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The Factory Girls: A Kaleidoscopic Account of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
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The Factory Girls: A Kaleidoscopic Account of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The twentieth century ushered in a new world filled with a dazzling array of consumer goods. For the first time in American history, fashion could be mass produced. Even the poorest immigrant girls could afford a blouse or two. But these same immigrant teens toiled away in factories in appalling working conditions. Their hard work and sacrifice lined the pockets of greedy ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Zest Books (first published March 30th 2017)
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This YA nonfiction read is well-organized and crafted and offers insight not only into the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster -- something YA has a couple of nonfiction titles covering -- but it also looks at the political, social, and economical factors at the time which contributed to it. It really is a kaleidoscopic account and gave some fascinating insight into the ways young girls protested for fair labor, the way certain rich women helped support these girls, and even why it was that the ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This is one of the better YA nonfiction books I’ve read. It was really quite good. I personally got very skimmy the last 4 chapters. I don’t think that’s the books fault, I think it’s mine. I was going to write a big review for this too, but my will gave out. I’m so sorry. I really liked how she painted a big picture of all the different cultural factors in American society and the world at large which lead to the fire. Summary: capitalism is 🎶the wooooorst🎶 when she mentioned the ‘insult to inj ...more
Anita Boeira
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This was a hard book to read, but so interesting on its multi faceted approach of telling the history of the triangle shirtwaist factory. Reading about those people lives without making connections to the world right now, is impossible. I always appreciate how Seifert expands on difficult conversations, and I really enjoyed this book. My favorite so far!

And also a shout out to her publisher for picking such an awesome designer to layout the book and the cover. It's gorgeous.
Esther Kotyk
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Factory Girls, written by Christine Seifert tells of the terrible fire that took place in The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in 1911. She looks into the lives of five brave women that fought to survive the fire and truly gives a kaleidoscope into the political, social, and economic factors that led up to the fire. Seifert gives insight to the lives of the working class citizens, the bold girls that protested for fair labor, and even the wealthy women who supported the protests during the Gilde ...more
Daniel Loendorf
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was a decent book. The beginning talks about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. It was a fire that began on the 8th floor from a lit cigarette that was thrown in the trash. It killed about 145 workers most of them being women. Most of the women were immigrants coming from all around the world looking to start a new life in America. They were looking for a job and the Shirtwaist Factory was a good starting job. The factory conditions were very bad. The owners treated the workers with ...more
Seifert's book covers it all in a short amount of time. Not only does she profile a handful of girls who either lived or died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire but discusses political action, the court case involving the two owners, the dawn of factory work and in that ready-to-wear clothing, immigration, unions, corruption, and contemporary stories that provide examples that history continues to repeat itself. There is much to learn and much to digest in this slim volume. But I learned qu ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

I remember studying the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire way back in the fifth or sixth grade. It's stuck with me since then, so I snapped this up off the shelf at my library right away to learn more about it. I really enjoyed Seifert's contemporary, conversational tone; it felt like a close friend was sitting me down and telling me the story directly. Her dedication and care into this topic is palpable on the page.

I also appreciated the insight into how class, xenophobia, and gender
Dec 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, nonfiction
This is a decent nonfiction look at the Triangle fire for younger teens. It's written in a very slangy contemporary style which might not hold up well in a few years, and it's unfortunately plagued by typos that should have been caught by an editor, but the information is well organized and presented in a way that holds your attention. I would probably direct older teens or those with stronger reading skills to one of the Triangle histories published for adults if they have interest in this area ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author did a fantastic job at describing the political and societal atmosphere before, during,and after the fire. I went in strictly wondering what the lives of the workers of the factory consisted of . By the end I felt I had a full picture of life and, society in America around the time of the tragedy. My only critique is I wanted to know even more about the particular women activists, survivors and victims mentioned. Overall a fascinating read.
Interesting from beginning to end! I'm impressed by the workers' resilience and fighting spirit. Nice to pair with Audacity by Melanie Crowder; Lost by Jacqueline Davies; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; The Jungle by Uptown Sinclair.... Includes realistic ideas on what the reader can do to affect change in the world of clothing manufacturing. ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: popsugar2018
This is a really strong middle grade history. The writing style is very contemporary, so it may not age well in sections. The references and the bibliography are solid, so the book would do really well for a history unit.

For the causal reader it was a great refresh on a period in History that's really flown over.
Annie Oosterwyk
The story of the labor movement during the early 1900s and how the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire affected change. The author shows the reader how today’s labor climate in many ways echoes the time just prior to the fire and provides ways consumers can use their buying power to also affect change, hopefully without a comparable tragedy.
Super list of resources at the end of the book.
Kimber Buelow- 561 Bookgirl
A fascinating and shameful period in time, told in a clear, constructive, and understandable manner. By giving voice to the girls while explaining the political and business backdrop, the author has made the scene come to life and to create parallels to today's world. ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
The title was a bit misleading, the actual factory girls were a small percentage of the book. By trying to explain how it could happen and why it still happens the author perhaps bit off more than she could chew and digressed into the didactic.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Good insight into the fire and factory workers of the time. Author is very opinionated about religion, and politics of the time and that shows throughout the book. Overall I enjoyed the book and learned a great deal about the fire and the young girls who worked for the factories.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was good and very informative, but I wish it had talked more about the girls themselves and their lives. I really enjoy reading about the girls during this time period.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, 2019
Lots of interesting background info. on way the times were like around the time of the fire.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-s-history
Decent, maybe a little condescedning/dumbed down to the reader at times. A quick read.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow! Powerful look at a tragic event. I've read historical fiction accounts about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, but never a non-fiction account. This book was well-done. I liked reading about the event from the different accounts, and the way that the author wrote, this book was clearly well-researched. This is a must-read for students who are interested in factory work, life in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and those who worked to change factory conditions.
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May 23, 2020
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Connie Gordon
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Jul 22, 2017
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. There was a lot of information here about the factories, the time period, and the fight for workers' rights.

It's also a great example to show how something nonfiction can have a distinct point of view (very progressive). Sometimes kids think that nonfiction is just "facts" but we need to be able to understand the author's purpose and point of view to truly understand the text. Whether we agree or disagree with the point being made, we need to teach kids to see there IS one there.
Sabrina Horrack
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Jan 23, 2021
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Janelle Gilmore
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Mar 09, 2018
Lian Mei
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May 19, 2021
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I'm a fan of taking long walks on sunny days, browsing through the library on Saturday afternoons, and eating popcorn for lunch. I am a native North Dakotan, a professor at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, and author of some books: Factory Girls (YA nonfiction, 2017 Zest); Whoppers: History's Most Outrageous Lies and Liars (YA nonfiction, 2015, Zest); Virginity in Young Adult Literatur ...more

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