Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday 10.07.15 Jane Addams


I am excited to join Alyson Beecher and other friends in this weekly challenge.  Finding great nonfiction picture books isn't a challenge anymore, there are so many wonderful books to be read now!  The challenge is sharing them with as many people as possible so they can find this wealth of literature to share with our young readers.  Thanks to Aly for starting this weekly link-up and thanks to all who join in!  See all of the posts at kidlitfrenzy.

The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams
The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams
By Tanya Lee Stone
Illustrated by Kathryn Brown

This book has been on my radar for awhile, but I was waiting for it to come in at my local library.  However, after reading it, it's a must own book that I will soon be purchasing.  Seeing as it was written by Tanya Lee Stone, I should have known I would be buying it!

I'm embarrassed to say that I did not know who Jane Addams was.  Which is quite sad since I have lived near Chicago my entire life.

Jane Addams chose to make Chicago her home town.  And being the wealthy person she was, she could have moved into one of the many fine estates in Chicago.  However, since she was a little girl, she had noticed that not everyone lived like her family did.  She questioned this, but did not have an immediate answer.  This stayed with her as she grew up, and when she was older, she traveled to Europe.  In London she saw poor people begging for food that was rotten and bad, because that was the only thing they could afford.  She knew she wanted to change things.

When she returned to Chicago, she purchased a large home.  Not in an affluent area, but in the middle of one of the worst neighborhoods.  This home would be open to all.  People could come and work for their keep.  By working, they earned their meals.  She named this home, Hull House.  Everyone was welcome.  Even people who came to do harm by breaking things and stealing, were given jobs and things to do so they learned to earn their keep instead of stealing.

She continued to improve the neighborhood.  A public bath was made, a park for families.  Schools and after school clubs were started.  People came to teach and educate the children.  

This first community center in the area drastically improved the neighborhood and all that entered its doors.  As Stone said, "Today, every community center in America, in large parts, has Jane Addams to thank."

This would be an excellent picture book to add to:
* picture book biographies
* biography bin of strong women
* biography bin of people who changed America

I hope you pick this book up at your local library or bookshop!


  1. Michele - this looks wonderful. I have seen it on a few lists but now am excited to read more details.

  2. A perfect topic for nonfiction picture books. I love how these lesser (or never) known biographies now have a ready made audience teaching students and adults alike new aspects of history and lives lived..

  3. We used to learn about people like this, so now I wonder if not for these new picture books, how will children learn of the wonderful people who made a difference, started something good, so long ago? Thanks, Michele. This looks terrific.

  4. I think I've seen this one featured before and I definitely one to read this.

  5. I'll be honest, I've never seen this picture book, or heard about Jane Addams but I'm definitely inspired (and not just because her name was Jane....!) :) I love books that show kids how individuals with passion and determination can make a difference, and that making a difference, no matter how small, is a worthy goal. I shared a book by Tanya Lee Stone this week too, great minds think alike! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Now that we read your post, we will buy this book. Such an important book to show students how one person can make a difference.

  7. I loved this book so much I bought it for my classroom library. I pulled it out for a student during our EMPATHY unit. It's perfect.

  8. Very interesting. I haven't heard of this one yet. Have you read The House that Baba Built by Ed Young - sounds like they will be a good pair.

  9. Thank you for introducing me to this book. It looks fascinating!