Uprising: Three Young Women Caught in the Fire That Changed America

Uprising: Three Young Women Caught in the Fire That Changed America

4.4 71
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
     
 

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The fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City, which claimed the lives of 146 young immigrant workers, is one of the worst disasters since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the disaster, which brought attention to the labor movement in America, is part of the curriculum in classrooms throughout the country.

Told from alternating points…  See more details below

Overview

The fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City, which claimed the lives of 146 young immigrant workers, is one of the worst disasters since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the disaster, which brought attention to the labor movement in America, is part of the curriculum in classrooms throughout the country.

Told from alternating points of view, this historical novel draws upon the experiences of three very different young women: Bella, who has just emigrated from Italy and doesn't speak a word of English; Yetta, a Russian immigrant and crusader for labor rights; and Jane, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. Bella and Yetta work together at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory under terrible conditions--their pay is docked for even the slightest mistake, the bosses turn the clocks back so closing time is delayed, and they are locked into the factory all day, only to be frisked before they leave at night to make sure they haven't stolen any shirtwaists. When the situation worsens, Yetta leads the factory's effort to strike, and she meets Jane on the picket line. Jane, who feels trapped by the limits of her own sheltered existence, joins a group of high-society women who have taken an interest in the strike as a way of supporting women's suffrage. Through a series of twists and turns, the three girls become fast friends--and all of them are in the Triangle Shirtwast Factory on March 25, 1911, the day of the fateful fire. In a novel that puts a human face on the tragedy, Margaret Peterson Haddix has created a sweeping, forceful tale that will have readers guessing until the last page who--if anyone--survives.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Although it begins in a didactic tone, this historical novel about New York City's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and the catastrophic Factory fire hits its stride to offer a compelling message about labor, sacrifice and the price of freedom in America. Haddix (the Shadow Children series) follows three very different girls: naïve Bella from Italy, who becomes a strikebreaker; the feisty Yetta, a Jewish immigrant from Russia who spearheads the strikes; and the socially prominent Jane, raised to marry for status and prestige. The pace and interest pick up once the infamous 1910 strike begins and the girls' experiences collide. The author ably motivates the various characters, for example, Yetta repeatedly survives beatings and incarceration for her convictions; Bella joins the strike only after learning her family has died and her landlords have stolen her savings; and Jane follows college friends to the picket line but returns of her own accord. Several well-sketched supporting characters highlight the broader effect of the struggle, such as Jane's chauffeur, who cheers her participation. The portrayal of the fire, which killed 146 workers, and its legacy memorably drives home both the bravery of girls who stood up to the powerful factory owners and the highly personal cost of progress. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 14 up.

Uprising is an historical fiction novel that depicts the life of three young ladies and how the real life event of the 1909-10 shirtwaist strike affected them. Only one of the three girls will survive and live on as an example of how industry lives off the greed of a few and the sweat of many. Our sweet Bella lands in America with ideas of living a better life then she had in Italy where her family still resides. She must give and give to her selfish landlords, especially when her cousin disappears and leaves her alone in this strange and vicious country. Next we meet Letta, a Jewish girl who comes from Russia. She lives with her worldlier sister, Rahel. These two girls help to set the shirtwaist strike into motion, while our last character Jane knows nothing but privilege--until her world collides with Bella and Letta. These three characters change as this plot driven novel explodes into the harsh realities of being a single, unprotected female in a male dominant society, where life is never fair and being jobless happens daily. Why would three young girls think that they can change their day to day living--much less our history? They do believe that. I applaud Margaret Peterson Haddix for taking a significant piece of history and giving us an original and heartfelt book that kept me reading through the night. I had to know which girl survived the fire. The twists and turns did not stop until the last page. I also found the "Author's Note" fascinating. Reviewer: Julia Beiker

School Library Journal

Gr 6-8
This deftly crafted historical novel unfolds dramatically with an absorbing story and well-drawn characters who readily evoke empathy and compassion. Haddix has masterfully melded in-depth information about the history of immigration, the struggle for women's rights, the beginnings of the organized labor movement, and the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 within a narrative that will simultaneously engross and educate its readers. The story is told from the alternating perspectives of Bella, an Italian immigrant teen; Yetta, a Russian Jewish immigrant; and Jane, the daughter of an upper-class American businessman. Yetta is opinionated and aware of how immigrants, especially women, are mistreated. She is outspoken and ready to work toward improving conditions. Bella is a new immigrant and easily taken advantage of. She only wants to earn money to send home so the rest of her family can join her in America. Though wealthy, Jane is influenced by college girls who are starting to work for women's rights. The three girls meet during the strike at the Triangle factory. Jane bravely leaves home when she learns that her father was involved in trying to break the strike. This absorbing and informative read is a wonderful companion to Mary Jane Auch's Ashes of Roses (Holt, 2002).
—Renee SteinbergCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Three young women from different backgrounds experience the New York City Triangle Shirtwaist strike and fire of 1911. The story is told in flashbacks, which recount the treatment of hands in sweatshops culminating in the deaths of so many. Two of the workers are Bella, a young immigrant from the poverty of Southern Italy whose family was starving, and Jewish Yetta, from Russia after a pogrom. The rich young protected Jane becomes involved with the other two when a friend mentions that college girls (Jane is not in college because her father does not believe in educating women) will be walking the strike line with the workers. Here she becomes acquainted with the sewing machine girls. Thus, the reader has three viewpoints of the times, conditions and events as they coalesce in a story told by an omniscient narrator. Because of its length, the book requires a reader who can stick with it. Author's note and list of works consulted give a fair summary of the Triangle fire and the condition of laborers, immigrants and life in the tenements. (Historical fiction. 12+)
From the Publisher
“Haddix is a masterful storyteller and succeeds in putting a human face on a historical tragedy. Recommended.”—Library Media Connection

“A compelling message about labor, sacrifice, and the price of freedom in America.”—Publishers Weekly

“Will keep readers turning the pages. An excellent author’s note provides additional historical information.”—Booklist

“This deftly crafted historical novel unfolds dramatically with an absorbing story and well-drawn characters who readily evoke empathy and compassion.”—School Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442419568
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
01/18/2011
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
134,580
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Meet the Author

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including The Missing series and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.

