Breaker Boys

Dewey: 331.3'10973
This title covers these subjects:  Child labor -- United States -- HistoryCoal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania -- HistoryLabor

Breaker Boys: How a Photograph Helped End Child Labor (Hardcover)

by Michael Burgan

Compass Point Books
Little boys, some as young as 6, spent their long days, not playing or studying, but sorting coal in dusty, loud, and dangerous conditions. Many of these breaker boys worked 10 hours a day, six days a week all for as little as 45 cents a day. Child labor was common in the United States in the 19th century. It took the compelling, heart breaking photographs of Lewis Hine and others to bring the harsh working conditions to light. Hine and his fellow Progressives wanted to end child labor. He knew photography would reveal the truth and teach and change the world. With his camera Hine showed people what life was like for immigrants, the poor, and the children working in mines, factories, and mills. In the words of an historian, the more than 7,000 photos Hine took of American children at work aroused public sentiment against child labor in a way that no printed page or public lecture could.

Reading Level: 5-7
Interest Level: 5-9
Lexile Level: 1020L
Accelerated ReaderATOS Level: 7.1
AR Points: 1.0
AR Quiz Number: 145331
Early Intervention Level: 30

ISBN:  9780756544393 / 0-7565-4439-4
Publisher:  Compass Point Books
Brand:  Compass Point Books 4-8
Copyright: 2012
Language: English
Page Count:  64
Page Dimensions:  9 1/4 x 10 1/4
Binding:  Reinforced Library Binding

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Other sets that include this title:
Captured History $50.98 
Captured History $152.94 
Captured History $203.92 

This title is also available in these formats:


Pennsylvania School Librarians Association - Michael Burgan

Each entry examines a historical event in the context of an iconic and instantly recognizable photograph (e.g., migrant mother in the Great Depression, raising of the American flag at Iwo Jima). The books discuss how the photograph (and other photographs from the time) informed or inspired the public, moved the government to action, or otherwise helped bring about social change. Professional, pleasing, and neat in appearance with large-sized font and striking photos, each book includes four chap


Reading Today Online - Barbara A. Ward, Washington State University Pullman

The use of photography to document history is the guiding theme of this series from Compass Point. In this particular volume the photos of Lewis Hines from the early 1900s and his visual witness to the child labor atrocities drove the movement to change these horrible conditions for children. Beginning with the heart-stopping oversized photo on the cover of the book, the story of child labor in the United States unfolds.

March 27, 2013

School Library Journal, "Core Essentials: 20 Outstanding Nonfiction Books for th - Kathleen Odean

Photographs can change history. So contends this and other entries in the valuable “Captured History” series. Breaker Boys’ straightforward text focuses on a 1911 photograph by Lewis Hine of a group of boys who sorted coal at a Pennsylvania mine for 10 hours a day. The four chapters discuss coal mining, children in the mines, Hine and his work, and the slow changes in child labor laws. Students will be able to identify the structure as cause and effect, and analyze the role of the four chapters. They can also look for sentences and paragraphs that develop the idea of the political influence of photographs. To extend the topic, have students find more Hine photographs about child labor at the Library of Congress website or that can be used in presentations.

May 1, 2013