Counting on Grace

Counting on Grace

Counting on GraceIt’s 1910, and like the girl pictured below, 12 year-old Grace and her best friend Arthur must quit school to work in the town mill. The work is hard and the two friends can hardly stand the hot, noisy factory. Grace and Arthur write a secret letter to the Child Labor Board to tell them about kids working at the mill. Mr. Lewis Hine comes undercover to photograph the kids and gather evidence. Kids working in a factory at 12? You can believe it, thanks to Lewis Hine, who was a real person. His pictures survive at the National Archives. Author: Elizabeth Winthrop

Lewis Hine Pictures from the National Archives:

If you liked reading about Grace, try reading about these girls who also challenged what it meant to be a girl in their time:
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4 Responses »

  1. The New Hampshire Historical Society has a good picture of a spinner at

    The spinner’s job was to move quickly up and down a row of machines, repairing thread breaks and snags. What you can’t really see in this picture is how fast the machine is moving and how fast the spools are spinning. You can see the girl’s fingers working on the threads, but only a video would show how fast the machine, and her fingers, were moving. Of course, video cameras weren’t invented yet when Lewis Hine took this picture – you’ll have to imagine that part. A tough job – and it would have been blistering hot in the factory too.

  2. i just read counting on grace and i just wish that they had a pic of a spinner so i knew exacly wat they where talking about

  3. I do love to read all kinds of books. I like stories that can take me to another time or place. I liked Counting on Grace because the writing made the factory seem real and I could understand how difficult it must have been for kids to work in a place like that. I also like to read stories because I like to meet the characters. If Grace were a real girl, I would want to know her. She is smart and brave and trying hard to make her family proud. Why do you love to read books? What kinds of books are your favorite?


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