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The House That Jane Built: A Story about Jane Addams

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  953 ratings  ·  215 reviews
This is the story of Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, who transformed a poor neighborhood in Chicago by opening up her house as a community center.

This title has Common Core connections.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 23rd 2015 by Henry Holt & Company
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Lisa Vegan
I really admire Jane Addams. For a semester in college (in-between majoring in English literature and psychology) I took classes in sociology and studied her in depth. I either learned more from this book, or more likely relearned some of what I learned back then. She was a remarkable woman.

This is an excellent picture book, the picture book portion book fine as a read aloud picture book for 4 to 8 year olds, and the last portion, with photos and much more text, appropriate for independent
Gabrielle Carolina
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Now I absolutely have to know EVERYTHING about Jane Addams- that's how you write heroine fiction for children. Now I'm imagining reading this to all little my future-feminist babies and looking for the day when their eyes light up with how amazing this woman was!
David Schaafsma
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jane Addams inspired many children's and YA biographies, in addition to several adult biographies, many of which I have read. She won a Nobel Peace Prize and was once the most famous woman in the U.S., but had kind of faded from view until about fifteen years ago when there has been a surge of work about her that continues to this day. The best work I have read about her is Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy by Louise Knight and a close second is Jane Addams: A Writer's Life by ...more
What a great story about a wonderfully fascinating and powerful woman.
A picture book introduction about the community worker Jane Addams and the work she did to help the needy. Although this is a brief overview of her life and contributions, it does give a sense of why she is important. This will be an invaluable resource for discussing peace and justice issues with young readers.
SurLeFur ©
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story on Jane Addams can get shared over and over again in our classroom. We like how she shows respect for the people. Jane Addams is a good example of how people can accomplish all things as long as they work hard and always do their best.
With its lively text and anecdotes supported by illustrations created with watercolor and pen and ink, this picture book pays tribute to a woman who deserves every bit of attention that ever comes her way. The author relates some of the influences on Jane Addams, the founder of Hull House in Chicago. Addams was not one who spoke of acts of kindness and compassion without actions. Instead, she made sure that those in need could find food, shelter, work, and friendship. Inspired by a settlement ...more
Nancy Kotkin
Text: 4 stars
Illustrations: 4 stars

Picture book biography of Jane Addams. Focuses on her work building America's first settlement house. Watercolor illustrations depict the historical time period. An author's note in the back of the book provides more information and some photos of Jane. Bibliography included.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Before I read this book I didn't know anything about Jane Addams, the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Mimi (daughter, age 10) read it first and gave it 5 stars, and I have to agree! Beautiful illustrations enhance the wonderful history of this kind and determined woman. Now I know all about Hull House, the very first community center in the United States. The author's note at the end of the book is not to be missed. Here I learned that Jane was very outspoken, that her ...more
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"The House that Jane Built: a Story About Jane Addams" might be my favorite children’s book of all time. I had chills nearly the entire time I was reading it. The book beautifully describes the development of Jane’s compassion and empathy toward people who are not as fortunate as her, starting with events from her childhood, and then tells what she accomplished as a result of those experiences. Shocking family and friends, she moves into the heart of a very rough Chicago neighborhood. As she ...more
Nyapot Hogan
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Content-area crossover -Social Studies
Twin Text: Elizabeth, Queen of the Sea by Lynne Cox
This book is about an elephant seal who swam in the street shallow waters of Avon River where it flowed through the heart of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. Most sea elephants lived in salt water but not this one. The people of the town believed she was special. "She was strong and powerful and regal-like Elizabeth, the Queen of England." So they named the elephant seal after her. Naming her
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The House That Jane built is a Historical Biography of Jane Addams. It is an inspirational story about the life and work of First American woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. This book is packed with information and would be an inspiration for any of my students. It is also a great book to point out character traits to aspire to. I also enjoyed how this is a story about a strong female character that did this in times where women were not encouraged to go to college, own property or be as ...more
Apr 07, 2018 added it
Shelves: week-5

Jane Addams is my new hero! This book taught me so much about a woman who's name I had heard of, but knew nothing about. Jane Addams was a well-off woman who created the first 'community center' by acquiring a large home in Chicago and living a radical life of generosity and trust. With this, she was able to create a place where children and families in need could thrive. She, and those who helped her, paved the way for centers such as these that give children a way to learn and a
Jane Addams was a wealthy young woman at loose ends when she witnessed crushing poverty in London and remembered how similar conditions existed back in her home. She visited a settlement house while she was abroad and returned to Chicago full of ideas and energy to recreate something similar for her fellow citizens. When she selected the initial building - Hull House - for her own settlement house, its owner wound up donating it to her after she explained her mission. Jane and others taught ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had so many wrong assumptions about this book! For instance, I thought this was about the wife of John Adams (despite the difference in spelling) which just goes to show how amazing I am with history. Luckily, this book kept showing up on lots of NFPB posts and I was intrigued. I'm so glad I picked it up because what Jane Addams did through Hull House (and other things mentioned in the Author's Note) is something I want to help happen in this world. People coming together to build a community- ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story of one woman's idea and path to changing the world.

I had never heard of Jane Addams before, but I'm going to have to look up more about her as this was a cool story that obviously only scratched the surface! Though not a life path that every reader can take, still a neat way to see how somebody had an idea, researched and got more information, built on it and helped change the lives of those in need.

No content issues, though a family death is part of Jane's struggle and a burglary

Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
This was a fantastic book to share with my 7yo (first grade). It was simple and short, but the message was strong: there are things everyone can do to make the world a better place.

