Thursday, February 14, 2008

Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix

As one of my favorite thrill-evoking authors, Margaret Peterson Haddix has swayed from her norm in this novel, based upon the horrible Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy in the early 1900's. I was instantly intrigued at the topic, especially with Haddix being the author, however I think in the end I was left just a little disappointed.

Uprising is told through the eyes of three main characters, Yetta, an outspoken Russian Jewish immigrant, Bella, a young Italian immigrant, having just arrived in America, and Jane, a rich, spoiled American girl, considered of marrying age, yet still living under the watchful eye of her nanny. All three girls become intertwined though the novel, through the famous Triangle Factory strike, poverty, running away from family, and eventually the horrid fire that ravaged the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, leaving many dead due to poor and hazardous conditions within the factory itself.

Though very historically accurate and throughly explained, this book just lacked the spark (no pun intended) that all of Haddix's books contain. It was a little long in the sense that the strike took up 90% of the plot and the fire and aftermath only were described at the very end of the book. I was hoping for a little more on what the fallout was afterwards. The content was a little above middle grade level, which I do believe it is aimed towards, and though I'm sure middle grader's could read it, I think the story may do better with young adults.

I certainly still enjoyed the novel and will always look forward to reading books by Haddix. I may not have liked this one quite as much as her others simply because it was so different. Everyone needs variety though, even me!

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