What the critics are saying:

“The history of the American Labor Movement isn’t often explored in middle-grade literature, and this will be a valuable edition to collections. It lets readers view the Chicago Haymarket riot in 1886 through the eyes of a curious and intelligent Jewish girl, Addie.  Exploring many topical issues—immigration, civil disobedience, the right to free speech and assembly, and police brutality—this novel is timely. Kudos to the small Chicago press, Allium, for bringing it out; it certainly deserves a place in most libraries.”



“Powell brings this historical event to life with admirable attention to detail. A well-rounded collection of characters offer opposing perspectives of the events and life in Chicago at that time. Young readers will grow along with Addie as she learns about the hardships of poverty and the complexity of politics …A timely and potent portrait of an important moment in U.S. history. Recommended for fans of ‘Dear America.”‘

-School Library Journal


“Ciry of Grit and Gold is an ideal pick for teachers and librarians who may want to use the work to supplement lessons on American history or have meaningful discussions about rights, immigration, and protesting.”

Foreword Reviews


”A worthy introduction to an important piece of history.”

Kirkus Reviews


“This tale was wonderfully descriptive, and it effortlessly portrays the hardships of an immigrant family in Chicago during the 1800s…The description of a family and their unique love for one another is beautiful. Despite being in an entirely different time period, the struggles and hardships of Addie’s family still apply today.”



Middle grades readers who are interested in historical fiction will enjoy City of Grit and Gold. The characters and the setting are both wonderful.

-Newberry and Beyond