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When Rose Nolan arrives on Ellis Island as a seventeen-year-old Irish immigrant, she is looking for a land of opportunities; what she finds is far from all she'd dreamed. Stubborn and tenacious, she refuses to give up. Left alone to fend for herself and her younger sister, Rose is thrust into a hard-knock life of tenements and factory work.
But even as she struggles, Rose finds small bright points in her new life—at the movies with her working friends and in the honest goals of her mentor, Gussie. Still, after her exhausting days as a working girl, Rose must face the confusion of balancing her need for simple fun with her more wary feelings about joining Gussie in her fight for better working conditions.
When the devastating Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 rushes into Rose's life, her confusions are brought to an all-too-painful head. To whom and to what can she turn when everything around her is in ashes?
Sharp, poignant, and stirringly real, MJ Auch has written a powerful historical novel that is hard to put down.
MJ Auch is the award-winning author of One-Handed Catch, Ashes of Roses, Wing Nut, Guitar Boy, and numerous other books for young readers. She lives in upstate New York with her family.