Maria Takes A Stand

Monday, January 12, 2015
But even as she spent hours that evening at the kitchen table writing, Maria decided that if God hadn’t made a mistake, perhaps it was the people around her who were wrong. In what she’d read of the Bible, she found nothing about girls not walking on silts – or not going to the dump for that matter. Who made all the silly rules anyway? Perhaps when she got a little older, she could help change a few.

Maria thought about that. Children having to fight to earn a few coins to be able to eat each day… It just wasn’t right. Then there were all those rich people, like the ones who owned Northwest Consolidated, where Papa worked. Rich people like Evelyn’s and Cathy’s parents. People like that could buy food for these boys with the money they spent on just a year’s worth of collar stay. Something wasn’t right.

Book: Maria Takes a Stand: The Battle for Women's Rights (Sisters in Time Book 18) by Norma Jean Lutz, Barbour Publishers, 2004

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 9-15
Subjects: Women’s Rights, Poverty, Social Justice, Bullying, Prejudice, Showing love to others, WWI
Summary: 1914 is not a good time to be a German living in the United States, especially a girl, especially when you’re not wealthy! The difference between the rich and the poor, between the male and the female is quite evident to twelve year old Maria who wants to be able to do paper routes and go explore the dump and walk on stilts like her brothers. It’s also quite evident to her younger sister who longs to have just one dress that’s nice and not a hand-me-down from Maria who is quite hard on clothes. As Maria gets one of her wishes and begins walking the streets for a paper route with her brothers she becomes more aware of how rough conditions are for young orphans or families who rely on employment from the big industries – the industries that keep reducing hours or wages. Social justice issues are at the forefront of her mind so when she gets a chance to help her aunt with the suffragettes cause she jumps in whole heartedly. And when she gets the chance to help the poor boys on the streets she jumps in so fast she risks her life!
Notes: Maria Takes A Stand is the eighteenth in the Sisters-In-Time series. This series features young girls living at various key points in American history, particularly around the wars. It always places the girls right at the edge of the teen years, coming of age.  The concept of the series it to not only show a glimpse of history, but to help young girls feel that the people back then weren’t that different than the people today.
Maria Takes A Stand takes place in 1914 and focuses on the historical movement of the social justice cause – women’s rights, labor unions and improving conditions for children on the streets. It’s also set at the beginning of World War I and includes the historical event of the sinking of the Lusitania. Consequently it also shows how Americans felt about Germans at this time.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

James 1:27 - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


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