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.
About the Author
Russell Freedman (1929-2018) received the Newbery Medal for Lincoln: A Photobiography. He was the recipient of three Newbery Honors, a National Humanities Medal, the Sibert Medal, the Orbis Pictus Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and was selected to give the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Mr. Freedman lived in New York City and traveled widely to research his books.
"Delivers concrete data with which to create a sense of the times...enhanced by...Freedman's many comparisons." HORN BOOK Horn Book
"Stirring photo-essay...eloquent...[Freedman's] signature plainspoken prose...'convey[s] in human terms the true meaning of economic statistics.'' BOOKLIST, starred Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"Another superb photo-essay by a veteran author. A wonderful, informed, and sympathetic overview...of this period." SLJ, starred School Library Journal, Starred
"Freedman captures the historical scope of young lives during the Great Depression...At once bleak and uplifting." -PW Publishers Weekly
"[A] magnificent volume...Freedman is a master of the photo-essay, and this is one of his best." -KIRKUS, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Plenty of primary-source testimony...Freedman offers an account within the reach and interest of middle-schoolers." -BCCB Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Freedman does an exemplary job of making a disheartening and complicated subject...approachable and engaging...a fantastic resource." VOYA VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)