Audacity - Melanie  Crowder It's been ages since I read a novel in verse, so I wasn't sure how I would feel about this before I started it. (I think my last verse novel was read about 13 years ago :/ ) I also made the mistake of skimming over a few reviews before reading it, and was worried I would end up hating it. I shouldn't have worried, though, because I loved it.

I can understand--I think--why some people don't like the format, but it worked very well for me. I think there's something about a story told in verse that's actually less flowery and poetic than a lot of novel-novels tend to be. It's more concise and each poem drives things home a little harder. That might just be me and my experience, though.

Before I read this, I'm not sure I'd heard of Clara Lemlich. Her story and photographs look familiar, though, so I'm thinking I might have come across her name at some point. Either way, her story is a powerful one, and I think this book should find its way into the hands of more people.

I've had to delete and re-write this a few times because I keep getting way off track of reviewing the book, and onto rants about what we're taught in school (or, rather, what we're not taught about), so I think I need to wrap it up.

Clara's story is painful and depressing at times, but it's also inspiring and moving. There's a bitterness to it, but the hope shines through. I obviously wasn't around in the early 20th century for the strikes and the suffrage movement and all that, but I can't imagine the women like Clara--the women who helped change and shape history for so many people--could have done what they did without at least a glimmer of hope. And a firm belief in what they were doing to better the lives of themselves as well as others. The will and hope and heart of Clara and others like her are not things that should be forgotten. Their stories should be told, because without them, change would have taken so much longer, or not come about at all, and they were so important. Too important to be so easily ignored and forgotten.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. When I reach the point of teaching my kid about all this (early 20th century history), I'll most likely be checking this book out again as part of our curriculum for it.