Barbara Williams; Garen Thomas Making Waves

ISBN 13: 9780803725157

Making Waves

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9780803725157: Making Waves
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Having survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, twelve-year-old Emily Brewer lives in Baltimore where she attends school but also encounters child labor, sweatshops, and the struggle of labor unions. By the author of Titanic Crossing.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7-In this sequel to Titanic Crossing (Dial, 1995), 12-year-old Emily Brewer, her former missionary mother, and two younger siblings move to Baltimore after surviving the disaster. Emily's mother plans to open a settlement house modeled after Jane Addams's Hull House. Albert Trask, the protagonist in the first novel, is reintroduced as he and Emily exchange letters. This correspondence is both the book's strength and its weakness. The letters express the isolation Emily feels in her new school, the survivors' guilt that both she and Albert share, and their feelings of injustice regarding the loss of so many third-class passengers. However, as Emily becomes aware of the sweatshops and horrid conditions of child labor, her letters become more like lectures on workers' rights and the history of early unions. Minor characters are thinly drawn and appear to have been introduced to illustrate the evils of early labor practices. Against this historical backdrop, however, readers will enjoy the school stories as Emily befriends the class bully and struggles to find her place as the "new girl." They will applaud her courage as she follows her convictions and will be interested in her growing "romance" with Albert. Libraries owning the previous novel will probably want to purchase this one, but readers looking for the excitement of the former effort will be disappointed.
Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Fans of Williams's historical novel Titanic Crossing may be disappointed in this issue-oriented sequel, focused on 12-year-old Emily Brewer's rumblings against child labor and factory conditions. After surviving the wreck of the Titanic, Emily moves to Baltimore with her former missionary mother (and younger brother and sister) to help a rich cousin set up a settlement house. The author connects the two novels through letters between Emily and Titanic Crossing hero Albert Trask, a friend and love interest and the only person she can communicate with "who understands about the Titanic." Though these letters effectively establish their flirtation as well as the survivors' guilt and their shared impulse to make a difference, they often veer toward soapbox speeches. Meeting 13-year-old Maggie Flanagan, a struggling Irish immigrant, catalyzes Emily's interest in sweatshops and the horrid conditions of child labor. In a letter to Albert, Emily explains her newfound purpose: "I hope you won't think I'm crazy, but I knew I had to carry on Mother Jones' crusade to improve the lives of child laborers." Though class and labor issues are handled well and plot twists keep the pace moving, most characters remain only partially developed. Ages 9-13. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Barbara Williams, Garen Thomas
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