Name of Book: Bread and Roses, Too
Author: Katherine Paterson
Publisher: Sandpiper an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Audience: Grades 4-8
Summary: A historical fiction novel that follows Jake and Rose, two children whose lives are impacted by the struggles of immigrant workers during a labor strike of a mill during the industrial revolution.
Literary elements at work in the story:
Genre: Historical fiction
Setting: Lawrence, MA at the turn of the 20th century textile mill community and Barre, Vermont
Characterization: Poor immigrant workers and their struggle for fair labor practices.
Plot: How two children’s lives come together unexpectantly during a labor strike by immigrant workers protesting unfair labor practices.
Theme: Justice and grace
Point of View: Children of immigrant workers and child laborers
Gender: Girls and boys are both reflected equally.
Race: Immigrants from Western Europe only.
Theology: God’ grace and hope can be find in the most unlikely situations.
Faith Talk Questions:
1. What does the title of the book really mean?
2. How does the community help one another during the strike?
3. What does Rose discover about the meaning of family by the end of the book?
4. What does Jake discover about the meaning of family by the end of the book?
5. How does this story connect to current events and what should be the response of the church?
Review by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Jill Kimbirl
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books written for Grades 5-8 (Ages 10 -13), Faith Questions For...., Historical Fiction, Middle Schoolers, Older Elementary | Tagged: early 20th century, family, History, immigrants, justice, labor practices, strike, textile mill, Vermont | Leave a Comment »