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Children of the Great Depression

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As he did for frontier children in his enormously popular Children of the Wild West, Russell Freedman illuminates the lives of the American children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. Middle-class urban youth, migrant farm laborers, boxcar kids, children whose families found themselves struggling for survival . . . all Depression-era young As he did for frontier children in his enormously popular Children of the Wild West, Russell Freedman illuminates the lives of the American children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. Middle-class urban youth, migrant farm laborers, boxcar kids, children whose families found themselves struggling for survival . . . all Depression-era young people faced challenges like unemployed and demoralized parents, inadequate food and shelter, schools they couldn’t attend because they had to go to work, schools that simply closed their doors. Even so, life had its bright spots—like favorite games and radio shows—and many young people remained upbeat and optimistic about the future. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, letters, and other firsthand accounts, and richly illustrated with classic archival photographs, this book by one of the most celebrated authors of nonfiction for children places the Great Depression in context and shows young readers its human face. Endnotes, selected bibliography, index.


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As he did for frontier children in his enormously popular Children of the Wild West, Russell Freedman illuminates the lives of the American children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. Middle-class urban youth, migrant farm laborers, boxcar kids, children whose families found themselves struggling for survival . . . all Depression-era young As he did for frontier children in his enormously popular Children of the Wild West, Russell Freedman illuminates the lives of the American children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. Middle-class urban youth, migrant farm laborers, boxcar kids, children whose families found themselves struggling for survival . . . all Depression-era young people faced challenges like unemployed and demoralized parents, inadequate food and shelter, schools they couldn’t attend because they had to go to work, schools that simply closed their doors. Even so, life had its bright spots—like favorite games and radio shows—and many young people remained upbeat and optimistic about the future. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, letters, and other firsthand accounts, and richly illustrated with classic archival photographs, this book by one of the most celebrated authors of nonfiction for children places the Great Depression in context and shows young readers its human face. Endnotes, selected bibliography, index.

30 review for Children of the Great Depression

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman is such a real account of what happened during the Great Depression. We are hearing stories directly from children who were impacted during this terrible time. Many families didn't have the necessities needed to live. Children couldn't go to school, they had no shoes, there wasn't enough food to feed a family, and people were living in Hoovervilles or shacks made out of anything they could find. This book provides quotes from children who live Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman is such a real account of what happened during the Great Depression. We are hearing stories directly from children who were impacted during this terrible time. Many families didn't have the necessities needed to live. Children couldn't go to school, they had no shoes, there wasn't enough food to feed a family, and people were living in Hoovervilles or shacks made out of anything they could find. This book provides quotes from children who lived during the Great Depression. We hear of the pain they felt because they couldn't help their family and the different struggles they had to experience. This was a time where "in the nation as a whole, 27% of homes lacked refrigeration equipment, 31% had no running water, 32% had an outdoor toilet, and 39% did not have a bathtub or shower." Children of the Great Depression really made you feel like you were a part of this terrible time. The stories that they incorporated were so real and incredible. The images that Freedman included within this book were amazing. They had real photographs on almost every single page of children who were suffering, the living conditions, and important things or people during that time. I thought the use of the photography made this book so much more inspiring. We were able to put ourselves in the children and families shoes. They included short captions under each picture so that you knew exactly what was going on. The colors of the images really emphasized the feelings and mood that this book represents. The pictures are all in black and white and don't evoke a positive feeling. If the pictures would have been in color, the message would have been lost. I think that the stories and the images used in this book are wonderful. Children of the Great Depression would be a wonderful non-fiction text to use in a 5th grade classroom. The students will be able to empathize with the children they are reading and looking at. There is a lot of really wonderful information in here, so this book would have to be used over an extended period of time. Focusing on one chapter at a time and then really analyzing it would be a necessity. Children are still fragile and this is a tough topic. This book really is a beautiful account of something tragic that happened many years ago. I think it could instill some humility in the students as well. Overall, the picture's used, stories included, and structure as a whole was easy to follow and really informative.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Noninuna

    Children of the Great Depression is a nonfiction, painting the image of what American had to face during the Great Depression, an era where the country's economy hits rock bottom in the 1930s especially the children. It tells accounts of various people of how they survived during the difficulties. From not enough food to working parents being laid out to having to skip school for various reasons to have to work to help the family. The children of that generation face it all and those who survive Children of the Great Depression is a nonfiction, painting the image of what American had to face during the Great Depression, an era where the country's economy hits rock bottom in the 1930s especially the children. It tells accounts of various people of how they survived during the difficulties. From not enough food to working parents being laid out to having to skip school for various reasons to have to work to help the family. The children of that generation face it all and those who survived become successful in a way or another because the hard times taught them to be tough. There are photos accompanying the text and it gives readers a glimpse of the past that otherwise readers' won't ever see. Perfect for people who want to know more about American history in general.