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Uprising 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE books in the entire universe. I am 13 years old and in the 8th grade. It taught me about an event that changed so many peoples lives. Haddix is my favorite author. I felt like I was with Yetta'my favorite characher'as she was striking and as she was falling an in the fire. The story line at first was hard to follow but once I understood how it worked, I could not put the book down. I cried almost the entire last 100 pages. It was terribly sad'I love sad books' but it moved me. RIP all of the factory workers and all of the other people who worked in the Triangle Shirtewaist Factory or were involved in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. RIP 3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read everything that Margaret Peterson Haddix hs written, and this is by far her best book. She tells the story of a devastating fire in a touching and compelling way. If you have any doubts about reading this book, let me put them to rest. This book was marvelous and well worth the time I spent reading it over and over. This book deserves a spot on the bestseller list of absolutely everything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not going to spoil this book's AWESOME story line, but I will say that it's worth the money. I will also say that Bella, Yetta, and Jane are all caught in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and only one of them survives. I will not say which one, though! You'll have to read it to find out. Yetta is probably my favorite character, with Jane as a close second. Overall, I love this book, and it is worth the money! People who like historical fiction will love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good and so sad. It is about three girls, Bella, Yetta, and Jane. Bella is a imagrant from italy who comes to America so she could send money to her poor family back in Calia, her village. She works at the triangle shirtwaist factory, home to the fire that changed America. She labors six days a week with a meager salary of four dollars a week and less if you do even one little thing wrong. Yetta is a fabrente girl who immigrated from Russia with her older sister Rahel she is part of the union composing a strike against poor working conditions at the triangle shirtwaist factory. She is dying for equality, and when she see's Jane the rich girl she wishes she could be able to have enough money that she does not have to work. Jane, is a rich girl who see's the girls on strike and wishes that she could be as free as them. Later she realizes that she is a very rich girl, but she does not have any money of her own, or that she has any control over. She admits she is not sure her father loved her. Her mother did, she is sure, but her mother died when she was nine. Other girls, their mothers would tell them to tighten up their corsets and get out there, and they would do it beacause they knew they loved them. Jane knew Miss Millhouse did not love her. "Falling does not take a long time even from nine stories up, but for it did it took the last moments of her life" - from Uprising In this book one of the three friends survive two die. The blank is the spot wher ethe name of the charachter would go. I will not tell you that. For the other death an exerp is in the overview. I give this book five stars Margaret Peterson Haddix is my favorie author, and this book rocks!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about three girls named Bella, Yetta, and Jane. Bella and Yetta are both immigrants in the U.S. and you learn of their struggles in the new world. This book is very eye opening and attention grabbing. I really enjoyed her writin style. You feel like you are really there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the saddest books that I have ever read. If people don't want a spoiler then don't read the review called "Heart breaking".
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did not think that this book would be very good when I started it. I was wrong. By the end I couldnt put it down. I will definately recommond this to my 15 yr old niece. A great read about history.
Michelle_Palmer 7 months ago
This was one of the most powerful historical novels that I have ever read. The characters of Jane, Bella, and Yetta felt absolutely real. I am a high school history teacher and I felt like I was reading a personal account from this time period. The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire is a horrific point in American history, a time period that feels very much like our own. Big business was getting it's way with very little regulation and the people were suffering for it. This book tells the story of The Triangle Shirtwaist Strike as well as the fire that happened shortly after. The stories of what the strikers endured are just as horrific as the story of the fire itself. The characterization, plotting, and pacing were all excellently rendered by Ms. Haddix. This is the first of her books I have written but it will not be the last.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly loved this book. Margaret Peterson Haddix is an exceptional writer, but this historical fiction piece was spectacular. I became attached to all three main characters, and after finishing it I cried. A beautiful work that illuminates one of America's most well known tragedies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read about the triangle fire. I couldn't put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book touched my heart and i wish i could thank margaret peterson haddix in person for the book and how well written it was:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book I should give a two but I am giving it a three because it was pretty intese but it was pretty predicdable about what was going tohappen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It painted on what immigration looked like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg where can i start well ill summries it for u best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read most of her booksbut im wondering if this one can compare to the others. Is it worth the money
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i loved it soooooo much it was almost as good as the hunger games!!!! Bella's my favorite!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was awesome! i loved it especially the last line where she thinks two other voices are wispering with her it was sooo beautiful you must read it it was amazing just please get it for me it was based on a real event please read it now go and get it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my all time favorites i love anything by margret peterson haddix!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BUT THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!! Ps read it Bye
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Margaret Peterson haddix wrote an intense captivating story. I totally reccomend this book for all of you who like these things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It is amazing, breath taking, and you will not beable to stop reading it. Im reading it in ELA right now and i just cant put it down. I reccomend this to anybody who is interested in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factoy fire, or someone who just loves a really good story :) <3