cover image Bread and Roses, Too

Bread and Roses, Too

Katherine Paterson, , read by Lorna Raver. . Listening Library, $39 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-3107-1

Raver masters an impressive range of character voices—from recent Italian immigrants to America, to worried or wisecracking children and a shrill, know-it-all schoolteacher—in this recording of Paterson's novel about a historic 1912 labor strike in the Lawrence, Mass., textile mills. When her widowed mother and older sister join the strikers at the mill, young Rosa is sent temporarily from her family's tenement apartment to a foster family in Vermont for safekeeping. On the journey she discovers that an orphan boy from her town has stowed away on the train and wants to pose as her brother in Vermont. As the children adapt to—and later confess—their fib, listeners glean a wealth of historical background about the strengths and struggles in communities of Italian and other European immigrants in New England at that time. Paterson's story comes full-circle nicely, but lacks the strong character development and a certain drama that would make it a more compelling listen. Ages 10-up. (Nov. 2006)