresh air, the light is dim, and there are too many people in the room. The work is hard and the days are long. Minnie and Tessa work at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in New York City. The two fourteen-year-olds are best friends. It isn't easy for a Jewish girl and a Catholic girl to be friends in 1911--some people think they're just too different. But Minnie and Tessa must depend on that friendship when the Triangle factory goes up in flames and they are trapped on the ninth floor. This moving story of courage and friendship is based on true accounts of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire of March 25, 1911.
Used Book in Good Condition
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I was interested to spot this children's book dealing with the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire of March 25, 1911, in which 146 workers were killed. Public outrage over the fire, and the deaths of so many young women, some as young as 14, resulted in monumental changes in fire codes. "Fire at the Triangle Factory" tells the story of 14-year-olds Minnie and Tessa, two friends who help each other when the factory goes up in flames. You will notice that the Author's Note and Afterword, written by author Holly Littlefield, are probably about as long as the entire text of the actual story. The story is written at an elementary school level, but clearly the historical events are beyond the scope of such readers, therefore necessitating the detailed background. The story, illustrated by Mary O'Keefe Young, touches on the horrible working conditions, but does not really communicate the inhumanity of the sweatshops. The two young girls are the daughters of immigrants:...
I am a sixth grade social studies teacher. I teach about immigrants and their assimilation into the American way of life. This book is very much below the reading level of average sixth graders. However, due to the brevity of the story and its valuable historical significance, I was able to read it orally to my classes as an introduction and enhancement to my immigration unit. It was also a valuable story upon which to refer to aid my students' understanding throughout the unit of study. One thing which I think "tickled" the interest of my sixth graders in particular, was that the story focused on two youths very close to their age. I think it is a "must have" for those who want to add a little something to their immigration lesson plans and to add realism.
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