Book Review: Threads and Flames

Book Review: Threads and FlamesThreads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Published by Viking Juvenile on November 25th 2010
Pages: 390

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.


Set during the early 1900s in America, the book follows an immigrant character looking for her older sister who came over a few years earlier. Raisa has come over with her little sister Brina and must find work while she continues to look for her older sister. Ending up with work in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, she witnesses the tragedy of its fire. A moving and realistic plot, I fell in love with this novel. This time period in American history has always fascinated me and Friesner did a fantastic job writing this novel.

I just ate up little Brina's character. Raisa herself is a strong character who doesn't give up and keeps leaving with hope that one day all three sisters will be reunited.

Final Verdict: Fans of this time period in history will enjoy this novel.

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