Counting on Grace Teachers Guides

Counting on Grace has been selected as a Community Read in states as diverse as Vermont, Indiana and North Carolina. Stories shared among all ages help to connect people who might otherwise be separated by age or geography or life circumstances. I love to think of the pairings that a discussion of Grace’s life in the mill might foster and I have been privileged to listen in on some of those conversations

Larissa Vigue, the program director of the 2007 VERMONT READS program says:

Counting on Grace is not only a fine piece of literature to read and discuss; it holds great potential for extension activities. Subjects and themes rich for research and art projects, lectures, panel discussions, dramatic interpretation, field trips, and the like include Vermont mill history and the history of child labor, French Canadian culture, family relationships, poverty, the value of education, and especially, the power of old photographs to tell stories. Thanks to Lewis Hine’s eagle eye, and Elizabeth Winthrop’s passion and imagination, this one photograph has been – and will continue to be – worth many thousands of words.”

Lewis Hine traveled all over New England photographing children in mills.   If you live near North Pownal, Vermont, please download this map and come visit the setting that inspired my story.

Downloads and links for teaching COUNTING ON GRACE to all ages and across all disciplines:

Smithsonian Magazine Article

The Mill Children Teacher’s Guide

Vermont Discussion Questions

Indiana Counting on Grace Guide

Massachusetts Counting on Grace Discussion Guide

Searching For Addie: The Story Behind a Famous Photograph

Here I am at the mill site with a class of Sixth Graders from the Long Trail School who travelled down from Dorset, Vermont to see the setting that inspired COUNTING ON GRACE.

If you are a teacher interested in bringing the story of Grace to your classroom,you can download a comprehensive Curriculum Links Guide for teaching COUNTING ON GRACE to all ages and across all disciplines.

Teachers, come visit my new teacher’s page to learn more about how to teach many of my books in the classroom.

Visit my friend and fellow writer Joe Manning’s website. (  Read how he helped me find Addie Card. Follow his search for the descendants of more children from Lewis Hine photographs.


Addie Card in the Library of Congress collection.
This website features the original captions written by Lewis Hine for his photographs.
A website which helps children in your school get involved in working to eradicate child labor around the world. Includes many resources for the classroom. You can also read a NPR Marketplace report on child labor in other countries.
Includes much information on the history and economics of child labor.
You can see here one of Hine’s original reports on child labor in the Mississippi Cotton Mills in April and May 1911.

An informative website put together by a high school student for her submission for the Nation History Day Project.She was inspired to research Hine and child labor because she read COUNTING ON GRACE.

The photographs that inspired COUNTING ON GRACE.
A biography of Lewis Hine.
Further information on Hine including links to child labor, The National Child Labor Committee and documentary photography.
The New York Public Library’s Hine collection.
Hine’s pictures taken in neighboring New Hampshire.

The story of Joe Manning, the researcher who helped me find Addie Card.