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Industrial Age

Author: Crowder, Melanie
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Time Period: Industrial Age
Time Frame: 1898-1950
Geographic Area: North America
Country: United States
Topics: Gilded Age, Activism
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age: Upper Middle Grade, Young Adult
Format: Novel
Published: 2016

American History > Industrial Age

A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist

The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history

A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000.

Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.

Emily's Review

This book surprised me - I don't always enjoy books written in verse. I find that it can take away from the story and leave me wishing for more. But this story was so well written, I almost forgot it was written in verse.

I have been fascinated with Clara Lemlich since I read about her in Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy. I think this book does her justice. Clara was such an amazingly strong woman to be able to stand up not just to her family, but to society and demand better for people everywhere. The writing in this novel was beautiful and I found myself highlighting (I read this on my kindle) so many lines that resonated with me. I also loved the interview at the end of the book with Clara's grandchildren. It helped cement her as a real person, rather than just a character in the story.

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