Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dangerous Jane

Dangerous Jane

Suzanne Slade
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Peachtree Publishers, 2017   ISBN: 978-1561459131

Jane Addams had a life of comfort in the home that she shared with her father, but the loss of her mother and the handicaps that she acquired after she got sick meant that she was a sad and lonely child, the ugly duckling who did not fit in.

One day Jane went for a ride in the carriage with her father, and they journeyed through a part of town where the poor folk lived. Here the homes were rundown, and the people were thin and careworn. Jane wished that there was something that she could do for the families she saw, and she decided there are then that when she grew up she would “buy a big house to share with people in need.”
When Jane grew into a young woman, she decided that she wanted to go to college and have a career that would allow her to help others. After graduating top of her class, she set off to visit countries in Europe so that she could expand her horizons. In England she saw the same destitute poor that she saw everywhere, but in London she also visited a settlement house where poor people could “help themselves” by getting “skills, confidence, dignity – a new start in life.”

Jane decided that she would create a similar establishment in the United States and so she sailed for home. She found a house in the city of Chicago, found money to turn the building into a home, and set up Hull House.

At Hull House poor people could come and get the help that they needed to start afresh. Word of Jane’s work spread, and she soon she was something of a celebrity; a much loved personality whose work was greatly admired and appreciated.

Jane was already doing so much for people in need, but when World War I broke out she took up a new cause; world peace. Tirelessly she worked to get women together so that they could talk about how they might stop the war. Jane had fought suffering in the cities and now she wanted to stop the suffering that came with war.

This wonderful picture book biography tells the story of one of the world’s great women. Through the narration and the gorgeous artwork we see how Jane never stopped trying to make the world a better place.

At the back of the book readers will find further information about Jane Addams and her work.