This picture book chronicles the travels of Lewis Hine, who used his camera to document child labor in the 20th century
Stunning visuals and poetic text combine to tell the inspiring story of Lewis Hine (1874–1940), a teacher and photographer who employed his art as a tool for social reform. Working for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), Hine traveled the country, taking pictures of children as young as five toiling under dangerous conditions in cotton mills, seafood canneries, farms, and coal mines. He often wore disguises to sneak into factories, impersonating a machinery inspector or traveling salesman. His poignant pictures attracted national attention and were instrumental in the passage of child labor laws. The Traveling Camera includes extensive back matter with timelines, original photographs, and a bibliography.
“Incorporating Hine’s voice and some of his actual words (signaled with italics) into her free-verse monologue, Hinrichs highlights both his purposes—“I want to show their hard work / their hard lives” and also “their spirit. Because / the human spirit / is the big thing / after all”—and his methods of getting past suspicious factory overseers and of connecting with child workers in settings from cranberry bogs and canneries to coal mines. […] A searching picture of a pioneering social crusader.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Written in short, free-verse stanzas, the book’s first-person text includes phrases and sentences from Hines’ writing, indicated with italics and used effectively to bring his poetic voice, his gentle humor, and his constant empathy for working children into the narrative. […] An appealing introduction to a notable American photographer/reformer.” – Booklist
“A beautiful and heartwarming book—I give it my highest recommendation.” – Kate Sampsell-Willman, author of Lewis Hine as Social Critic
“Lyrical writing combines with charming illustrations to deepen the reader’s engagement with Hine and the children he cared about. The Traveling Camera offers a way of looking at history as a confluence of art, activism, and social change.” –Uma Krishnaswami, author of Book Uncle and Me and Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh
“This book is stunning, both in words and pictures, truly a snapshot of history.” – Jane Yolen, author of Owl Moon, Devil’s Arithmetic, and I Am the Storm