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A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist

The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history

A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000.

Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.

Praise for AUDACITY:

A 2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
A Washington Post Best Children’s Books for April: Poetry Edition
An ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
A 2016 NCTE Children's Notable Verse Novel
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens
An ALA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
An ALSC Notable Children's Book nominee
A BCCB Blue Ribbon winner

* "Crowder breathes life into a world long past....Compelling, powerful and unforgettable." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "This book stands impactful addition to any historical fiction collection."--School Library Journal, starred review

* "With a thorough historical note, glossary of terms, and bibliography, this will make an excellent complement to units on women’s rights and the labor movement, but it will also satisfy readers in search of a well-told tale of a fierce heroine."--BCCB, starred review

* "This is an excellent title that can open discussions in U.S. history and economics courses about women’s rights, labor unions, and the immigrant experience."--School Library Connection, starred review

"Based on the true story of Clara Lemlich, Audacity throbs with the emotions of this exceptional young woman who fought for equal rights and improved labor standards in factories. Melanie Crowder’s verses spit out Clara’s rage, cradle her longing and soar like the birds that are her constant companions."--Bookpage
“Crowder’s (Parched) use of free verse in this fictionalization of Russian-Jewish immigrant Clara Lemlich’s life brings a spare poignancy to a familiar history.”--Publishers Weekly

"Brilliant, riveting, informative." —Cynthia Levinson, critically acclaimed author of We've Got a Job

Audacity is an evocative reimagining of a fascinating historical figure who should be remembered for her determination in the face of great odds and powerful opposition—and for her role in changing America. Melanie Crowder’s powerful verse reveals a long-past world, but the combination of hope and outrage that Clara Lemlich brought to her struggle should be both recognizable and inspirational to teen readers longing to right the injustices of our day.”—Margaret Peterson Haddix, critically acclaimed, bestselling author of Uprising

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About the author

Melanie Crowder ( lives on the Colorado Front Range where she is a writer and educator. She teaches English to non-native-English-speaking students at her local school and holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @MelanieACrowder.
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Additional Information

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Published on
Jan 8, 2015
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Young Adult Fiction / Girls & Women
Young Adult Fiction / Historical / United States / 20th Century
Young Adult Fiction / Novels in Verse
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Modern history unearthed as a boy becomes an innocent victim of corruption in Bolivia's crime world, where the power of family is both a prison and a means of survival.

It's 1999 in Bolivia and Francisco's life consists of school, soccer, and trying to find space for himself in his family's cramped yet boisterous home. But when his father is arrested on false charges and sent to prison by a corrupt system that targets the uneducated, the poor, and the indigenous majority, Francisco and his sister are left with no choice: They must move into prison with their father. There, they find a world unlike anything they've ever known, where everything—a door, a mattress, protection from other inmates—has its price.

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Praise for An Uninterrupted View of the Sky:
★ "Crowder delivers a disturbing portrait of innocent families trapped in corrupt systems, as well as a testament to the strength of enduring cultural traditions and the possibility of finding family in the unlikeliest places."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "Readers will feel utterly invested in Francisco's various challenges...A riveting, Dickensian tale."—Kirkus, starred review

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Praise for Audacity:
2015 National Jewish Book Award finalist
Washington Post Best Children’s Poetry Book
New York Public Library Best Book for Teens
ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
ALA Top 10 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
ALSC Notable Children's Book nominee

★ "Crowder breathes life into a world long past...Compelling, powerful and unforgettable."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ "[An] impactful addition to any historical fiction collection."—School Library Journal, starred review

★ "With a thorough historical note, glossary of terms, and bibliography, this will make an excellent complement to units on women’s rights and the labor movement, but it will also satisfy readers in search of a well-told tale of a fierce heroine."—BCCB, starred review

★ "This is an excellent title that can open discussions in U.S. history and economics courses about women’s rights, labor unions, and the immigrant experience."—School Library Connection, starred review
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