The House that Jane Built

The House that Jane Built

Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano Books | 2015 | Ages 4 and up
Illustrated By: Kathryn Brown


The House that Jane Built
A Story about Jane Addams

"In 1889, a wealthy, young woman named Jane Addams moved into a lovely, elegant house. But instead of moving into a lovely, elegant neighborhood, the house she picked was smack in the middle of one of the filthiest, poorest parts of town. Why would a wealthy, young woman do this when she could have lived anywhere?"

Jane Addams was easily one of the most influential women of the 20th century. In her day, she was as famous as Oprah is today. Learn how the Hull House neighborhood she cultivated in Chicago changed that city, and set an example for the nation. 


A CBC NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year

Chicago Public Library Best Book

NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended

Starred Review from Publishers Weekly: "a moving portrayal of empathy and innovation in action" 

Full review:

Vowing from an early age to improve the lives of the impoverished, Addams established a settlement home, Hull House, in Chicago in 1889, creating a community refuge. The desperation of the poor is evident in their anguished grimaces as they vie for spoiled food, while children’s joy as they play in Chicago’s first playground (thanks to Addams) is just as clear. In a moving portrayal of empathy and innovation in action, Stone and Brown convey both the significance of Addams’s contributions (“Today, every community center in America, in large part, has Jane Addams to thank”), as well as the physical transformations of those she helped. Ages 6–9. Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (June)

Other Reviews:

Rendered in watercolor with pen and ink, the illustrations, both full bleed and spot, beautifully evoke the time period and enhance the well-researched, accessible text. . . A fine introduction to the first American female recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (School Library Journal)

Stone is deft with characterization: readers see the young Addams enjoying a childhood game with her stepbrother, and while no connection is articulated, this seems contiguous with her launching Chicago's first playground as an adult. . . Addams's matter-of-fact noblesse oblige is captured in Brown's handsome watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations (The Horn Book)

Stone capably discusses Addams' early years at Hull House, the mansion she converted into a neighborhood center and encircled with related enterprises; Brown's ink and watercolor pictures complement the hopeful tone of the text (The Bulletin)