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The Traveling Camera: Lewis Hine and the Fight to End Child Labor

Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs, illustrated by Michael Garland

This poetic and beautiful picture book chronicles the travels of Lewis Hine, who used his camera to document child labor in the early twentieth century.

Stunning visuals and poetic text combine to tell the inspiring story of Lewis Hine (1874–1940), a teacher and photographer who employed his art as a tool for social change. Working for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), Hine traveled the United States, taking pictures of children as young as five toiling under dangerous conditions in cotton mills, seafood canneries, farms, and coal mines. He often wore disguises to sneak into factories, impersonating a machinery inspector or traveling salesman. He said, “If I could tell this story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug a camera.” His poignant pictures attracted national attention and were instrumental in the passage of child labor laws. The Traveling Camera contains extensive back matter, including a time line, original photos, and a bibliography.

Ages six to nine.

Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs is the author of Thérèse Makes a Tapestry (Getty, 2016). She holds master’s degrees in US history and library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Michael Garland is a New York Times best-selling author and illustrator of forty children’s picture books and has illustrated more than fifty books by other authors.

“A compelling primer on art as activism.”
Publishers Weekly 

“A well informed and exceptional picture book biography of a remarkable man and his contribution to changing America's attitude towards the use (and abuse) of child labor.”
Midwest Book Review

“Be sure to get your hands on this beautiful book—biographies in verse are rare, and this one is especially wonderful.”
—Mary E. Cronin

“Picture perfect. Demonstrates the power of a picture and how one person’s call to action can change lifetimes. It’s both engaging and informative—and stunning.”
—Kim Chaffee and Kirsti Call, Picture Book Look podcast

“Hinrichs does an excellent job of bringing Hine and his work to life for kids today. Illustrator Michael Garland does a beautiful job with his combination of digital and traditional pastel and sepia-toned paintings, many of which are “snapshots” of the scenes behind Hine’s photographs.”
—Lynn Rutan and Cindy Dobrez, Bookends Blog

“An appealing introduction to a notable American photographer/reformer.”
—Carolyn Phelan, Booklist

“A beautiful and heartwarming book—I give it my highest recommendation.”
—Kate Sampsell-Willman, author of Lewis Hine as Social Critic

“Lyrical writing combines with charming illustrations to deepen the reader’s engagement with Hine and the children he cared about. The Traveling Camera offers a way of looking at history as a confluence of art, activism, and social change.”
—Uma Krishnaswami, author of Book Uncle and Me and Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

“This book is stunning, both in words and pictures, truly a snapshot of history.”
—Jane Yolen, author of Owl Moon, Devil’s Arithmetic, and I Am the Storm

“A searching picture of a pioneering social crusader.”

“An excellent purchase for all libraries.”
—Tracy Cronce, School Library Journal

 “The text is lyrical and evocative, and I am in awe of how seamlessly author Alexandra Hinrichs wove words written by Lewis himself (in italics) with those she invented based on his “many letters, reports, and photo captions.” The result feels authentic and is filled with both heart and humor.”
—Gabi Snyder,

“The historical accuracy . . . is outstanding.”
The Maine Edge

44 pages  
10 x 9 inches
20 color illustrations and 32 b/w photographs
ISBN 978-1-947440-06-7

Getty Publications
Imprint: Getty Publications