Emily Makes A Difference

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Leaving the Minnesota Building, Emily overheard a well-dressed middle-aged woman say to the woman beside her, “This fair seems a horrid waste of money. There are so many people out of work in the country. The money spent on the fair buildings would be better spent helping them.”
The woman beside her agreed.
Guilt settled down on Emily’s shoulders like a heavy cape. Maybe I shouldn’t be enjoying this trip to the fair when boys like Frank and Erik have to work, she thought.

Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 9-15
Subjects: Poverty, Family Relationships, Perseverance, Chicago Fire, World Fair
Summary: “Why can’t you be more ladylike, the way your sister is?”. Emily is so sick of hearing those words! It seems like she just isn’t good enough because she’s not her sister. Emily doesn’t want to act like a young lady. She wants to run and play and explore the way her cousin, Ted, does. When one of her latest escapades lands her in danger and a newsboy, a street kid, rescues her she experiences her first encounter with the hurting occurring in the world due to poverty. A trip to the World Fair opens her eyes even further and she determines to make a difference, but how? She’s just a twelve, almost thirteen year old girl. What can she do?
Notes: Emily Makes A Difference is the sixteenth 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.
Emily Makes A Difference is set in 1893 during the time of the world fair, Chicago fire, and some of the worst poverty. Emily has a relative who owns a bank and sees firsthand the scare that comes from runs on the banks. As a family who is more well off than many, she experiences the difficulty between fearing for her own family and wanting to help those suffering even worst. When she decides to do what she can to help, she learns of the sacrifice that comes – going without a new dress or a vacation.  The spiritual element is Emily learning from the women’s suffrage movement the idea of doing whatever you put your mind to. She learns that the Bible promises all things can be done through Christ who gives strength and prays for knowledge of how to help the suffering in her community, even when her friend doubts it will work.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

1 John 3:17-18 – If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.


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