  3. 4 out of 5

    L12_tomj

    In 1935, a newly created agency of the Roosevelt administration, the FSA, or Farm Security Administration, had the task of documenting through photographs the plight of rural America. In the depths of the Great Depression, these photographers produced more than a quarter of a million images of American rural and uban life. The goal of FSA and these photographers was to convey in human terms the true meaning of economic statistics. The candid, grim, and occasional comedic faces and actions of rea In 1935, a newly created agency of the Roosevelt administration, the FSA, or Farm Security Administration, had the task of documenting through photographs the plight of rural America. In the depths of the Great Depression, these photographers produced more than a quarter of a million images of American rural and uban life. The goal of FSA and these photographers was to convey in human terms the true meaning of economic statistics. The candid, grim, and occasional comedic faces and actions of real Americans during its most trying times are all captured withing the pages and prose of historian Russell Freedman's pictorial journey "Children of the Great Depression". What makes Russell Freedman's account work for the readers is the sheer scope of his book; the reader sees how the Great Depression had a generational life changing impact on the American people from this era, and Mr. Freedom covers them all: fathers and families, children at school, the Okies journeys to California, box car kids, and Hollywood depictions about and diversions from the Great Depression. No stone is left untouched, and Mr. Friedman's ability to take statistics about the Great Depression, nearly 25% of men and women between ages 16-64 were unemployed from 1929-1941, and give them a voice through quotes that vacillates somewhere between despair and sheer determination makes the pictures and words just that more captivating to gaze over. The impact on the family and children was seen in nearly every school across the country. "Another boy, Fred Batten, wore no socks, and often that winter the skin of his ankles was raw and swollen. One day he caught me looking at his bare ankles, and he turned away from me in silence." Pictures of children washing in a small metal tub in a dirty farm house, or living in a shanty house in Herrin, IL, and schools districts closing for a school year or more due to lack of local funding really brings the depravity of the situation home to the reader. Friedman also captures the courage of the Okies from California who leave Oklahoma and arrive destitute in California looking for arable land. They are ostracized by the local farmers in California living in makeshift settlements by ditches near farm roads, but when WWII ends a good portion of these Okies will regain their dignity by become journalists, doctors, and teachers. Graphic photos of boxcar boys hopping a freight car and risking injury, amputation, or even death by misjudging the train's speed again highlights how desperate these boys and girls family's lives clearly must have been during this era. "Children of the Great Depression" includes chapter notes which provides captions for each picture, a selected bibliography of sources, picture sources, and an index. Although this book was published in 2005, only one internet source is provided: http://newdeal.ferri.org. Certainly other teacher friendly or websites about the Great Depression could have been provided by the author. Other books which may provide students better insight into how children and families survived the Great Depression include "Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Letters from Children of the Great Depression" by Eleanor Roosevelt, "Peanut Butter for Cupcakes: A True Story from the Great Depression" by Donna Nordmark Aviles, and The Great Depression: An Interactive History Adventure" by Mark by Michael Burgan.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily Hynes

    Russell Freedman's Children of the Great Depression compiles information of the depression into one detailed source for young readers. History is delivered to readers through many means--first hand accounts, moving photographs, quotes from historical speeches and political events. I appreciated that most of the book's focus remained on children. I could see this being an eye opening read for today's children, probably best for middle school readers. The text has some challenging vocabulary and Russell Freedman's Children of the Great Depression compiles information of the depression into one detailed source for young readers. History is delivered to readers through many means--first hand accounts, moving photographs, quotes from historical speeches and political events. I appreciated that most of the book's focus remained on children. I could see this being an eye opening read for today's children, probably best for middle school readers. The text has some challenging vocabulary and difficult content that may need scaffolding for younger readers, but it reads much easier (and was far more engaging) than a textbook. I felt as if the author provided interesting details that would draw in children, including many accounts from children at the time that show stark contrast to the lives of most of our students. The reader can easily compare the differences of their own lives/time period with the children of the depression. I enjoyed reading this book, and can see how a younger person would become fascinated by this time period after picking up this text.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Swanson

    What really made this book all the more fascinating for me was that my grandmother was a teenager during the 30s, and so she grew up in this time. I didn't realize just how fortunate she must have been to be able to graduate from high school in 1936 or thereabouts. This book really opened my eyes to a lot of the nitty gritty details we don't generally go over in school regarding the Great Depression. I loved the pictures; very few of the people in the photos are smiling, and they look filthy and What really made this book all the more fascinating for me was that my grandmother was a teenager during the 30s, and so she grew up in this time. I didn't realize just how fortunate she must have been to be able to graduate from high school in 1936 or thereabouts. This book really opened my eyes to a lot of the nitty gritty details we don't generally go over in school regarding the Great Depression. I loved the pictures; very few of the people in the photos are smiling, and they look filthy and miserable. I was slightly jarred at the photo of the young redheaded boy in overalls and no shirt sitting at school reading a book with tiny print, because I'm not used to seeing school kids not wearing shirts. The quote of the little girl telling her teacher "I can't [go home and eat something]. It's my sister's turn to eat" was especially heartbreaking. This is a quick read but a very informative and incredible one. I would highly recommend it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    When I first picked up this book I expected it to be a lot of boring text, just like a textbook. I am so happy I didn't judge a book by its cover because it ended up being fascinating! The pictures of were so moving that I found myself reading the text so I could know about the picture. I think this is a great informational text, and if we incorporated more books like this I believe our children will be more willing to learn. As well, students will find this text more relatable because the pictu When I first picked up this book I expected it to be a lot of boring text, just like a textbook. I am so happy I didn't judge a book by its cover because it ended up being fascinating! The pictures of were so moving that I found myself reading the text so I could know about the picture. I think this is a great informational text, and if we incorporated more books like this I believe our children will be more willing to learn. As well, students will find this text more relatable because the pictures are of children during this time. Even though the book did contain text, I didn't find it to be boring. Between the title of the chapters, and the language used this book stayed interesting. This is one of the first interesting books that I have read about the Great Depression.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Neumann

