Saturday, September 14, 2019

Audacity by Melanie Crowder

Audacity is a YA historical fiction book about the real life story of Clara Lemlich. A Jewish refugee fleeing Russia, Carla came to New York with an eagerness to read and write English, against her families' wishes. Carla is forced to endure harsh conditions at a shirtwaist factory whilst trying to help her family put food on the table. Carla couldn't stand how the women were being treated and with her newly acquired English skills, she created a union for women workers and fought for equality and safety in her new country. She is known today for organizing The Uprising of the 20,000, a strike that revolutionized the rights of a female in the workplace.

My favorite thing about this book is how it is written in free verse poetry. This choice was extremely fitting given that Carla didn't know much English, so naturally poetry would be easier to write than sentences and paragraphs. Crowder is seriously an incredible poet! Her endless similes fly off the page and the extensive inner dialogue lets me see into Carla's heart.

Carla's inner turmoil was extreme. She believed in her duty to be educated to defend her gender and stand up for worker's rights but at the same time she wanted desperately to be a doctor and go to college. By defying the female stereotype and role in a household she was hurting and betraying her family. Every protest or stance for a long time earned her vast beatings and broken ribs. At such a young age Carla went through so much and saw things that couldn't be unseen. She had an incredible amount of tenacity and a fearless determination that truly made a difference for millions of lives.

In history classes at school I learned about the New York shirtwaist strike of 1909. I learned about the sweatshops and child labor and the extreme maltreatment and abuse of young women, but it was entirely different and electrifying to practically see it happening right before my eyes. Audacity is inspiring in not only advocating the importance of education but the importance of always standing up for what's right. Lemlich proves that even the smallest voices can make a huge difference, and that women are just as powerful and significant as men.

I highly recommend this book!

Title: Audacity
Author: Melanie Crowder
Publisher: Philomel Books
Pages: 400
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

1 comment:

  1. Clara Lemlich sounds like an amazing person, i'll be sure to read this book! Thanks for the rec!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...