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The House That Jane Built: A Story About…

The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams

by Tanya Lee Stone

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I loved reading this book. This story talked about a wealthy young girl who was educated and went to college which was abnormal for women of the time. Though Jane was wealthy, she was not blind to the poverty that he saw around her daily. Rather than ignoring this poverty, she decided to do everything she could to help those who needed it. This book teaches young children that you should always help those less fortunate than you. It teaches children the importance of being grateful for what they have and using what they were lucky enough to have to help others in need. Jane is a wonderful role model for young students in schools. ( )
  tmclau7 | Oct 31, 2017 |
Why have I never heard of Jane Addams?! What an amazing woman. I honestly just assumed that this was going to be a book about the President's wife, and some nice First Lady thing she did.
Nope. Not even related (although I should have known that from the double d in Addams).
I want to learn more about this woman! ( )
  mollypitchermary | Oct 11, 2017 |
The story, The House That Jane Built, has a main character, Jane who was determined to improve the lives of those who live in poverty. Jane began her dream by educating herself through school, studying, and traveling. She eventually was given a house in an impoverished neighborhood of Chicago that remained unlocked for people to come and go as they needed. She helped raise awareness of the struggles of poverty stricken people and ended up being the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for her amazing efforts. ( )
  MaiaBlaise | Mar 15, 2017 |
In 1889 Jane Adams moved into a big beautiful and elegant home in Chicago. However instead of moving into a beautiful neighborhood that would match her home, she moved into a poor a filthy neighborhood in town. Although many would think she was crazy for this, Jane did this because she vowed from an early age that she was going to help those in need. Her selfless love and dedication to helping the poor made Jane who she was, an incredible woman who was the first woman to receive a Noble Peace Prize. ( )
  KatieSauter | Mar 15, 2017 |
Jane Addams (1860 – 1935) was the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States. She was also someone who never took the easy way out, in spite of being born into a prosperous and well-connected family. (Her father, a bank president and an Illinois State Senator, was a friend of Abraham Lincoln.)

Jane received a good education and had traveled, bringing away from her experiences dreams of helping the poor. She and her friend Ellen Gates Starr co-founded Hull House in Chicago to serve as a neighborhood center for those in need. This book for children gives the highlights of her experience with Hull House.

As the author writes:

“People who didn’t have enough to eat or had no shoes on their feet or had just lost a job began to find their way to Hull House.”

When Jane saw new problems in the neighborhood, she added on to Hull House to address them. She put in a public bath, and turned the lot next door into a playground. She started morning kindergarten and after-school clubs for kids whose parents had to work long days.

She kept adding buildings to the complex; by 1907, there were thirteen buildings, including a gym, coffee house, theater, and community kitchen. Residents of Hull House conducted research on conditions plaguing the lives of the poor, ranging from problems with housing, disease, garbage collection, to drugs.

Stone reports that by the early 1920’s:

“. . . more than nine thousand people a week visited Hull House. . . . It changed a bad neighborhood into a great and strong community. Hull House transformed the lies of all who stepped inside.”

Today, as Stone observes, every community center in America owes something to Jane Addams.

The ink and watercolor illustrations by Kathryn Brown feature muted tones that suggest a period in the past, and show plenty of images of the diverse groups of children helped by Hull House.

An Author’s Note at the end of the book has some additional information about Jane Addam’s life, including the fact that she was called “the most dangerous woman in the America” by the FBI, and about her work for women’s suffrage, civil rights, and pacifism. The back section also includes photos and a list of sources.

Discussion: This is a book about one woman who really did make a difference in the world around her. Often, stories about exceptional Americans have a subtle agenda, i.e., to make the point that what you make of yourself is entirely up to you and your failures are your own. This removal from a socioeconomic context allows the perpetuation of the American story that anyone can make it to the top in our society. But in fact, money, education, connections, neighborhood resources, and of course race, not to mention physical and psychological attributes, play a large role. Nevertheless, this does not mean it isn’t worthwhile to examine the lives of those who used the assets they had to change the world. Certainly it would have been easy enough for Jane Addams to live a life of comfort and leisure. Instead, she chose to change the world.

Evaluation: Jane Addams was an incredible woman who knew neither fear nor discouragement. Her inspirational story is one about which school children should be aware. It is recommended for readers ages six and older. ( )
  nbmars | Mar 4, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805090495, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:14:50 -0400)

"Ever since she was a little girl, Jane Addams hoped to help people in need. She wanted to create a place where people could find food, work, and community. In 1889, she chose a house in a run-down Chicago neighborhood and turned it into Hull House--a settlement home--soon adding a playground, kindergarten, and a public bath, By 1907, Hull House included thirteen buildings. And by the early 1920s, more that nine thousand people visited Hull House each week. The dreams of a smart, caring girl had become a reality. And the lives of hundreds of thousands of people were transformed when they stepped into the house that Jane Addams built"--Jacket.… (more)

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