UP BEFORE DAYBREAK by Deborah Hopkinson
Kirkus Star


Cotton and People in America
Age Range: 9 & up
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“The voices of children weave through the story of cotton,” and the story of cotton weaves through the story of our nation. Drawing on oral histories from the Federal Writers project of the 1930s and the oral-history interviews with Lowell mill workers in the 1970s and 1980s, Hopkinson makes history come alive through the voices of the people. Real people’s stories are woven into a rich narrative of the history: clothmaking, the cotton gin, slavery, the Great Migration, the Great Depression and the continuing problem of child labor around the world. This volume, like the author’s Shutting Out the Sky (2003), is a model of superb nonfiction writing and how to use primary sources to create engaging narratives. The prose is clear, the documentation excellent and well-selected photographs support the text beautifully. What might have been a dry topic is lively, the voices of the children vivid and personal. (Nonfiction. 9+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-439-63901-8
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2006


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