Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

EconKids Home Book of the Month November 2007. Mary Smith / by Andrea U'Ren

November 2007. Mary Smith / by Andrea U'Ren

Mary Smith
Author and Illustrator: Andrea U'Ren
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0-374-34842-1
Year: 2003
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 2.5

Concepts: interdependence, jobs, human resources, economic history

Summary: In the days before alarm clocks, people like Smith had an important job in England-they were "knocker-ups," hired to wake the townsfolk for a few pence each week. The opening archival photograph establishes the woman as a historical figure, hand on hip, aiming a peashooter. What follows is a colorful tale of one day in her life, told with energetic prose and delightfully bold color illustrations. The peas hit windows: "TOCK! TOCK! TOCK!" "PLIK PLOK!" "CLICK CLACK SNAP!" rousing the laundry maids, the fishmonger, and the sleepy mayor, who sums up the contribution of the woman's humble work to the functioning of the community: "Without you- everyone would still be asleep in bed, no one would be working, and I wouldn't have a town to run-because everything would be shut down!"

Source of Summary: School Library Journal

How to Get This Book