I also read this with my 5yo and while it was a good read with beautiful illustrations, the message wasn't quite as clear for her. It was a good reminder for me to pick up some picture books for the older kids still, when we are moving on to longer books, because sparking the conversation is the first step to effect
Hannah Jane
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: easy-nonfiction, buy
What a fascinating story about an amazing lady. This is one of those books that makes me want to read more, not just about Jane Addams, but also about the Woman's Peace Party and her tenement houses. The story in this is wonderfully condensed for the audience it's trying to reach and such a tease for anyone wanting more information. I thought the blurb about her in the back was just as excellent as the book.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a great introduction to Jane Addams and the founding of Hull House. Addams social reforming and activism benefited many people, and this, although focused on just Hull House, reflects that. Of course I wish there could have been more info about those who were also instrumental in Hull House, or on Addams’ Nobel Peace Prize or being a founding member of the NAACP and the ACLU, but there’s only so much room in a picture book. :) The art was not really my style, although it is well done.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Describes Jane Addams desire to help the poor and her idea to begin Hull House in a bad neighborhood in Chicago. A nice introduction into some of the work that Jane Addams did and contains an informative author's note and list of sources.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jane Addams was a girl born into comfort and wealth, but even as a child she noticed that not everyone lived like that. In a time when most women were not educated, Addams went to Seminary. When traveling with her friends in Europe she saw real poverty and then also saw a unique solution in London that she brought home with her. In Chicago, she started the first settlement house, a huge house that worked to help the poor right in the most destitute part of town. Hull House helped the poor find ...more
Ivy Wesner
Stone, Tanya Lee. The House That Jane Built. Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2015. 40 p. Gr. K-4.
Jane Addams was a remarkable woman. When Jane was just six years old, she noticed that not everyone lived the way she did. At that moment, she vowed that one day she would “live in the midst of horrid little houses and change the world!” Her father did not believe that woman should not receive an education and sent Jane to school. After she graduated at the top of her class, she did not know what to do
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
i. A concise summary (4-5 sentences) of the book: This book follows a true story of a woman in Chicago named Jane Addams who was determined to make the world a better place. Learning from her father and appreciating her life as a wealthy woman, her father was able to allow her to read and grow while giving her a strong education. After his passing she takes his teachings and fortune and helps develop a place for underprivileged people in Chicago to come, find work, have a warm meal and room over ...more
Scarlett Graglia
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-21-30
A wealthy young woman named Jane Addams moved into a lovely, elegant house in Chicago, Illinois. The lovely house was right in the middle of one of the filthiest, poorest parts of town. Growing up, Jane noticed that everyone lived just like her family did, wealthy. She vowed that one day she would live in a high poverty part of town to "fix the world." Jane was very smart; she graduated from Rockford Female Seminary being the top of her class. Jane named her house the Hull House, and she
Lesley Colin
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the story about Jane Addams and her desire to change the world for the better. When Jane was young, she noticed that not everyone lived an extraordinary life like she had. Because of this she promised herself that she would do everything in her power to help out the poor. One day she took a trip to Europe where she came across the same types of poor and struggling communities. After visiting one of the settlement homes in Europe she knew that she wanted to do something like that back in ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
She co-founded the Women's Peace Party and was elected it's president, She was a founding member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). She wrote hundreds of articles as well as 11 books, including her memoir Twenty years at Hull House. She worked for the Women's Sufferage Movement, advised several president, and was a founding member of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NaAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) The ...more
Christy Cryer
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Twin Text: Hold Fast by Blue Balliet, 2015

Rationale: In Hold Fast, Early and her family become homeless after her father mysteriously disappears. As the Pearl family tries to make their way through the Chicago shelter system, Early struggles to make sense of her new world. At one point in the story, Early notices the numerous empty buildings in the area around the shelter and wonders why they aren't used to create homes. This creates a natural tie to the story of Jane Addams, who did exactly
Knowing only the very basics about Jane Addams when I opened this book, I became apprehensive when one of the first spreads describes 6-year-old Jane going on a trip with her father, observing poverty and vowing to do something about it one day.
"Uh oh, is this going to be a tale of a privileged white woman 'saving' poor people?" I wondered to myself.
There's nothing wrong with the impulse to help people less fortunate than you, but in my experience, viewing things from the lens of pity leads only
Jessica Blonder
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The House That Jane Built: a Story About Jane Addam
By Tanya Lee Stone
No awards
Grades: 2-5
Summary: The book follows the life of Jane Addams. When she was younger she when on a trip and saw lower class people and promised to help them one day. As she was growing up, she studied and went to college. When she graduated, her father died and she became lost. Seeing the less fortunate in London, helped her remember the promise she made. Jane moved to Chicago and settled in a big house in a very poor
Jennifer Strong
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, 2016, to-buy
From a young age Jane Addams wanted to help the poor. She opened up a "settlement house" in Chicago on September 18, 1889 and welcomed anyone who came through the door. She fed the hungry, educated children, gave jobs to those in need, built a playground, opened the first public bath house, a gym, a coffee shop, an art gallery, a theater and a music hall. Her work helped thousands of people lead better lives. She truly turned a "bad neighborhood into a great and strong community."

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Tanya Lee Stone is an award-winning author of books for kids and teens. Her work, which includes YA fiction (A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl), picture books (Elizabeth Leads the Way and Sandy's Circus), and nonfiction (Almost Astronauts and The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie) has won national awards such as the ALA's Sibert Medal, SCBWI's Golden Kite Award, YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction, Jane ...more