Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams

The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams
By Tanya Lee Stone
Illustrated by Kathryn Brown
Christy Ottaviano Books, 2015. Biography.

In 1889, Jane Addams, a wealthy woman inspired by Toynbee Hall in London, opened the doors to Hull House in Chicago, a home where those looking for a place of refuge to eat and sleep were welcomed. When she saw a need, she used her wealth and influences to help her community. Her projects including helping her community build a public bath houses so the poor who did not have running water had a place to bathe, which helped stop the spread of diseases; building playgrounds so children would have a safe place to play; and starting morning kindergarten classes and after school clubs to keep children off the streets. Hull House grew quickly, and by the early 1920s, more than nine thousand people visited Hull House each week.

This is an inspiring picture book biography about an extraordinary woman whose influence is felt even today. The author’s note in the back shares a bit more about Jane, like how the FBI considered her “the most dangerous woman in America” for her forwarding thinking ideas, and how she became the first American woman to win the Noble Peace Prize in 1931. I highly recommend this biographical read.

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