Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor

by Russell Freedman

Other authorsLewis Hine (Photographer)
Paperback, 1998


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Call number

J 331.3 Fr


HMH Books for Young Readers (1998), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 112 pages


Photobiography of early twentieth-century photographer and schoolteacher Lewis Hine, using his own work as illustrations. Hines's photographs of children at work were so devastating that they convinced the American people that Congress must pass child labor laws.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member rpanek
This is a story of Lewis Hine and his work. Lewis Hine left his job as a teacher to become an investigative reporter for the National Child Labor Committee. The themes are child labor, health concerns, lack of education, immigration, and reform. The text is very interesting and captures the
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readers’ attention.
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LibraryThing member Warnerp
Author used historic photographs by the photographer to create this book. Author is the winner of a Newberry Medal, and he is also the recipient of three Newbery Honors, a National Humanities Medal, the Sibert Medal, the Orbis Pictus Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. Almost every page in
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the book has photos and text. The last few pages also contain the Children of America’s Declaration of Independence from 1913, and information on how child labor and laws changed over the years.
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LibraryThing member mmpvppl
It's hard to put into words that such young children would need to work and not be children. It was especially hard and sad to see the pictures of the toddlers working with bloody, chapped hands. It is a time in history that children today have not concept of. I think all 4th graders and up should
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read this. I read excerpts to my kids as I was reading it. The photos are amazing.
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LibraryThing member DustinB1983
“Kids At Work” is both the story of photographer Lewis Hine and of child labor in the early 1900’s. At this time, child labor laws are useless if existent at all. This story is told through the photographs of Lewis Hine and the words of Russell Freedman. At first, we learn how Hine becomes a
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photographer and how he becomes an early “crusader” in the cause against child labor. As described here, he goes through great length to get his pictures, as he was usually not welcome, at least as a photographer taking pictures of the work environment these children endured. However, Hine himself quickly dissolves into the background as his powerful pictures and Freedman’s descriptions of horrid working conditions faced by the children in them take over. Page after page, we see children far too young working far too many hours in conditions far too harsh for children of that age, or any age for that matter.

At no point does this book get too word or redundant, and the balance between photographs is one that young readers at a variety of ages might appreciate. An important lesson here, and reoccurring in history, is that change does not happen over night. As is often the case, Hine does not single handedly inspire a revolution, but he did have a hand in important change. Also, it tells of an important part of American History for young students to understand. While this book should remind students, now sitting at a desk rather than shucking oysters or picking beets, it should also remind them of the importance of labor laws and protections for workers. They should be reminded not only that workers and employers remain in a tug-of-work over their own issues here in the U.S., but also that utilization of child labor remains prevalent throughout the world.
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LibraryThing member JLCasanova
This book focuses on Lewis Hine and the differences he made in child labor in the early 1900s. By taking photographs of many of the child laborers, he brought the issue to the attention of the public. History teachers can compare and contrast the child labor laws of the early 1900s and the present.
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They can also create a timeline of Lewis Hine's life. Science teachers can have students study the health hazards of breathing the harmful air in the different work environments. English teachers can have students look at the section that discusses photo story. Students can then have them create their own photo story. Students can also write an opinion paper discussing whether parents were right or wrong in making their children work. Students can also write their own Declaration of Dependence. Photography teachers can also have students look at the section that discusses photographing the people coming through Ellis Island. It also discusses the different types of cameras. Students could discuss how to get the best shot when taking pictures. This book is written in a simple style so that students on a fifth grade level can understand it, but this book is also on the shelf at the high school where I work. The organization of the book follows Hine's life with a few chapters in the middle that discuss the different types of jobs that the children had. The book has beautiful black and white photos that tug at the reader's heart strings. This book also includes a table of contents, a bibliography, acknowledgements, and an index. Many of Freedman's sources were based on other books, and he has written numerous books. He has also included the "Declaration of Dependence" from the National Child Labor Committee.
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LibraryThing member caitlinsnead
Photobiography of early twentieth-century photographer and schoolteacher Lewis Hine, using his own work as illustrations. Hines's photographs of children at work were so devastating that they convinced the American people that Congress must pass child labor laws.
LibraryThing member meblack19
Kids at Work, being filled with images of children working hard for next to nothing pay, is a rather sad book. This is a great historical picture book for an American History or Civics class. The book tells the story of an investigative photographer named Lewis Hine and his documentation of child
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labor in the early part of the 20th century. This was instrumental in the introduction of anti-child labor laws during the early to mid 1900s. I would recommend this book for older teens.
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Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Informational Books — 1997)
Cardinal Cup (Noteworthy — 1995)
Golden Kite Award (Winner — Nonfiction — 1995)
Orbis Pictus Award (Honor — 1995)
Garden State Teen Book Award (Winner — Nonfiction — 1997)
Best Fiction for Young Adults (Selection — 1995)
Notable Children's Book (Older Readers — 1995)


Physical description

112 p.; 10 x 0.31 inches


0395797268 / 9780395797266




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