Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Tanya Lee Stone
Illustrator: Kathryn Brown
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Jane Addams was a wealthy young woman who dreamed of making a difference in the lives of impoverished people in her hometown of Chicago. She opened a settlement house called the Hull House in a poor part of town. She opened Hull House doors to anyone and everyone. Jane taught skills, held clubs, instructed classes, and fed those in need. Later, when people needed a public bath and a safe place to play, Jane made sure the commodities were built. After many years, a total of thirteen buildings helped transform the community. Jane Addams’s childhood dream came true and she became the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
In The House that Jane Built: A Story about Jane Addams, the detailed illustrations were created with watercolor and pen and ink on watercolor paper. The images beautifully portray the difference a little love made in the lives of young children and families in Chicago through Jane Addams’s efforts. This book will inspire readers of all ages to be aware of the issues around them and inspire them to make a difference. Readers will hopefully open their eyes and understanding and see impoverished people in a different light. It is important that children recognize that their dreams can come true, no matter how big they may seem, if the right effort and heart is put into the project. Even one person can influence those around them and do so much good.