The Traveling ­Camera: Lewis Hine and the Fight to End Child Labor

Getty. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781947440067.
Gr 3-8–In this biography of Lewis Hine, readers see that he documented the human spirit in the form of photographs, or Hineographs, as he called them. He is known for photographing children who labored to help their families make ends meet during the early 1900s when child labor laws were not enforced. Born in Oshkosh, WI, Hine knew firsthand what it was like to have to help the family financially after his father died at a young age. Hine worked in horrible conditions, trying to keep food on the table for his two sisters and mother. The picture book begins with Hines as an adult traveling across the United States using his box camera to document children who are working in mills and fields. Beautiful illustrations, which appear to be a mix of digital and traditional media, bring the story to life. Hine visits factories, farms, and mines where children are laboring day and night in terrible conditions: “At the cotton mill I tell the overseer The Company sent me to take pictures of broken machinery. He believes me, lets me inside.” Whatever it took to get inside the mill or factory to take his pictures, Hine would do it. His aim was to share his photos with the world, to make them, “sick and tired of the whole business, to make child labor pictures records of the past.” Back matter includes a time line and photographs from Hine’s life and of his work.
VERDICT An excellent purchase for all libraries.

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