The Clock

The Clock

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by James Lincoln Collier, Christopher Collier
     
 

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When her spendthrift father goes into debt after buying a sheep and the inner workings of a clock, fifteen-year-old Annie Steele is sent to work in the town's new wool mill to help support her family. Her job is full of risk -- especially after she and her friend Robert discover that the mill's cruel overseer is stealing bags of wool and decide to do something about… See more details below

Overview

When her spendthrift father goes into debt after buying a sheep and the inner workings of a clock, fifteen-year-old Annie Steele is sent to work in the town's new wool mill to help support her family. Her job is full of risk -- especially after she and her friend Robert discover that the mill's cruel overseer is stealing bags of wool and decide to do something about it. Annie longs for the chance to continue her schooling and become a teacher. Will she ever be able to leave the mill? Great historical fiction for ages 10 and up from the Newbery Honor winning writing team of Christopher and Joseph Collier.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1802, factories are being built across America, and 15-year-old Annie must go to spin at the local mill so that her improvident father can pay for a clock. However, the mill's corrupt overseer, aptly named Hoggart, makes improper advances toward her. With neighbor and potential sweetheart Robert, Annie gathers evidence against Hoggart, but Robert dies in a suspicious accident and Annie must struggle on with little help. Her eventual triumph over Hoggart has a bitter taste: Robert is dead, and she cannot yet follow her dream of becoming a schoolteacher. As in My Brother Sam Is Dead , the Colliers dramatize abstract historical issues in a realistic, small-town setting; they show changes in women's roles, in material goods and even in ways of seeing time (differences between sun time and clock time), as these topics affect the townsfolk's everyday lives. The novel thus succeeds not only as historical fiction, but also as a riveting story of the tragic romance and hard-won victory of one teenaged girl. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 10-14. (Mar.)
Children's Literature
The concept of time is one that is both basic and complex. Each moment that we live encompasses the passage of time. Yet, what is time and how do we measure it? These questions appear quite elementary and still, for most of recorded history, human beings had no accurate way to gauge the passing of time. In Clocks, in the Great Inventions series, James Lincoln Collier offers readers a look into the world of time and the effort mankind has made to keep track of it. In this book Collier begins in pre-history and gradually moves forward to the modern world of atomic clocks and computerized approaches to timekeeping. During the course of Collier's study of clocks the author notes that it was only in the 14th century that any regular means of gauging time became common in Europe. From those days forward the concept of timeliness and labor practices based upon specific hours evolved. Once mankind had ways and means to measure time that pursuit fundamentally altered the way people thought about their days. Thus, as Collier notes in this well researched book, clocks were a human invention that subsequently controlled portions of daily life. This interesting irony lies at the heart of this carefully developed study of the world of clocks. In the end readers of this solid work will come away with both more information about clocks and a timely look into one aspect of human inventiveness. 2003, Benchmark Books, Ages 12 up.
— Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-- Once again the Colliers have teamed up to write solid, well-researched, exciting historical fiction. Annie Steel, 15, lives in Connecticut in 1810, where the new textile mill heralds the beginning of a new age. Her spendthrift father, unable to resist such purchases as the newly invented clock, gets deeply in debt, and Annie must go to work in the mill. There she fends off the sexual advances of the cruel overseer who physically abuses the workers, even causing the death of Annie's disabled friend. When she discovers that the man is a thief, she bravely exposes him. In an addendum, the Colliers pose the question of whether or not progress--in this case the switch from ``sun time to clock time''--is always for the better. Annie is a memorabe character whose presence serves to point out the limited options available to women at that time. Fact and fiction are skillfully blended in this fast-paced, thought-provoking look at early 19th-century New England. --Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781620643846
Publisher:
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
11/20/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
1 MB

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