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Uprising – Margaret Peterson Haddix – Historical Fiction
Three teens, a horrible fire, and one survivor.
Life is hard for two of these teens, employed by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City in 1911. Bella is an Italian immigrant who doesn’t speak English. Yetta, a Russian immigrant, wants better working conditions for all. All employees, including Bella and Yetta, work under horrible conditions – the hours are very long, sometimes the clock is turned back so they have to work even longer, their pay is reduced for the slightest mistake, and they have to be frisked when they leave each evening to make sure they aren’t stealing anything. As conditions worsen, Yetta leads the employees’ efforts to strike and meets rich-girl Jane on the picket line, who is supporting women’s suffrage. Through a twist of events, the girls become friends and are all in the locked factory on March 25, 1911, the day of the horrible fire. As 146 people lose their lives, only one of the three teens survives.
The Memory Book – Lara Avery – Realistic
What would you do if you were losing your memory? Deny it? Let depression take over? Try to prevent it from happening?
Sammie, an extremely talented high school senior, faces this challenge when she is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder she shares with her deceased grandmother. She will lose her memory, slowly at first, then her health, and finally her life. This is tough news for a 17-year-old. But she isn’t going to go down without a fight. Sammie decides to carry on with her plans to win the national debate championship, give the valedictorian’s speech at graduation, and enter NYU in the fall to fulfill her dream of becoming a lawyer. In addition, she writes a memory book to her future self so she will be able to remember who she is, what she is trying to accomplish, and all the important people and events in her life. What would you include in a memory book if you were in Sammie McCoy’s shoes?