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Bread and Roses, Too

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,609 Ratings  ·  267 Reviews
2013 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award

Rosa’s mother is singing again, for the first time since Papa died in an accident in the mills. But instead of filling their cramped tenement apartment with Italian lullabies, Mamma is out on the streets singing union songs, and Rosa is terrified that her mother and older sister, Anna, are endangering their lives by marching against the corru
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 12th 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published July 28th 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rana Heshmati
Nov 08, 2013 Rana Heshmati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rana by: Masoomeh Tavakoli
Shelves: رمان
صفحه 111:
اما اگر مرده بود, دیگر چه اهمیتی داشت که کجا کار می کرده...
This is a lovely story that deals with the Lawrence Massachusetts mill workers' strike in 1912 that is associated with the song "Bread and Roses". I've always found the song very stirring--especially as sung by Judy Collins.

I was surprised to find a novel written from the perspective of two children about this event. I found the viewpoints of Jake and Rosa very believable.

It's a book that isn't just about the strike. It's about the role of education, ethnic identity and the meaning of family.

Tara Chevrestt
This was a very good YA historical novel. It tells about the Lawrence Strike of 1912. Factories cut the work week back two hours, depriving already hungry and cold families of a couple of badly needed loaves of bread.

We see both sides of the fence so to speak. Rosa is against the strike even tho her mother and sister are a part of it. Her teacher is partly to blame for Rosa's doubts. Also, Rosa is worried that her mother will get hurt or worse, murdered because the strike does get out hand a fe
Katie Wendell
Dec 12, 2013 Katie Wendell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: A younger sibling
Recommended to Katie by: Mrs. Phillips
Shelves: ela-honors
Bread and Roses,Too is a great book about two kids and their different yet very similar lives through the 1912 Lawrence Labor strike. This historical fiction novel showed the many hardships and challenges children living in Lawrence, Massachusetts had to overcome. The daily struggle of the logistics of the strike, safety, and your life were all things the two main characters, Rosa and Jake had to face.

Throughout the book there were some moments I couldn't put it down and other parts through w
Carefully crafted tale about two children caught up in the Lawrence, MA mill workers' strike of 1912, based on fact. The girl is Rosa, from a struggling Italian immigrant family. The other is Jake, a native-born who has learned to steal and lie to survive. The children are sent to Barre, VT to stay with sympathetic families during the turbulent strike, where each one learns a life lesson about themselves.

I loved the two characters and how they represented two victims of the workers' strike. We c
Nov 11, 2012 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sweet-and-sour
If you enjoy historical fiction, this book is really good! The two main characters are Jake and Rosa, children who live in Lawrence, MA, during the historical period of the bread and roses mill strikes.

At first I thought this was a book of different short stories because of the chapter titles such as "Shoe Girl" and "The Best Student" and "The Beautiful Mrs. Gurley Flynn" that sounded unrelated. However, each chapter provided more insight into the lives of the main characters and the trials the
Mar 23, 2010 Elaine rated it it was ok
Jake at 13, use to work in the mills but now there is a strike going on. His father who doesn't work, takes Jake's money to buy booze and beats Jake. Jake is fed up with the beatings and lives where he can. Most of the time, on the streets but also at the shoe girl's house and sometimes in one of the two local Catholic churches where he takes coins from the money box. He's tried more than once to go back to work but gets stopped by the strikers.

Rosa lives with her mother, sister, brother and bo
Ellie Frazier
Dec 13, 2013 Ellie Frazier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is into american history
Recommended to Ellie by: my teacher
Shelves: ela-honors
Bread and Roses too was a great book about two young kids with two very different backgrounds. Their similarities and differences all make up the unique relationship that these two characters develop.
This book takes place in the time period of the Bread and Roses Strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Jake and Rosa, the two main characters, are both living in Lawrence during the time of the strike. The strike affects Jake and Rosa in two very different ways but it all works out in the end.
Rosa is
Oct 06, 2007 sweetsweetclem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewedbooks
Bread and Roses, Too is about a girl named Rosa and a boy Jake, two different people who met once in an alley where Jake slept. They live in a place where many people are going on strike because of the little pay they recieve at the Mills.

