Graphic novels have become popular with older children and adults. When publishers target younger readers with graphic non-fiction, the meshing of fact with image results in a format that appeals to today's visually oriented young people. Although invented dialogue and conversation boxes are characteristic of this genre ("AAAAAGH!" "NO!" "RRRIIIPP!"), the book also contains direct quotations clearly identified in the text by yellow backgrounds.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire presents the story of the tragic March 25, 1911 event through the lens of the labor activism that engulfed New York's garment industry at the time. Largely missing from this brief but accurate account is the specific Jewish connection to the labor strife. The actions of Clara Lemlich are appropriately depicted at the union rally which preceded the 1909 garment workers strike, but the author ignores the specifically Jewish nature of the labor activism and the oath taken by the strikers. Although this book is not written from a Jewish perspective, it can serve as a dramatic initial introduction to the event, particularly for reluctant readers. Ages 9-12. Reviewed by Norman H. Finkelstein