Walking in the City with Jane

Susan Hughes
Valérie Boivin

From the time she was a young girl, Jane Jacobs' curious mind made her a keen observer of everything around her. When she grew up, she moved to New York City, a place full of new wonders for her to explore. It was there she realized that, just like in nature, a city is an ecosystem. “It is made of different parts --- sidewalks, parks, stores, neighborhoods, City Hall . . . and people, of course. When they all work together, the city is healthy.” So, when city planner Robert Moses proposed creating highways through the city that would destroy neighborhoods and much of what made New York great, Jane decided she couldn't let it happen. She stood up to the officials and rallied her neighbors to stop the plans ---and even got arrested! Jane's bravery and ideas had a huge influence on urban planning that is still being felt today.

In this lively and engaging informational picture book, award-winning author Susan Hughes provides a fictionalized story of the life of Jane Jacobs, one of the world's greatest urban thinkers and activists. This book makes a terrific resource for studying civic engagement, urban life, the history of New York and Toronto (where Jane moved later in life), and the role of city planning. Jane's inspirational story is also an excellent example for character education lessons on perseverance, citizenship and initiative. Stylized illustrations by Valérie Boivin perfectly evoke the story's time and place. End matter includes a brief biography of Jane Jacobs.

978-1-77138-653-1 | Apr 3, 2018
List Price: USD $18.99, CAD $19.99
4-color 8 1/2 x 11 36 pages
Grades: 1 To 4 / Ages: 6 to 9

Awards & Reviews

“An inspiring and appealing snapshot of a strong woman and activist, her world and her legacy, told with warmth and charm.”
— Kirkus Reviews, January 2018
“Jane's influence remains relevant today, whether it's via ongoing efforts to protect nature and local communities from commercial development or in the way she combined family life with activism.”
— Quill & Quire, April 2018
“Jane Jacobs was well overdue for a picture book!”
— A Mighty Girl, May 2018
“Hughes offers a compelling overview of Jacobs's contributions to urban planning while introducing readers to a new way of seeing their own city environments.”
— Publishers Weekly, May 2018
“... altogether delightful ...”
— Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, June 2018
“This book is a wellspring of opportunity to engage your students with their own community and challenge preset ideas that newer is always best.”
— ETFO Voice, August 2018
“... an excellent introduction to Jane Jacobs' life, her urban philosophy and her years of determined opposition to projects that would destroy what she valued in cities.”
— Canadian Children's Book News, August 2018
“... encourages readers to take a stand and voice their opinions about important issues ...”
— CM Magazine, October 2018
“... highly recommended ...”
— Resource Links, October 2018
2019 - OLA Light Reads Great Stories, Forest of Reading, Ontario Library Association, Listed
2018 - Best Books for Kids and Teens, The Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

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