Rosa is a good school girl without a father, who knows better, but is caught up in the strikes. Her mother and sister go along with the crowds of people striking. Jake, a boy who lives on the street, works at the mills, and gets beaten by his alcoholic father,
Dec 16, 2008 Gigi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this historical fiction for young readers, recommended by my daughter, who chose to write about it for a school assignment. Interestingly, she focused on the Italian-American and Roman Catholic background of one of the main characters, rather than on the book's recounting of the early 20th century Labor movement.
(N.B., I was frustrated by a tantalizing typo within the final paragraphs of this hardcover edition: a 3-line paragraph was included twice, and about the same number of lines o
Audrie Estrada
Personal Reaction:
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I liked it especially because it could become very relatable in some parts of the book and when you can relate on a personal level you can enjoy the book so much more. All the while, you are learning about an actual time period in history and learning about the facts during that historical moment and you don't even know because you are so into the book.

Purpose/Use in the classroom:
- I would definitely say that this book should be a read aloud be
Caycee Hatchette
Personal Reaction-I really enjoyed this book. I think any children’s historical fiction is great for students to be able to see harder concepts brought to life in ways that make sense to them. I also think that this book is a really good book for students to think deeper about different aspects of their lives and see if they can compare and contrast to that of Rosa’s.

Read Aloud- This book is geared towards students of the upper elementary grades (fifth to sixth) and I would relate to a social s
Paige Cedergreen
Personal Reaction: I liked this book, it was very sad to see Rosa’s family struggle to survive on their
little pay from the textile mills. I think it makes a topic that could seem distant to students more
relatable by explaining how her family’s low socioeconomic status can affect other parts of Rosa’s life. I
think it causes students to imagine how they would handle things if put in this situation.

Independent Reading: I could use this as either an independent reading recommendation or a read alo
Aryana Ahmad
1. Personal Reaction: When reading this story I found it to be kind of boring. It felt as if the story wasn't getting anywhere, but when the story started going (the last 100 pages) started to become more interesting. When Rosa and Sal got shipped off to Vermont it became more interesting. I don't think a lot of little kids would be interested in reading this story.
2. Purpose/Use in the classroom: The genre of this story is considered historical fiction. This book could be used for a history les
Mackenzie Sipes
I think this was a great historical fiction novel. I thought it was really sad but had a lot to say about the historical time period. It was about the Lawrence Strike and my favorite thing was they showed both perspectives of peoples thought on it. It showed a side of poverty that people faced during this time.It shows the hardship that these people had and how they solved it.

Curriculum: I think fourth graders could enjoy this book and understand what these kids are going through. I think a less
Lenise Jones
Dec 05, 2014 Lenise Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libs642
Paterson, Katherine (2006). Bread and Roses, Too New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
SLJ Book Star Review September 2006
Kirkus Book Star Review August 1, 2006
Historical Fiction
Junior Book Project
Historical fiction set in 1912 during a mill strike. Rosa is a young girl, concerned about her mother and older sister who are on strike due to the poor condition of mill workers; little pay for food, rent and a way to stay warm. During the strike, she meets a homeless boy, Jack who is doing anything to s
Lexus Beedy
Personal reaction:
While I didn’t particularly fall in love with this book, as it seem to continuously drag along; I do see curriculum connections that could be useful by incorporating this book. As it clearly fits in a history lesson and meets many criteria’s for evaluating historical fiction, you can also use Bread and Roses, Too to continue to develop on literary elements such as plot structure and developing characters.

Katherine Paterson is the author of Bread and Roses, Too along wi
In Lawrence, MA, the immigrant workers of the wool mills go on strike to demand better wages and conditions. The story focuses on two young teens: Rosa, who fears the consequences of her mother and sisterâs participation in the strike, and Jake, a mill worker and the son of an abusive, drunk father whom he escapes by sleeping in the streets. As the strike progresses, the worker parents decide to send their children away âœon vacationâ to be cared for by other families with the help of the union. ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
This was interesting since I didn't know much about the strike at the Lawrence mills. Now that I'm an adult, I hardly read young adult books anymore (Harry Potter and Hunger Games don't count) so it was a blast from the past to read such a simple book about good and evil.

However, now that I'm an adult, it would be interesting to read about this in a book written for grown-ups - I'm sure it would be complex.
Kristina Befort
Personal Reaction: I surprisingly loved this book a lot. I know that working conditions of this time were horrific and sometimes can be tough to read about, but the author described these conditions in a perfect way. She brought Rosa and Jake to life by giving realistic descriptions of their lives. As the reader, I thought these characters were very believable, and I gained a better understanding of working and living conditions of the time by reading this book.

