At the dingy, overcrowded Acme Garment Factory, Emily Watson stands for eleven hours a day clipping threads from blouses. Every time the boss passes, he shouts at her to snip faster. But if Emily snips too fast, she could ruin the garment and be docked pay. If she works too slowly, she will be fired. She desperately needs this job. Without the four dollars a week it brings, her family will starve. When a reporter arrives, determined to expose the terrible conditions in the factory, Emily finds herself caught between the desperate immigrant girls with whom she works and the hope of change. Then tragedy strikes, and Emily must decide where her loyalties lie.
Emily's fictional experiences are interwoven with non-fiction sections describing family life in a slum, the fight to improve social conditions, the plight of working children then and now, and much more. Rarely seen archival photos accompany this story of the past as only Barbara Greenwood can tell it.
Barbara Greenwood is an award-winning author whose books include Gold Rush Fever, The Last Safe House and A Pioneer Thanksgiving. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Factory Girl succeeds where so many similar books fail: it is an educational book that manages to be both compelling and eye-opening.—Quill & Quire
Greenwood, who has a knack for turning historical fact into riveting stories, uses archival photographs to create a compelling story.—The Chronicle Herald
Interspersed with excellent-quality archival photos, this title is sure to spur discussion of many contemporary movements—School Library Journal