    Children of the Great Depression, by Russell Freedman, is a book about the struggles that the children who lived during the Great Depression experienced. The book talks about their family, home, school, and work struggles that the children went through. The book provides some firsthand accounts with quotes in every chapter that help to get the meaning of the chapter through to the reader. I really enjoyed this book; it was written in a way that was interesting to read and was not too dry. The bo Children of the Great Depression, by Russell Freedman, is a book about the struggles that the children who lived during the Great Depression experienced. The book talks about their family, home, school, and work struggles that the children went through. The book provides some firsthand accounts with quotes in every chapter that help to get the meaning of the chapter through to the reader. I really enjoyed this book; it was written in a way that was interesting to read and was not too dry. The book does a wonderful job of evoking emotions and allowing connections to form. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the Great Depression and the impact it had on the people of that time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Erickson

    Summary: In this text, Russell Freedman outlines the lives of those who were often forgotten during the Great Depression. These lives were those of children who come from many social statuses such as middle-class urban youth, migrant farm laborers, and boxcar kids. Despite the difference is status, the Great Depression affected these children in similar ways: lack of food and housing, unable to attend school because of the need to work, and parents facing job displacement. Although the time seem Summary: In this text, Russell Freedman outlines the lives of those who were often forgotten during the Great Depression. These lives were those of children who come from many social statuses such as middle-class urban youth, migrant farm laborers, and boxcar kids. Despite the difference is status, the Great Depression affected these children in similar ways: lack of food and housing, unable to attend school because of the need to work, and parents facing job displacement. Although the time seem unbearable, children still remained hopeful and happy though games, radio shows and songs. Through primary photographs, documents, letters, firsthand accounts and other elements, the author shed a light on the lives of the youngest generation during this unforgettable era. Evaluation: In this text, the writing is completely factual, direct and straightforward. The information is presented in a logical sequence and organized in chapters. The text is long, so the book is best read in stages or by individual chapters. Despite the length, the concepts in the text are presented in understandable and well-defined terms. Most terms are followed with an example in an illustration or in text. Most of the language is high-quality and academic, the language that isn’t is from journals, diaries and/or memoirs. Every artifact included is a primary document. These documents allow the reader to further examine and gain another perspective of life during the Great Depression. Some illustrations both add and clarify the information. Teaching Idea: This text could be used as students learn about the Great Depression. Because the text is so long, I don't suggest reading the entire book in class. However, there are dozens of reading excerpts and primary documents that could be used. Since the book is organized in chapters, the teacher can quickly find information that correlates to social studies material. The majority of the information we have about the great depression is told by an adult or in an adult's perspective. The reading excerpts can help enhance students understanding of the impact of the great depression because many are written in through a child's perspective. Therefore, this book can be used as a platform to discuss the affects from another group's perspective. Likewise, the primary documents provided more insight on the era because students are able to actually see what happening, how people lived, worked, ate etc.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate Sumner

    Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman is a collaboration of untold accounts of what happened to children, during the Great Depression. A time where, "in the nation as a whole, 27% of homes lacked refrigeration equipment, 31% had no running water, 32% had an outdoor toilet, and 39% did not have a bathtub or shower." The book shares stories and experiences of: Boxcar kids, Okies, children of farmers, sharecroppers, children who are still pursuing in education, migrant workers, and m Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman is a collaboration of untold accounts of what happened to children, during the Great Depression. A time where, "in the nation as a whole, 27% of homes lacked refrigeration equipment, 31% had no running water, 32% had an outdoor toilet, and 39% did not have a bathtub or shower." The book shares stories and experiences of: Boxcar kids, Okies, children of farmers, sharecroppers, children who are still pursuing in education, migrant workers, and more. All of the given information and stories were gathered, not only from research, but from: diaries, letters, pictures, and memories. These sources and the archival photographs showed readers an emotional meaning in terms of economic and social challenges. These captured moments in a huge event teaches how grim it directly impacted these resilient children. Even as an older reader who has done research on the Great Depression, it was an eerily positive truth to hear that many of the children who experienced the hardest times felt that they gained "a sense of heightened self-confidence and an understanding of the needs of others" in such hard times. Reading from multiple children’s perspectives’, this would make for a great and interesting read for young readers learning about the Great Depression. Rather than learning of just statistics, readers are able to sympathize for the children and view themselves if they were to be in their shoes. Being able to relate better would make the learning process much more memorable and impactful. I also love how integrated the sources were with the information. For example, the inclusion of short captions under each pictures. There is also an included: bibliography, index, and end notes. Reflecting onto the book, I would utilize it in a 5th grade classroom. A powerful tool to discuss The Great Depression for a history lesson/unit or maybe as an option to talk about large events affecting various groups of persons in a country. If for a life/literacy lesson, after reading, have students compare and contrast their lives to the lives of the children mentioned in the book. Students may also go further into creating a venn diagram/ T-chart and even write a short response/paper as a reflection and using text information. I enjoyed reading this book, and believe a younger person has the potential to become fascinated by this time period after picking this up. “It's my sister's turn to eat”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Glenn

