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Book Reviews
Milt Gross Book Review: "The Clock" by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
By Milt Gross
Mar 7, 2015 - 12:57:20 AM

The Clock is a gripping juvenile book of a girl being threatened by a mill manager in the 1800s. Milt Gross photo.
This excellent juvenile story was aiming at sixth to ninth graders, I think, although nowhere does it state that. I went by the language level, basically no "hard" words except for people's names and names of objects. But I used to teach eighth graders, so I would know....maybe.

The two authors of this 1992 book were brothers, James an author with many book credits and Christopher a college professor at the University of Connecticut. Most of James' titles appear to be historical, and Christopher was a professor of history and a Connecticut State Historian whose field was early American history, according to the book.

The book tells the story of a teenage girl, who in the 1800s was forced by her father to work in a textile mill. The manager at the mill attempted to assault her, but her father owed a lot of money and had her remain at her job despite that attempt. Eventually, she and a friend discovered the mill manager was stealing wool, and Annie told the wealthy owner of the mill.

A second bit of sculduggery on the manager's part was his having a crippled boy, an employee, climb onto the frozen wheel that, powered by a stream, turned the mill's machinery. The crippled boy slipped and was killed by the wheel, which broke free of ice and began to turn while the boy was on it.

While the ending was apparent, what I didn't like was the story didn't actually conclude itself but left the reader guessing what would happen.

The clock only was in the story, because Annie's father had spent some of the little money he had to buy it. After he bought it, he insisted that the farm family operate by the clock rather than by daylight and darkness as it had previously.

The Clock was published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, New York.

The story was intriguing, and, if you can find a copy I'd suggest getting it and keeping it. I searched four pages on that had titles including the word "clock," but I could not find it. I found no price in the book.

Now that I'm retired and no longer have to get up or work by the clock, I think I enjoyed the book that much more.

Kindle Cover at Amazon
Milt Gross
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Milton M. Gross Copyright 2014

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