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The Bobbin Girl

de Emily Arnold McCully

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18218120,100 (4.3)Nenhum(a)
A ten-year-old bobbin girl working in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1830s, must make a difficult decision--will she participate in the first workers' strike in Lowell?
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Talks of industrial revolutions poor working conditions in factories. It suggests child labor because the main character, Rebecca, is only 10 years old working in a factory. I empathize with the child's feelings of not being allowed to take breaks or use the bathroom while working. The girls feel as though they can not go on strike and retaliate because of their authorities threatening to fire them and their need for the money and jobs but Rebecca shows empowerment and movement toward changes as she boycotts anyways. This book portrays empowerment, freedom, and standing up for your beliefs. It can be taught to teach the industrial revolution paired with the triangle shirtwaist factory fire story. It can also teach about child labor or employee maltreatment. ( )
  mprochnow | Sep 3, 2018 |
This historical fiction is set in Lowell Massachusetts and depicts the struggles of young girls growing up in an industrial city designed to produce textiles. It accurately depicts the conditions under which they toiled and lived out their lives. It shows their struggles against prevailing authority of the time, to get better working conditions using the power of their collective voice. The issue of Child Labor is also front and center as the main protagonist is only 10 years old. I found the illustrations to be very telling as well. I gave it to my 9 year old to read for his quiet time and he was immediately depressed. If there is a drawback, it is this: You will find the conditions under which these girls toiled and lived...depressing.
All in all it serves to illustrate the darker side of what it means to be an industrialized, successful capitalist nation.
TEACHER SUPPLEMENT:
If studying the American Industrial Revolution or Labor Movement, a good book to pair this with would be "Mother Jones and the March of the Mill Children" which is a historical photographic essay on this subject. It is not a long book and would make an excellent companion to give historical context. ( )
  jcbarr | Apr 11, 2018 |
The Bobbin Girl by Emily A. McCully is an empowering story about women working during the Industrial Period in Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell was one of the first industrial cities used to produce cloth, and women were hired to work in the factories in deplorable conditions. Factory owners hired women to work in the factories because it was one of the few places women could work; therefore, the owners got away with paying women much less than they would have paid men.

In this story, Rebecca goes to work at the age of 10 to help her widow mother pay bills to run a company boardinghouse. Surrounded by young, working women, Rebecca becomes empowered by the young women staying at the boardinghouse, especially Judith. After factor owners decide to cut the already low wages they are paying the women who work at the mill, Judith leads a "turnout." The women march out of the mill and down the street, and Judith gives the first speech ever given in public by a women. The women follow her, but over the course of the next week, some return to work out of fear, while others pack up their belongings to return home. Rebecca feels that all hope is lost when she sees her idol, Judith, packing up her bags to leave town. Judith comforts her and assures her that they were not defeated, and that she is not giving up the fight for for what is right, and Rebecca agrees to do the same. ( )
  nfernan1 | Aug 31, 2017 |
There are many reasons why I liked this book. First, the author did a wonderful job connecting history to a suspenseful and meaningful book. A young girl, Rebecca works in a textile mill. She experiences harsh conditions of her coworkers and is left with a conflict. Her coworkers want to rally and fight against these labor laws in order to get the life they deserve, however Rebecca doesn't want to lose her job. Another reason why I liked this book so much was because of the illustrations. The illustrations were clear depictions of what was happening in the text and I was able to see the facial expressions throughout each character in the story. The main idea of this book is to shine light on the feminist protests that were evident in history and to visually see the struggles that young women faced when working long and brutal hours. ( )
  kelseyjenkens | Apr 18, 2016 |
I really liked this book because it was almost entirely about women and showed the struggles they had during the Industrial Revolution. It shows to fight for what is right and keep your head up high, even if you are unsuccessful. I think it would be good for fourth grade and up. ( )
  murandapatanda | Mar 14, 2016 |
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A ten-year-old bobbin girl working in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the 1830s, must make a difficult decision--will she participate in the first workers' strike in Lowell?

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