Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

“The story begins like so much else, with hope. Hope and dreams and daring.”

This is the story of three very different girls, leading different lives.

Yetta is the Jewish girl from Russia, living with her sister in a tiny room.  Jane is a rich, privileged, naïve girl. Her father owns a factory- the same factory where Yetta works for hardly enough money to live . Bella is the new Italian girl, sending money back to her homeland to feed her starving family. But then their worlds come down, with a single word. Strike. Strike. Strike.

Yetta is eager, a revolutionary, a fighter. She wants better pay and she does not want to be locked into the factory for a pittance.  Jane is intrigued by the commotion, and wants to learn more.  Bella does not understand what is happening- she speaks no English, and does not understand the strange country.

Then the world becomes darker, and darker still.  Bella’s cousin, her only family in this odd place, leaves, and she discovers her wages have been stolen by the owners of the boarding house- her family has been dead for weeks.  Jane discovers the truth about the factories her father owns, that her wealth is Blood Money, and wants no part in it.  The three girls become friends, slowly but surely, striving to survive in the cruel world, but can they change anything at all? And when disaster strikes, can they all survive?
Warning: this is a human face on the disasters of the mill fires of 1910. It is Sad, and it is True. The great mill fires were the worst work-place disaster until 9/11, but the worst part is, it might have been prevented. It could have been prevented, easily. Try not to weep.

Review by Naysomay


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