Wheels of Change

Wheels of Change

by Darlene Beck-Jacobson


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Racial intolerance, social change, and sweeping progress make 1908 Washington, D.C., a turbulent place to grow up in for 12-year-old Emily Soper. For Emily, life in Papa's carriage barn is magic, and she's more at home hearing the symphony of the blacksmith's hammer than trying to conform to the proper expectations of young ladies. When Papa's livelihood is threatened by racist neighbors and horsepower of a different sort, Emily faces changes she'd never imagined. Finding courage and resolve she didn't know she had, Emily strives to save Papa's business, even if it means going all the way to the White House.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781939547132
Publisher: Creston Books
Publication date: 09/23/2014
Pages: 197
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 9 Years

About the Author

Darlene Beck Jacobson has a BA in Special Education and a Reading Specialist MA. She worked as a Speech Language Specialist for 20 years. Her book, Wheels of Change, was an NCSS Notable Book.

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Wheels of Change 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, and was truly sorry when it came to an end. I started reading it while on my exercise bike, and before I realized it I had ridden it for over an hour! The characters are so well developed, that you can not wait to turn each page to discover what lies ahead for them. The story takes place in the early 1900's, and the author does a wonderful job of recreating that time in history for you. The vivid imagery and refreshing use of clever similies draws you into what is both a simple and complex storyline. The main character, Emily, is a plucky 12 year old, who not only has to come to terms with her father's business being threatened, but also many underlying issues such as racial prejudice, and women's equality. I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns the story takes, and the clever way the author manages to incorporate new vocabulary words into the text as well. (I learned a new word, myself!) Another bonus were the recipes included at the end of the book, derived from the story. Emily's sugar cookie recipe was a hit with my family! All in all, I would recommend this book for not only elementary students, but for adults as well. It contains many character lessons, and is a genuine gem offering excellent role models that are rarely seen in today's culture. You will not be disappointed in this book!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Wheels of Change by Darlene Beck Jacobson is the heartwarming story of twelve-year-old Emily who is the daughter of a carriage maker in Washington, DC, in the early 1900s. Emily's mother takes care of the family. Emily likes to help her father in his carriage barn more than staying at home and helping her mother in the kitchen. The story is set during a time of transformation with many changes taking place in Washington, DC. There is also a transition in Emily's life, from that of a young girl to a prim and proper young lady. Set against a period backdrop, the story takes readers through a time when racial mixing was still considered taboo, and also takes them back in time to the history of that era. I found the story fascinating. The author has developed the plot around a twelve-year-old girl, but has woven in a few mature themes like family, changing times and racism. Emily's struggle from that of being a young girl who is slowly growing up, adjusting to racial intolerance prevalent around her, her ambition and her anger against the existing injustices have been described well by the author. The story is an exciting read and since it has many layers to the plot, readers would not find it boring at all. The story is real and the father-daughter/mother-daughter relationships have been captured very well. Though the plot is simple, there is a depth to the story as it evolves and progresses.
HPSeeker More than 1 year ago
WHEELS OF CHANGE: review by :Donna Marie For me, time to read fiction has become a luxury—a rare occurrence. When I come across a book that makes that experience all I want it to be—that book is a gift. Such a gift was given me when Darlene Beck Jacobson’s book Wheels of Change made its way into my hands. From the steady “buzz” about this book, I was more than eager to read it, yet life continued getting in the way. A week passed when I finally sat to read more than just a few pages I’d snatched in snippets. Once I began, I found myself swept in by the current of compelling characters, believable setting, beautiful, fresh similes and a story I couldn’t resist. I would’ve read through the night, had my heavy eyelids not won the battle. The following morning, before even setting foot out of bed, I found myself turning pages. The demands of my day pulled me away, but that night I gobbled up nearly the rest of the book, again awakening the next day to finish. What a read! Having been inspired by a couple of facts and events from the author’s family history, Darlene Beck Jacobson weaves a savory tale told through the eyes of a 12-year-old living at the turn of the 20th century. Emily Soper is a spunky, willful girl, whose heart and mind, at their core, are filled with loyalty, fairness, kindness—and love. Living in Washington, D.C. in 1909, on the cusp of great changes in the United States, Emily struggles with her ambivalence over these changes. She welcomes the possibilities of women expanding their choices and rights, seeing as she herself desires doing what are considered jobs for men—like blacksmithing for her father’s carriage-making company. She is indignant, especially concerning the injustices against people of color, caring so much for the men who work for her father—her friends. She frets over what effect the new-fangled invention of the motor car will have on Soper Carriage Works. Through her mastery of storytelling, Beck Jacobson takes us along for a breathtaking “carriage ride” as Emily shoulders the weight of these many concerns, driven by the desire to help those she loves. Her actions, though largely intelligent and thoughtful, are often impulsive, having both positive and negative consequences. One of the traits I find most appealing is Emily’s steadfastness about what she considers “right and wrong.” Her determination to right these wrongs knows no bounds, as she goes so far as to attempt contact with the most powerful man in the country: President Theodore Roosevelt. Obviously, in my having taken the time to share my feelings here with you, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I sincerely hope Wheels of Change finds its way into the hands of many other readers, as it did mine, through schools, libraries and bookstores. This is what great literature is all about. Thank you, Darlene, for gifting me with the kind of book I long for--I was moved and absorbed from beginning to end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. It has a timeless feel, akin to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, and from page 1 you find yourself rooting for 12-year old Emily Soper, who unlike some of the adults in her life, is unafraid to take a stand for what is right. What makes this book even more special is that it was inspired by the real life experiences of the author’s grandmother, Mary Emily Soper. I highly recommend it.