Factory Girl

( 1 )

Overview

At the dingy, overcrowded Acme Garment Factory, Emily Watson stands for eleven hours a day clipping threads from blouses. Every time the boss passes, he shouts at her to snip faster. But if Emily snips too fast, she could ruin the garment and be docked pay. If she works too slowly, she will be fired. She desperately needs this job. Without the four dollars a week it brings, her family will starve. When a reporter arrives, determined to expose the terrible conditions in the factory, Emily finds herself caught ...
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Overview

At the dingy, overcrowded Acme Garment Factory, Emily Watson stands for eleven hours a day clipping threads from blouses. Every time the boss passes, he shouts at her to snip faster. But if Emily snips too fast, she could ruin the garment and be docked pay. If she works too slowly, she will be fired. She desperately needs this job. Without the four dollars a week it brings, her family will starve. When a reporter arrives, determined to expose the terrible conditions in the factory, Emily finds herself caught between the desperate immigrant girls with whom she works and the hope of change. Then tragedy strikes, and Emily must decide where her loyalties lie. Emily's fictional experiences are interwoven with non-fiction sections describing family life in a slum, the fight to improve social conditions, the plight of working children then and now, and much more. Rarely seen archival photos accompany this story of the past as only Barbara Greenwood can tell it.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Interspersed with excellent-quality archival photos, this title is sure to spur discussion of many contemporary movements

Factory Girl succeeds where so many similar books fail: it is an educational book that manages to be both compelling and eye-opening.

Factory Girl succeeds where so many similar books fail: it is an educational book that manages to be both compelling and eye-opening.

Greenwood, who has a knack for turning historical fact into riveting stories, uses archival photographs to create a compelling story.

Greenwood, who has a knack for turning historical fact into riveting stories, uses archival photographs to create a compelling story.

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This well-written, well-researched text introduces readers to the difficult life of a young woman forced to take a job at a garment factory. When her father loses his job and heads west, Emily and her mother work hard to keep life normal for the three younger children. But when her father's checks stop coming and the family has to move to a smaller apartment, Emily realizes that it is she who must figure out how to keep money coming in until her father's return. Her job as a clipping girl is difficult and the hours are long. Emily dreams of a different life, but when news of her father's death arrives, she knows that she is stuck. Dispersed throughout the chapters of Emily's story are the historical underpinnings of the situation Emily and children like her found themselves in around the turn of the twentieth century. Greenwood provides a time line concerning child labor in the United States; the individual sections provide information about everything from jobs available to young women around 1900—1920, the impact of unions/job loss on blue collar families, and the hazards of factory work. This is an excellent text and would be well-used in history/social studies classrooms.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8 - The year is 1912, and Emily Watson has every reason to hope that she will complete her 8th-grade education and enter one of the occupations newly opened to women-clerk, nurse, maybe even teacher. That is, until her father's letters abruptly stop and her family is thrown into poverty. The 12-year-old is forced to seek employment in a sweatshop, snipping garment threads for four dollars a week. The work is brutal; she stands in place 11 hours a day, unable to speak to anyone, surrounded by filth and rats, danger, cruel bosses, and the constant din of the machines. Yet, Emily's job keeps her family from starvation. This compelling look at child labor is interspersed with excellent photographs and detailed information about this troubling time in our nation's history. Greenwood describes not only the poverty that Emily and her family experience, but also explains its causes and hints at its cure. Interspersed with excellent-quality archival photos, this title is sure to spur discussion of many contemporary movements, including immigration, women's and worker's rights, and health care reform, but be aware that it is classified as fiction.-Tracy H. Chrenka, Forest Hills Public Schools, Grand Rapids, MI

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Quill & Quire
Factory Girl succeeds where so many similar books fail: it is an educational book that manages to be both compelling and eye-opening.
The Chronicle Herald
Greenwood, who has a knack for turning historical fact into riveting stories, uses archival photographs to create a compelling story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553376491
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 783,954
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Greenwood is an award-winning author whose books include Gold Rush Fever, The Last Safe House and A Pioneer Thanksgiving. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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Table of Contents


Looking for Work     5
In the Factory     24
Payday     48
The Interloper     74
The Visitor     94
The Letter     112
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 16, 2012

    Highly recommended for Social Studies teachers and students

    Factory Girl gives an inside look at the plight of children during the 1900s and what they had to do to survive before Child Labor Laws. The book is written from the point of view of a factory girl, Emily Watson. It also contains factual information to support the conditions and events that Emily describes.
    This book could be used by Social Studies teachers as an introduction to a Child Labor unit or as supplemental text for predepression.

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