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Publisher's Summary

As a child, Emma Malloy left isolated Coal River, Pennsylvania, vowing never to return. Now, orphaned and penniless at 19, she accepts a train ticket from her aunt and uncle and travels back to the rough-hewn community. Treated like a servant by her relatives, Emma works for free in the company store. There, miners and their impoverished families must pay inflated prices for food, clothing, and tools while those who owe money are turned away to starve.

Most heartrending of all are the breaker boys Emma sees around the village - young children who toil all day sorting coal amid treacherous machinery. Their soot-stained faces remind Emma of the little brother she lost long ago, and she begins leaving stolen food on families' doorsteps and marking the miners' bills as paid.

Though Emma's actions draw ire from the mine owner and police captain, they lead to an alliance with a charismatic miner who offers to help her expose the truth. As the lines blur between what is legal and what is just, Emma must risk everything to follow her conscience.

©2015 Ellen Marie Wiseman (P)2015 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great history

If you have ever visited Jim Thorpe, PA and have visited the historic jail, then you have walked into the jail/gallows scene in the book. Very gripping. Helpful fictional account of the true motivation of miners' strikes and the push for child labor laws.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Sappy!

I wouldn't waste my time!

Predictable middle and ending. Skip it I had to read for book club

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great subject - soapy story

This is a very painful chapter in our history that not all people know about. Would have had s greater impact had the story been s little less soapy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best book I've listened to all year.

This book was awesome. I didn't want it to end, you can't go wrong with this one.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not my Favorite narrator

Sometimes narrators make the book. Other times, they don't. Read this as a hard copy. I liked the story just not the narrator.

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Great listen.. the last hour and a half

I found this a bit hard to follow in the middle, you know, when you are listening but realize you haven't been listening? A little redundant and I had to backtrack some to catch myself back up. Loved the end, however, and enjoyed it overall once it was finished.