Saturday, October 16, 2010

January 1905 by Katherine Boling

January 1905
January 1905 is a short novel written for readers 10 years old and up. It took me an hour and a half to finish with only 170 pages. This story follows twin sisters, Pauline and Arlene, as they struggle to see the world through the others eyes. One sister works in a Cotton Mill with her family for 13 hours per day while the other one works at home maintaining the house because of a disability. Neither one of them think they have anything in common until an accident at the Cotton Mill brings them together.

Author, Katherine Boling, was inspired to write this short novel after seeing pictures of working conditions of children in the early 1900's. This story reminds me of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry in the way that it tells an important part of history through children's eyes. I could see this book being used in schools as a way to enhance a history lessons about early America and how labor laws were created.

This book actually reminded me of my mother and my aunt. They didn't work in Cotton Mills, but there is a portion of the story that talks about playing "Jacks". My mom and my aunt are "Irish Twins" meaning they were born within the same year, 10 1/2 months apart to be more specific. On a recent family gathering they met up at Cracker Barrel and partook in a good old game of Jacks. This is the image I thought about while reading...I thought maybe this is what Pauline and Arlene would have looked like when they grew up...still together, still playing Jacks.

This is the first book that I completed from my list for the Fall Reading Challenge hosted by A Southern Daydreamer Reads.


  1. What a good review of January 1905. You totally make me want to go out and get this book. It sounds like a sweet, sad, realistic portrayal of life back then. I'd be interested in reading it. Great review.

  2. Great review and ideas for incorporating the book into US History Curriculum (why is that word so hard to spell?!)

    Thank you so much for stopping by Holyoke Home!

  3. Sometimes it is the simpliest things that make the best memories ;) My jacks sit in a clear box on my desk and everytime I look at them it makes me smile ;) I also have a mini album that I've been working on that shows all the wonderful games we played OUTSIDE as
    OMG...I started it in August 2008...ha! ha! I blogged about it way back then:

  4. Hi Girlfriend
    I see that you were asking about 5 question friday. I have a ad banner on my blog, click that and it should take you to the site to do it. You can choose when and if you want to do it. Usually Thursday night she has the questions available and then you go on her site on Thursday and get you link connected. Have fun. Try and do it early though the list gets to be over 100.. LOL Kath'

  5. Great idea! That would be an inexpensive way to organize them too! Thanks so much!

  6. Thanks for the book review. I ordered the book from the library to take along with me on my trip to my niece's wedding in California.


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