    Summary: The book tells the story of what it was like to be a child affected by The Great Depression. The story tells of the experiences of migrant workers, sharecroppers, Okies, Boxcar kids and more. The photographs were taken by photographers who were employed by the federal government to document the crisis that was happening in our nation. Evaluation: The book starts off strong with interesting stories that I believe children could relate to, but it begins to feel repetitive towards the end Summary: The book tells the story of what it was like to be a child affected by The Great Depression. The story tells of the experiences of migrant workers, sharecroppers, Okies, Boxcar kids and more. The photographs were taken by photographers who were employed by the federal government to document the crisis that was happening in our nation. Evaluation: The book starts off strong with interesting stories that I believe children could relate to, but it begins to feel repetitive towards the end of the book. The book focuses quite a bit on the ability (or inability) of children to attend school during the Great Depression. On page 51 it says that many of the children who experienced the hardest times felt that they gained "a sense of heightened self-confidence and an understanding of the needs of others." The pictures throughout the book are powerful and do an excellent job of portraying the life that the children who lived through this difficult time experienced. Teaching Idea: The book is a powerful tool that could be used to discuss The Great Depression and how it affected different people groups within the country. For older students, it could be used as a social studies lesson to infer why the Great Depression affected minorities differently that it did middle class white families. And of course, it is the ideal resource for explaining how "The New Deal" was able to help families and why World War 2 brought about the true end of the Great Depression. A word of caution: Some photographs include nudity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Shafer

    In the book, Children of the Great Depression, the book uses notes written to President Roosevelt’s wife to explain the suffering that the people endured during the Great Depression. The primary accounts of the tragedy and losses from the time were expressed through a timeline that explained how people’s lives were affected by the market crash, then the crop shortages, the dust storms, and finally the starvation. The letters that were written by the children, the wives, and the husbands of the g In the book, Children of the Great Depression, the book uses notes written to President Roosevelt’s wife to explain the suffering that the people endured during the Great Depression. The primary accounts of the tragedy and losses from the time were expressed through a timeline that explained how people’s lives were affected by the market crash, then the crop shortages, the dust storms, and finally the starvation. The letters that were written by the children, the wives, and the husbands of the great depression helped provide a glimpse into how these citizens felt in a way that a textbook couldn’t explain. Why didn’t the book provide Mrs. Roosevelts responses? Did she respond to the cries for help? I wished the author looked for some type of response from Mrs. Roosevelt for the book. Reading the material, I realized just how terrible it was for the people starving. Reading about the Hooverville’s made me so upset that they literally lived in shacks made from scratch. As a future teacher, I would use this primary source as an alternative method for teaching about the Great Depression. https://www.bing.com/images/search?vi...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Garcia

    Children of the Great Depression, by Russell Freedman, is a great account for what children and teenagers went through during the Great Depression. Before, I had only read or heard about adults during this devastating era or families as a whole, never children. Freedman covered every child's economic problems in this era: children from migrants, upper class youth, boxcar kids, and children struggling for survival. He also covered every aspect of struggles they faced such as starvation and not be Children of the Great Depression, by Russell Freedman, is a great account for what children and teenagers went through during the Great Depression. Before, I had only read or heard about adults during this devastating era or families as a whole, never children. Freedman covered every child's economic problems in this era: children from migrants, upper class youth, boxcar kids, and children struggling for survival. He also covered every aspect of struggles they faced such as starvation and not being able to go to school. He also included diaries, letters, photographs, and first hand accounts. I found this book hard to read at times because of the content impeded in the words. The photographs included were sometimes eerie because the reader could see actual struggles of children during this era. This would be a great book to incorporate in a 6th grade classroom. Students learning about this era wouldn’t have to only read about it in textbooks but can read a great piece of nonfiction. However, it may be hard for some children to read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Macy

