A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
For students who have already studied the Depression, Crash details events and people from the 1930s that may not have been covered in class: The Scottsboro Boys, nine African American teens whose convictions on charges of raping two white women led to landmark decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court; Ida Mae Fuller, the first person to receive a Social Security check; how John Steinbeck's reporting on a migrant camp inspired him to write The Grapes of Wrath; and that hoboes weren't only men riding freight trains from town to town but thousands and thousands of children as well.
In the darkest of times, the human spirit can still hope.
Positive Role Models
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was his eyes and ears as she traveled the country reporting on the people she'd met, places she'd been; Frances Perkins, America's first female cabinet secretary who crafted what would become Social Security; and Walter White, who helped lead the civil rights struggles of the 1930s. Also the auto workers, coal miners, and textile workers who fought for and won better working conditions; the millions of women who went to work building bombers and battleships; and the families who risked everything to find a better life for themselves.
Violence & Scariness
African Americans are lynched and have their homes and businesses burned. A "Bonus Army" of military veterans comes to Washington, D.C., to demand payment of war bonuses and is met by the Army's tanks, tear gas, and bullets. Union workers on strike are confronted by National Guard troops. Reference to the rape trials of the Scottsboro Boys and their aftermath.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Marc Favreau's Crash: The Great Depression and the Fall and Rise of America chronicles the nation's fall into economic depression following the stock market crash in 1929 through the dark days of the 1930s and finally to America's entry into World War II and the economy's recovery. Filled with photographs and compelling firsthand accounts, Crash is certain to bring this era alive for even the most reluctant history student.
Is It Any Good?
Dozens of archival photographs, haunting first-person accounts, letters, and even song lyrics help readers put a human face on the events of the Great Depression in this compelling history. Rather than focusing on facts and dates, Crash offers readers a real understanding of what it must have been like for families to live through some of the darkest days in American history. For anyone who wants to dig deeper, there are source notes, a bibliography (which concentrates on adult titles), and selected primary sources that include online media exhibits, visual and audio sources, and links to printed interviews and oral histories. This a great book for students who are convinced that history can never be anything but dull and lifeless.
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.