Threads and Flames (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Illiterate and speaking only Yiddish, Raisa travels from her small polish village to New York city in search of her older sister, Hendra, and a new life. Raisa "adopts" a younger girl, Brina, whose mother dies on the rough voyage. Penniless in NYC, 1910, Raisa and Brina live with the Kamensky family, while Raisa works as a seamstress at the triangle Shirtwaist Factory and, surprising herself, falls in love with Gavriel Kamensky and learning to read. The Asch building (housing the triangle Shirtwaist Factory burns in March of 1911. 146 of the locked in workers die, and bereaved families lives are turned upside down. All are enraged by the "not guilty" verdict in the trail of the building owners. Months of searching for the missing Gavriel and Hendra nearly destroys Raisa's spirit, until a lucky break turns the tables toward realized dreams! 

— From Jane


It's 1910, and thirteen-year-old Raisa has just traveled alone from a small Polish shtetl all the way to New York City. It's overwhelming, awe-inspiring, and even dangerous, especially when she discovers that her sister has disappeared and she must now fend for herself. She finds work in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory sewing bodices on the popular shirtwaists. Raisa makes friends and even-dare she admit it?- falls in love. But then 1911 dawns, and one March day a spark ignites in the factory. One of the city's most harrowing tragedies unfolds, and Raisa's life is forever changed. . . .

One hundred years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, this moving young adult novel gives life to the tragedy and hope of this transformative event in American history.

About the Author

Nebula Award winner Esther Friesner is the author of more than 30 novels and 180 short stories. She lives in Madison, Connecticut.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780670012459
ISBN-10: 0670012459
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 24th, 2010
Pages: 400
Language: English