Use in the Classroom:
Curricular Co
Sarah Crawford
Feb 03, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story based on an actual 1912 worker's strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The story is told from two viewpoints. One of them is Rosa, a girl in sixth grade and from an Italian family. Her father is dead, and her mother works at the mill. They have extremely little money and are basically on the edge of starvation.

The other character is Jake, a young boy whose mother is dead and whose father is a drunkard. Jake works at the mill also, but his father takes his paycheck to buy booze.

Oct 10, 2007 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. It takes place during the strikes in wool mills in Massachusetts. The main character is a young Italian immagrant named Rosa, who lives with her mother, sister, and little brother. Her mother sends her to Burre, Vermont on a train with other children, to live with a foster family during the strike.
Madelyn Adams
Personal Reaction:
I thought this was a good historical novel. It shares about the Lawrence Strike of 1912. There was times were I thought it was a little boring, however at others I could not put it down. It was interesting seeing the family dynamic in this story, because Rosa was against the strike but her mother and sister were joining the front lines.

I think book would be best for students to independently read in 4th or 5th grade. I think the vocabulary is appropriate for those gr
Yay for children's historical fiction. Maybe the kids learned something from this book.

Frankly, it bored me. I was not captivated by this book, yet I gave it two stars because I like the setting in time, and am fascinated by the 1900s strikes. Rosa annoyed me.

On to the next read
Feb 12, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have meant to read this one since it was published (when I still lived in Lawrence). I wanted a story to listen to at bedtime, this was available on Overdrive, I went for it.

I was a bit alarmed when I first heard reader Lorna Raver's voice, I thought I wasn't going to like her. I quickly warmed to her, though, because her accents (Scottish not withstanding, Duncan) were excellent!

I want to go back and reread Lyddie now as I seem to remember her leaving Vermont to work in the Lowell mills... F
As a descendant of New England mill workers and a fan of Paterson’s previous book on this subject (Lyddie), I had a keen interest in her work about the 1912 Bread and Roses strike, but this book didn’t satisfy me. Although the meager circumstances of home life are well represented, there is little information about the working conditions in the mills, so young readers will not fully understand the desperate circumstances that fueled the strikers’ passions. The informative historical note at the ...more
Alexa Benware
Dec 08, 2013 Alexa Benware rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gives off a radiance of hope and prosperity, that we all need in our lives. Just remember- a fire always starts with a spark. Amazing story, I practically had my hands glued to the book!
Lacey Bolen
Historical fiction has never been my favorite genre, but I found this book to be pretty interesting. I think this book would be appropriate for middle school age students (6-8th grade). This book would be best as either an individual read or small group reading. It could also be incorporated into a social studies unit involving the concept of unions and striking. Students could do a hands on research project in which they are assigned a situation and have to present their strike in their own app ...more
Abby Tetreault
Jan 05, 2014 Abby Tetreault rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-books
"Bread & Roses, too" is about two young characters from completely different back-rounds and personalities.
this novel is based around a strike in Lawrence set in 1912. As the strike tears up the city, two people are brought closer together.

Jake Beal(e) lives the kind of life where he would rather sleep in a garbage pile than his own bed; this is where he meets Rosa Serutti. Jake is a troubled young boy who is left to stealing the basic necessities of food, water & even whiskey for his

May 26, 2015 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A revolutionary tale of hardships, moral obligation, and frighting for what is right, Bread and Roses, Too is set in the industrial town of Lawarence, Massachusets, following a bright young girl who hopes for a better future and a desperate young boy with a dim life. Bread and Roses, Too is touching, deep, and a wonderful and raw insight into what it was like to be a lower-class laboror in 1912. The time line centers around the Bread and Roses strike for better laboring conditions in factories, ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Bread and Roses, Too 1 3 Jul 19, 2012 04:42PM  
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From author's website:

People are always asking me questions I don't have answers for. One is, "When did you first know that you wanted to become a writer?" The fact is that I never wanted to be a writer, at least not when I was a child, or even a young woman. Today I want very much to be a writer. But when I was ten, I wanted to be either a movie star or a missionary. When I was twenty, I wanted t
More about Katherine Paterson...

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