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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
A boy has his hand mangled and two fingers cut off by a machine. An old man is killed trying to board a moving train.
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"Damned" used once.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is a horrifying scene of a boy deliberately putting his hand in a machine, which mangles it and cuts off two fingers, so that he won't have to work in the mill anymore. Sensitive children will find both the scene and its implications disturbing.
Is It Any Good?
This fascinating and, at times, horrifying story will open kids' eyes to what the lives of some children in America were like not all that long ago. Now required reading throughout the state of Vermont, COUNTING ON GRACE is based on the true story of photographer Lewis Hines' crusade to reveal the realities of child labor to the public. It was inspired particularly by one of his photos that shows a young girl with a haunting expression, dressed in rather filthy clothing, standing in front of a spinning frame.
The author does not pull any punches here: Actions have consequences, lives are altered and sometimes shattered, and things don't turn out the way anyone in the story hopes, though there are signs in the end of a brighter future for Grace. This compelling and very readable fact-based story about a time with parallels to our own shows kids a part of history they may not have heard much about in school.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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