    Title: Children of the Great Depression Author: Russell Freedman Illustrator: Russell Freedman Genre: Orbis Pictus book Theme(s): History, social conditions, depressions, looking on the bright side, resilience Opening line/sentence: The cold reality of America’s Great Depression was brought home to one twelve-year-old boy in 1931 when he came upon his father in the empty coal bin of the family’s Brookline, Massachusetts, house. Brief Book Summary: Using information from diaries, letters, and memories, t Title: Children of the Great Depression Author: Russell Freedman Illustrator: Russell Freedman Genre: Orbis Pictus book Theme(s): History, social conditions, depressions, looking on the bright side, resilience Opening line/sentence: The cold reality of America’s Great Depression was brought home to one twelve-year-old boy in 1931 when he came upon his father in the empty coal bin of the family’s Brookline, Massachusetts, house. Brief Book Summary: Using information from diaries, letters, and memories, the author of Children of the Great Depression teaches the readers about the lives of children during the great depression. Children at this time were often unable to go to school due to the fact that they had to work or did not have a teacher, had limited food and shelter, and constantly worried about what was going to change in their lives next. Even though these were very hard times for children, they liked the jobs they were in and felt independent while doing it. Most kids were able to still stay positive about how their future would be. Professional Recommendation/Review #1: Hazel Rochman (Booklist, Dec. 15, 2005 (Vol. 102, No. 8)) It's my sister's turn to eat," a hungry child tells her teacher. Quotes like that one bring home what it was like to be young and poor in Depression America. This stirring photo-essay combines such unforgettable personal details with a clear historical overview of the period and black-and-white photos by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and many others. As Freedman says, these images "convey in human terms the true meaning of economic statistics." His signature plainspoken prose does that, too, on every spacious, double-page spread, whether he is focusing on differences of race and class or on child sharecroppers, factory workers, migrant farm laborers, or boxcar kids. There are many books about particular people and regions during this period--among them, Jerry Stanley's Children of the Dust Bowl (1992); Milton Meltzer's Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (1991); and Freedman's own award-winning biographies of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt--and Freedman quotes from a number of them, as well as from adult sources, documenting everything in a final bibliographic essay and notes that are a rich part of the story, not the usual cramped, dutiful acknowledgments. An excellent starting place for investigating the Depression in middle school and junior high, this eloquent book will also appeal to older readers, including adults who know family stories about how it was or, possibly, lived the history themselves. Category: Books for Middle Readers--Nonfiction. 2005, Clarion, $20. Gr. 5-8. Starred Review (PUBLISHER: Clarion Books (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2005.) Professional Recommendation/Review #2: Michael L. Cooper (Children's Literature) It will be a cold day in a hot place before you read a bad review of a Russell Freedman book. The man is a master of writing nonfiction who, in a career of nearly a half-century, has won every major award. Freedman s latest book explains what life was like for American kids in the 1930s. Many children were poor and homeless. And many did not go to school, often because schools had closed or lacked teachers. It can be an agonizing tale, as with the Okies in California who had to endure public scorn as they scrambled to earn a dollar or two a day. But it is not always a depressing read. Many kids sold newspapers, shined shoes, or did other menial jobs and enjoyed their independence. In a clever touch, Freedman includes a fun chapter on popular movies, music, and radio programs of the 1930s. As with all of Freedman's 2 books, this one is chocked full of sharp and interesting black-and-white photographs. My only quibble is that the list of web sites in the bibliography is anemic. 2005, Clarion/Houghton Mifflin, $20.00. Ages 9 up. (PUBLISHER: Clarion Books (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2005.) Response to Two Professional Reviews: Both reviewers discussed the importance of the author adding actual quotes from the children that were featured in this book. The first reviewer says how it is very interesting that the author tells the story from children’s perspectives. This really makes learning about the Great Depression more interesting to children because they can now relate to it better. The reviewers also talk about how the author focuses on how the Great Depression effected people of different race and social class. Evaluation of Literary Elements: I really like how the author used actual diaries and memories of the children featured in this book. This allows students to really relate with the characters in this book and makes the book seem more real. The pictures help readers make connections with the characters in the story. Actually seeing the children in this story makes this book more engaging and allows reader to actually visualize what life was really like during this time span. Consideration of Instructional Application: In my 4th-5th grade classroom, I would use this book during a history lesson to teach my students about the Great Depression. Before reading this book, my class would come up with what a typical week for a fourth grader would be. This would include the activities they did and the everyday worries they had. Then I would have my students read this book and have them use sticky notes to compare and contrast their lives to the lives of the children in this book. In small groups, the children would create a Venn diagram. After this is made, the children will turn the Venn diagram they made with their partners into a short paper.

  14. 5 out of 5

    K.Harv

    This informational social studies book provided black and white photographs as well written descriptions of the various situations that Children in the Great Depression faced. Some children were no longer able to attend school because of not having warm clothes or food. Other children looked for jobs shining shoes, working as migrants on farms, working in factories. Still other children ran away and took to a life of hopping trains and living where ever the train would take them. Many children w This informational social studies book provided black and white photographs as well written descriptions of the various situations that Children in the Great Depression faced. Some children were no longer able to attend school because of not having warm clothes or food. Other children looked for jobs shining shoes, working as migrants on farms, working in factories. Still other children ran away and took to a life of hopping trains and living where ever the train would take them. Many children wrote the President's wife, E. Roosevelt. As the country began to rebound the government provided programs to assist with employment.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ramona

    This book is filled with amazing photographs of the Depression Era. I have read a lot of books about this period, but none, so far, that really made the people real. What an awful time in American history, when not even the government to help the millions who were out of work, homeless, and starving. I will continue to read more on this topic, thanks to the websites and other book suggestions at the end of the book. This book should be included in the schoolroom curriculum for all children. Most This book is filled with amazing photographs of the Depression Era. I have read a lot of books about this period, but none, so far, that really made the people real. What an awful time in American history, when not even the government to help the millions who were out of work, homeless, and starving. I will continue to read more on this topic, thanks to the websites and other book suggestions at the end of the book. This book should be included in the schoolroom curriculum for all children. Most children, today, have no idea how good they have it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Dean

    This informational book about the Great Depression is perfect for a social studies unit. Children of the era began unable to help their parents make money, to ones who dropped out of school in order to find work. Being without much, allowed them to get creative when having fun and take to radio shows for entertainment. Pictures throughout the book show the despair and living conditions forced upon the children of the time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    Children of the great depression depicts the plight of the children who lived and suffered though the Great Depression. First person accounts of children not being able to go to school or even have the money for graduation, in this informational book the images speak louder than words as they capture the despair and resignation of the times, but also the childlike hope of better times.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Full of stunning pictures taken during the 30s, Children of the Great Depression tells the story of (mostly) poor children and their plight during the worst economic downturn in American history. It is short, but still packed with information. I recommend it to kids who are studying the Great Depression.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stef

