Audacity
by Melanie Crowder


Overview - A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history

A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth centuryand foughttenaciously for equal rights.
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More About Audacity by Melanie Crowder
 
 
 
Overview
A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history

A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacityis inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth centuryand foughttenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clararefuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000.

Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacityis the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.
Praise for AUDACITY:
A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
A Washington Post Best Children s Books for April: Poetry Edition
An ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
A 2016 NCTE Children's Notable Verse Novel
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens
An ALA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
An ALSC Notable Children's Book nominee
A BCCB Blue Ribbon winner
* "Crowder breathes life into a world long past....Compelling, powerful and unforgettable." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "This book stands alone....an impactful addition to any historical fiction collection."--School Library Journal, starred review
* "With a thorough historical note, glossary of terms, and bibliography, this will make an excellent complement to units on women s rights and the labor movement, but it will also satisfy readers in search of a well-told tale of a fierce heroine."--BCCB, starred review
* "This is an excellent title that can open discussions in U.S. history and economics courses about women s rights, labor unions, and the immigrant experience."--School Library Connection, starred review
"Based on the true story of Clara Lemlich, Audacitythrobs with the emotions of this exceptional young woman who fought for equal rights and improved labor standards in factories. Melanie Crowder s verses spit out Clara s rage, cradle her longing and soar like the birds that are her constant companions."--Bookpage
Crowder s (Parched) use of free verse in this fictionalization of Russian-Jewish immigrant Clara Lemlich s life brings a spare poignancy to a familiar history. --Publishers Weekly
"Brilliant, riveting, informative." Cynthia Levinson, critically acclaimed author of We've Got a Job
Audacityis an evocative reimagining of a fascinating historical figure who should be remembered for her determination in the face of great odds and powerful opposition and for her role in changing America. Melanie Crowder s powerful verse reveals a long-past world, but the combination of hope and outrage that Clara Lemlich brought to her struggle should be both recognizable and inspirational to teen readers longing to right the injustices of our day. Margaret Peterson Haddix, critically acclaimed, bestselling author ofUprising

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780399168994
  • ISBN-10: 0399168990
  • Publisher: Philomel Books
  • Publish Date: January 2015
  • Page Count: 400
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-17
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Young Adult Fiction > Historical - United States - 20th Century

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-11-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

Crowder’s (Parched) use of free verse in this fictionalization of Russian-Jewish immigrant Clara Lemlich’s life brings a spare poignancy to a familiar history: a poor family’s flight from Russia following the 1903 pogrom, an arduous journey to Ellis Island, survival in the tenements of New York’s Lower East Side, and Clara’s grueling work in garment industry sweatshops. The only daughter in a strict Orthodox family, forbidden to learn Russian, read, or write, Clara secretly defies her father’s decrees, hungry for education and determined to become a doctor. As she endures horrific working conditions in America, her dream changes, and she becomes a tireless leader of the union movement. Fighting to organize the women workers, she is locked out of jobs, jailed, and beaten: “They do not speak/ but their message is/ painfully/ clear/ slap scratch/ punch pummel/ kick kick spit.” In addition to a closing note that provides context and biographical information, an endearing interview with Lemlich’s children and grandchildren gives a glimpse into how this stubborn and fiery young woman lived out the balance of her life. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (Jan.)

 
BookPage Reviews

At the heart of an uprising

Rural Russia is not a kind place for Jews in the early 20th century. Miserable, powerless peasants make their Jewish neighbors the scapegoats for everything that goes wrong—and things go wrong all the time. For teenager Clara, the repression tightens as she watches her father and brothers spend their days studying the Torah, while she sweeps floors and prepares meals. As a girl, Clara is forbidden to learn how to read, write or speak Russian—but secretly, she does all three.

When violence explodes against the Jewish villagers, Clara’s family immigrates to New York City. There, Clara feels trapped by the same Jewish traditions that bound her in Russia. While the men continue to read and study, Clara works 10-hour days in a sweatshop. But she will not be caged, not by tradition or injustice. Learning about the formation of unions to protect workers, Clara risks her life to join the crusade.

Based on the true story of Clara Lemlich, Audacity throbs with the emotions of this exceptional young woman who fought for equal rights and improved labor standards in factories. Melanie Crowder’s verses spit out Clara’s rage, cradle her longing and soar like the birds that are her constant companions. Pair with Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Uprising or Elizabeth Winthrop’s Counting on Grace to get a full picture of early labor conditions for young immigrants.

 

This article was originally published in the January 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews