Kids at Work

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Overview

Photobiography of photographer Lewis Hine, using his own photos. Traveling through the U.S. over 40 years, he photographed lives of its citizens. Photos of child labor were so devastating, they were evidence that Congress must pass child labor laws.

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Overview

Photobiography of photographer Lewis Hine, using his own photos. Traveling through the U.S. over 40 years, he photographed lives of its citizens. Photos of child labor were so devastating, they were evidence that Congress must pass child labor laws.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hine photographed underprivileged child laborers from 1908-1918; their depleted faces look out from almost every page. "Freedman does an outstanding job of integrating historical photographs with meticulously researched and highly readable prose," said PW in a starred review. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Using the photographer's work throughout, Freedman provides a documentary account of child labor in America during the early 1900s and the role Lewis Hine played in the crusade against it. He offers a look at the man behind the camera, his involvement with the National Child Labor Committee, and the dangers he faced trying to document unjust labor conditions. Solemn-faced children, some as young as three years old, are shown tending looms in cotton mills or coated with coal dust in the arresting photos that accompany the explanations of the economics and industries of the time. Both Freedman's words and quotes from Hine add impact to the photos, explaining to contemporary children the risky or fatiguing tasks depicted. Details such as Hine's way of determining children's height by measuring them against his own coat buttons add further depth and a personal touch to the already eloquent statements made by his thoughtfully composed black-and-white portraits. Also included are some of the photographer's other projects throughout his career. Readers will not only come to appreciate the impact of his groundbreaking work, but will also learn how one man dedicated and developed his skill and talents to bring about social reform.-Susan Knorr, Milwaukee Public Library, WI
Stephanie Zvirin
The selection of photographs in Freedman's works (he generally picks the photos himself) is usually as impressive as the text. That's certainly true of this book, which uses pictures to chronicle the state of child labor in early-twentieth-century America while profiling the life of reformer-photographer Lewis Hine. In his characteristically direct, unpretentious fashion, Freedman explains what Hine discovered as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (a "militant" group that crusaded for such things as compulsory education), illustrating the revelations with haunting black-and-white pictures--many secured without the permission of factory owners--that bear witness to deplorable working conditions. Anecdotes and Hine's own words will pique interest in both the situations encountered and in Hine himself. The history and biography are not as smoothly entwined or as well detailed here as they have been in some of Freedman's other books (there's not quite enough about the socioeconomic underpinnings to satisfy report writers, and Hine's later life gets short shrift), but there's still a great deal to arouse and to inform, and the visual impact is unforgettable. Freedman's bibliography can guide readers toward more information, while materials like Meltzer's recent "Cheap Raw Material" can flesh out the necessary background. A book that makes history relevant to young people by putting them in the center of it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780780200
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Pages: 104
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell Freedman received the Newbery Medal for LINCOLN: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY. He is also the recipient of three Newbery Honors, a National Humanities Medal, the Sibert Medal, the Orbis Pictus Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and was selected to give the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Mr. Freedman lives in New York City and travels widely to research his books.

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Table of Contents

1 A Crusader with a Camera 1
2 Becoming a Photographer 7
3 Seeing Is Believing 21
4 Spinners, Doffers, and Sweepers 31
5 Breaker Boys 47
6 Street Kids and Farm Kids 59
7 Making a Difference 71
Declaration of Dependence 91
Child Labor Then and Now 93
Bibliography 99
Acknowledgments and Picture Credits 101
Index 102
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Customer Reviews

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