    Gosh, it sure seemed decadent to read this while lounging on the couch eating Combos. This was an interesting read of a particularly difficult time in American history: the Great Depression. The level of pain and hardship endured is a struggle to imagine. I don’t remember why I put this book on my to-read list. I would’ve liked to see more photos.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gabby Gantt

    This informational social studies picture book recounts the stories of children during the Great Depression. Through black and white photos and real accounts, the story of how children survived severe poverty comes to life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    Interesting stories and pictures.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cari Middlecamp

    Children of the Great Depression is written by Russell Freedman. The book won the 2006 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. The book, whose intended audience is fifth grade and up, is nonfiction and was published in 2005. Freedman shares what life was like for children growing up during the Depression. The book sheds light on the horrible living conditions, lack of shelter and food, and no schooling that the children experienced. Freedman very effectively uses both re Children of the Great Depression is written by Russell Freedman. The book won the 2006 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. The book, whose intended audience is fifth grade and up, is nonfiction and was published in 2005. Freedman shares what life was like for children growing up during the Depression. The book sheds light on the horrible living conditions, lack of shelter and food, and no schooling that the children experienced. Freedman very effectively uses both real black and white photos and quotes from children that lived during the Great Depression to describe the world as it was in that time. The stories are so real that it draws the reader in and makes the reader really feel how terrible it must have been. In addition, the photos allow the reader to look into the eyes of the children thus creating a feeling of sadness for them and appreciation for what the children of today have and take for granted. The theme of sadness is developed very well and carried out throughout the book. The children look sad, their clothing is dirty (or missing), and they take turns eating depending upon whose turn it may be to eat. Even though the book is an easy read, when working with children a chapter by chapter discussion would be beneficial so that the children can share their feelings about life back then. Many children may not realize the hardships the children and families experienced. This book is highly recommended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I thought of my dad throughout the book. He was born in 1929 and I wish I could have asked him questions of his childhood.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Title: Children of the Great Depression Author: Russell Freedman Genre: Orbis Pictus Winner (Photographic Essay) Theme(s): Great Depression, children, growing up, poverty Opening line/sentence: “Most of the pictures in this book were created by a dedicated band of federal photographers who fanned out across America during the 1930s and tried to capture with their cameras the heartbreak and hope of the national crisis known as the Great Depression.” Brief Book Summary: This book is a collection of Title: Children of the Great Depression Author: Russell Freedman Genre: Orbis Pictus Winner (Photographic Essay) Theme(s): Great Depression, children, growing up, poverty Opening line/sentence: “Most of the pictures in this book were created by a dedicated band of federal photographers who fanned out across America during the 1930s and tried to capture with their cameras the heartbreak and hope of the national crisis known as the Great Depression.” Brief Book Summary: This book is a collection of pictures showing what life was like during the Great Depression. It shows what it like was like for the average American family in the 1930s. It shows the horror and heartbreaking truth of that point in United States history. Professional Recommendation/Review #1: Publisher’s Weekly Freedman, author of the Newbery Medal–winning Lincoln: A Photobiography , tackles the Great Depression with the same flair as he does in his previous books. He creates a vivid visual picture of what life during the period was like for children with pictures from esteemed Depression-era photographers, such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Russell Lee, and incorporates abundant quotes from real children, including the particularly poignant experiences of African-Americans, who were "the last hired and the first fired." Freedman also lightens the mood with humorous touches, such as one girl's letter to Eleanor Roosevelt in which she requested a loan and "solemnly pledge[d] to pay you back within 2 years." From Hoovervilles—the ramshackle settlements on the outskirts of cities—to migrant families forced out of their homes by a "black blizzard" of dust, to boxcar kids who took to the nation's rails to escape deprivation at home, Freedman captures the historical scope of young lives during the Great Depression. His portrayal is at once bleak and uplifting, painting a picture of children without food because, in the words of one girl, "It's my sister's turn to eat," but also of young Americans determined to survive. The book's final pages assume a sanguine note, reminding readers that these children were courageously optimistic. They found joy in little pleasures, such as the movies and their favorite radio shows, and never stopped believing that that life would be better one day. Ages 9-up. (Nov.) Professional Recommendation/Review #2: Kirkus Review In this magnificent volume, superb photographs by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn and others help to tell the story of the Great Depression. Every spread includes either a full-page photograph or several smaller shots. Great use is made of letters, diaries and memoirs to tell the story so beautifully complemented by the photographs. Freedman is a master of the photo-essay, and this is one of his best. More wide-ranging than most histories of the era, this tells, in clear and simple prose, the story of dust storms, soup kitchens, Hoovervilles, kids at work, kids on trains, popular culture and the beginning of WWII. Chapter notes are thorough, and the selected bibliography includes some of the best resources for young readers. An excellent companion to other fine photo-essays on the period, such as Elizabeth Partridge’s Restless Spirit (1998) and This Land Was Made for You and Me (2002). (Nonfiction. 9+) Response to Two Professional Reviews: The first review talks about even though the book can be bleak it is also uplifting, which is not something I thought about but now that I read it I see that it is true. The second review gives other books that go with the topic of the Great Depression that also have great pictures like this one does. Both reviews talk about what an amazing job the book does of painting a picture of the time. Evaluation of Literary Elements: There are a lot of words in this book, and it would not be a great book for early readers but the main focus of this book is the photographs. The black and white photographs in this book capture the emotion of the Great Depression. They really show what it was like living through this terrible point in history in the United States. Consideration of Instructional Application: This would be a great book to use in conjunction with a lesson on the Great Depression. Although there are a lot of words, you could use the pictures alone to teach about the horror of the Great Depression. I think as a class we could take pictures of what life is like now and compare it to what life was like living in the United States in the 1930s. The Great Depression was a major part of American history and this book would be good to introduce it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Serena

