Counting on Grace Author:Elizabeth Winthrop 1910. Pownal, Vermont. At 12, Grace and her best friend Arthur must leave school and go to work as a “doffers” on their mothers’ looms in the mill. Grace’s mother is the best worker, fast and powerful, and Grace desperately wants to help her. But she’s left handed and doffing is a right-handed job. Grace’s eve... more »ry mistake costs her mother, and the family. She only feels capable on Sundays, when she and Arthur receive special lessons from their teacher. Together they write a secret letter to the Child Labor Board about underage children working in Pownal. A few weeks later a man with a camera shows up. It is the famous reformer Lewis Hine, undercover, collecting evidence for the Child Labor Board. Grace’s brief acquaintance with Hine and the photos he takes of her are a gift that changes her sense of herself, her future, and her family’s future.« less
Historical fiction for older school-age children about child factory workers in 1910 in a Vermont cotton factory, and about the real photographer/journalist Lewis Hines, who lied his way into such factories to photograph child workers and publish a report that was instrumental in getting such child labor abolished. Grace and her friend Arthur are each 12 when they are forced to leave the school (where they are outstanding students) in the company town where they live, and go to work with their mothers in the factory for 12 hours a day. A piece of history not often dealt with in books for children, and very well written as well.