Florence Kelleyby Carol Saller, Ken Green, Ken Green
A biography of the determined woman who worked to improve the lives of children, the poor, and adult workers.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott FordThis biography of Florence Kelley, who was born in 1859 and grew up in Philadelphia, is interlaced with stories of children and families working under deplorable conditions for meager wages. As a young woman, Florence Kelly was horrified by the working conditions of children in the United States and fought for laws to protect them. When she could not convince a lawyer to bring suit, she went to law school herself so that she could appear in court and be a better advocate for the needs of youngsters. She helped to create the first United States Children's Bureau and is regarded as an early champion of children's rights.
School Library JournalGr 2-3-Born in 1859, Florence Kelley dedicated her life to studying the poor and trying to improve working conditions for children. Her detailed reports on conditions in slums and factories eventually led to the Illinois legislature limiting workdays to 8 hours and banning work by those under 14. To enforce the laws, the governor made Kelley the first Chief Factory Inspector in the state. Finding few willing to sue the factories, she attended law school so she could personally take the owners to court. Kelley eventually took her fight to the national level, creating the United States Children's Bureau. Although Kelley was an important figure in the fight against child labor, readers are left without any real sense of the true person behind the biographical facts. Large gaps of her life are left undiscussed. In addition, this beginning reader has an annoying design flaw. Short histories of real child workers are interspersed with the narrative. Although set in italics, they are not set off from the main text in any other way, and children may be confused by the abrupt transitions. Undistinguished paintings appear throughout.--Melissa Hudak, Northern Illinois Medical Center, McHenry, IL
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