    Russell Freedman illuminates the lives of the American children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. The book starts off by explaining what exactly this book is dedicated for during the Great Depression; the children. Many of the photos in this book originate from a dedicated band of federal photographers who fanned out across American during the 1930’s. They capture the heartbreak and hope of the nation during this rigid time. Information about the New York Stoc Russell Freedman illuminates the lives of the American children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. The book starts off by explaining what exactly this book is dedicated for during the Great Depression; the children. Many of the photos in this book originate from a dedicated band of federal photographers who fanned out across American during the 1930’s. They capture the heartbreak and hope of the nation during this rigid time. Information about the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street and the beginning of the depression is discussed in the first chapter. The relationship between the children and money are touching to read about. Most kids understood what was happening during this time and wanted everything to be able to help their families. A nine-year-old even wrote to the First Lady, “I[‘m] always sorry, because I’m still very young and can’t help out.” I know when I was younger and saw my mother working two jobs to support my brother and me, I wanted to help her out anyway that I could. I was too young to make much of a difference so school was the only thing I could do. Children during the Great Depression definitely felt the struggle to live on the incomes that were so meager during the 1930’s. A child named Robin Langston comments that his parents could no longer pay the one dollar electric bill. It is amazing how aware children were during this time and how even today children can not be sheltered from such tragic times. Freedman continues to describe interviews with children during the Great Depression. “Another time my brother went around to the grocery stores and got them to give him meat for his dog- only he didn’t have any dog. We ate that dog meant with the potatoes...I went to school hungry and came home to a house where there wasn’t any [heat]….” It is more impactful when a child describes a terrible time than an adult I believe. It almost, if not all, takes away a true carefree childhood for that child. When they know what it is happening it does not seem fair for them to have to grow up so fast. I believe Freedman did a great job in deciding to go with the perspective from children. It adds a dimension readers usually don’t see in history. Reading about how the child asked for dog food really touches your heart on how hard it was for children during this depression and even for today’s children going without food. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, letters, and other firsthand accounts, Freedman describes the struggles in school, the work children did, boxcar children, and the little entertainment that could be bought. When it came to schooling, there were many problems that hinder the learning process. Teachers were laid off for the lack of money that could be earned. By the end of 1930, hard times had forced some three million young people between the ages of seven and seventeen to leave school. A lot of these pupils dropped out because they could not support themselves while in school, they had to find jobs to help support their families, the schools did not have enough money to supply free textbooks and transport, and for many they lacked money to buy shoes and warm clothes for the winter months. Schools all across the country were crippled by the economic crisis, states Freedman. Even though it was really bad during this time, I think people need to realize when they are reading these stories that it is still happening today. Children do not get the proper education because they do not have food to eat so have to help support their families other ways. There are children that do not have clothes or shoes to even go to school let alone afford textbooks and supplies. Even so, life had its bright spots—like favorite games and radio shows—and many young people remained upbeat and optimistic about the future. With little to no cost, children could save up for a ticket to the Saturday afternoon movies, get free ice cream, or listen to the radio. These were the same things that made all the difference to these children. I know when things are going rough, it is always good to have a little laugh and enjoyment and forget about the current situations. These children definitely needed these happy moments in their lives during the Great Depression and even in today’s society. When you can clear your mind of your hunger stomach or lack of clothes, it makes life a little easier to live. This is a great book to read if wanting to learn more about Depression-era young people.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    Summary Children of the Great Depression is a nonfiction story about the children who were affected by the great tragedy of the Great Depression. This story recaps what made these children strong throughout this horrible period of time in their lives. Evaluation I found this story very interesting. You never really learn about the children and what happened to them during a certain event, when you learn about these time periods. In this story you do and that is what makes it so interesting. Teac Summary Children of the Great Depression is a nonfiction story about the children who were affected by the great tragedy of the Great Depression. This story recaps what made these children strong throughout this horrible period of time in their lives. Evaluation I found this story very interesting. You never really learn about the children and what happened to them during a certain event, when you learn about these time periods. In this story you do and that is what makes it so interesting. Teaching Idea This would be a great book to at to a social studies Great Depression unit text set.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kenidee Bronner

    I though this book was really good because the pictures explained how it was and what the kids really felt during this time period. I would recommend this to anyone who likes history and likes to have pictures with their books.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Kelly Benabderrahman

