This is the 42nd book in The American Adventure Series. The books don't need to be read in order, but we're enjoying reading them that way as they're chronological. Set in the early 1930s in Minneapolis, MN, this book talks about how the economic depression affected families. Fictional characters are used, but facts are woven in. Eldest children were often sent away from home to fend for themselves due to lack of food, teenagers became "hobos" who rode trains (illegally) across the country looking for work. The Bonus Marchers, a group of veterans seeking their promised bonus for fighting in the war assembled in Washington D.C. and Douglas MacArthur, against orders from President Hoover ordered U.S. troops to attack the veterans. A minister in Mineapolis came up with the idea for a company called Organized Unemployement to help men without jobs provide for their families.
As always, I give warning flags to any content which may be too intense for sensitive readers/listeners. This plot includes a teen retelling how his friend was killed by slipping down under a moving train when they were riding illegally (holding onto the outside of the cars). The description was not gorey, but it did include some suspense and evoked concern and sadness from my children. Since we've previously discussed the hazards of trains, I was able to navigate this section while reading it word-for-word to my kids. You may want to pre-read chapter 8 to decide whether you want to paraphrase or omit portions for a sensitive child.
I highly recommend this series as presenting history in an age-appropriate, engaging context with relevant and challenging moral dilemmas overcome by the characters in every book. They are great read-alouds as they keep both my youngest child and myself interested!