    Russell Freedman’s conversational tone highlights the Great Depression and Depression-era children’s lives with prose that engages the young and old alike. Illustrated with photographs by the likes of Walker Evans, this informational book shows, through visual texts and light, easy-to-comprehend prose, the world of the box car kids, the city kids, the migrant farm workers, the strugglers, the world of children whose schools shut down, the children of parents who had all but given up on the world Russell Freedman’s conversational tone highlights the Great Depression and Depression-era children’s lives with prose that engages the young and old alike. Illustrated with photographs by the likes of Walker Evans, this informational book shows, through visual texts and light, easy-to-comprehend prose, the world of the box car kids, the city kids, the migrant farm workers, the strugglers, the world of children whose schools shut down, the children of parents who had all but given up on the world. He explains the economic crisis itself in understandable terms, and outlines the struggles that Depression-era children faced, the hardships of their families, and the sadness and gloom that plagued a collective childhood in which people didn’t know what it was like to not be poor. Oh, but there were joys as well. Freedman knows how to temper the bitterness with something sweet, and we find within the pages of this book the things that young people loved as well: favorite radio shows, games, ways to pass the time, the hopes that children clung to and dreams that they shared. And he does this with a richness that can only come from the way he shares the works of the federal photographers employed by the FSA (Farm Security Administration), of a neatly organized shopping list and statistical table of average wages, and through quoting first-hand accounts of the struggles of families who lived through the disasters associated with the economic crisis of the Great Depression. My grandfather, Hughbert “Flip” Kelly, had told me about his childhood leading up to his joining the Civilian Conservation Corps (a childhood in which boys went to school less and less because only girls were allowed to ride the bus), and then the Army, but I don’t think that anything can prepare a reader for the utter helplessness of the tragic humanity captured in the photographs that fold seamlessly into Freedman’s prose here. His way with words is incredible, and he is able to put those photographs into context. Last summer, I was fortunate enough to see some of the photographs that are in this book in person at a special show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I was surprised at how small they actually are in print, and doubly surprised at how much more detail one can see in the real prints. I think this book is a gem, and can be useful for teaching research techniques, for enrichment across curriculum, and now and then, for a good cry.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ebookwormy1

    Most authors approach the Great Depression and the culture of the 1930s as two separate subjects. The strength of Russell Freedman's work is that it combines the two. The book also seems to unconsciously illustrate class differences during the Great Depression. This may also be why many books separate the economic situation (both the Depression and the Dust Bowl) from the culture of the 1930s. Upper class kids are resented for their stability and find it hard to connect with others, but some als Most authors approach the Great Depression and the culture of the 1930s as two separate subjects. The strength of Russell Freedman's work is that it combines the two. The book also seems to unconsciously illustrate class differences during the Great Depression. This may also be why many books separate the economic situation (both the Depression and the Dust Bowl) from the culture of the 1930s. Upper class kids are resented for their stability and find it hard to connect with others, but some also are concerned over lack of ability to buy new clothing, purchase graduation rings or have special family photos. Middle class kids talk about putting up the automobile, feeling hungry, leaving school to get a job to help out, or either job loss, job demotion or long term job seeking by their parents. Through the eyes of these kids who feel the press of downward mobility, but are able to have the stability of home, we learn about the experience of radio, the draw of the movie house, and the various jobs kids used to do to try to either send in money for radio program themed toys or attend the Saturday cinema showing. Meanwhile, the poorest of families lose their homes and end up in Hoovervilles, on the rails, or moving across states in hope of finding better, with the lowest becoming migrant workers. The horrors of the dust bowl play are large part in their experience. Although the narrative of chapters uneven in it's interest and scope, overall the book does a good job of giving us various perspectives on the Great Depression and the 1930s through first person accounts and the wonderful photographs one expects from Freedom. The book ends with a recognition of the incredible accomplishments and fortitude of the generation of children that lived through the Great Depression. It also highlights government interventions, praises Roosevelt while acknowledging there were detractors and states that it was World War II that pulled the country out of the despondence. This is standard fare. What it DOESN'T ask is: Did the actions of the government prolong the great depression and only cease when Washington became distracted by war?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Devon

    LIBS 642 Junior Book Log Informational Source: Textbook pg. 293 & 297 Children of the Great Depression is a powerful information book created for young readers to explore and interpret what life was like for many Americans in the 1930s. The books author, Russell Freedman, uses influential photographs that were mostly captured by federal photographers, working to capture the heartbreaking era that was America's Great Depression. These photos are then followed by actual accounts of life during the De LIBS 642 Junior Book Log Informational Source: Textbook pg. 293 & 297 Children of the Great Depression is a powerful information book created for young readers to explore and interpret what life was like for many Americans in the 1930s. The books author, Russell Freedman, uses influential photographs that were mostly captured by federal photographers, working to capture the heartbreaking era that was America's Great Depression. These photos are then followed by actual accounts of life during the Depression from children of the era. The short captions connected to the photos and stories are quite unnecessary, with the major impact that the photos and stories bring themselves. The stories coincide with historical facts embedded by the author, giving readers a complete understanding and knowledge of America's Great Depression. I was very inspired by this book, as the photographs and stories really tugged at my emotions. I never thought that I could feel so connected with a time in history that I was never able to experience myself, but Freedman was able to really bring me into the book. I would recommend this book for elementary students learning about this era in history as it is much more engaging, informative and influential than any history book chapter I have ever encountered on the subject. I think that students could benefit highly from a book like this, as could many adults interested in the subject. I would really love to read more informational book by this author, as I have heard this is a style he often create his works in. I think this book would also be a great example for a project idea to have students capture their own life history with photos and stories from the era they live in. A class book could then be created from the individual projects and students in the "future" could look back and see what life was like for them.

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