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Jr. Wobblies

Books about labor for children

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  1. Blue Jenkins: Working for Workers

    Blue Jenkins: Working for Workers

    $15.00

    When William "Blue" Jenkins was only 6 months old, he moved with his parents from a Mississippi sharecropper's farm to the industrial city of Racine, Wisconsin with dreams of a new life. As an African-American in the pre-civil rights era, Blue came face to face with racism: the Ku Klux Klan hung a black figure in effigy from a tree in the Jenkins family's yard. Growing up, Blue knew where blacks could shop, eat, and get a job in Racine - and where they couldn't. The injustices that confronted Blue in his young life would drive his desire to make positive changes to his community and workplace in adulthood. This new title in the Badger Biographies series shares Blue Jenkins's story as it acquaints young readers with African-American and labor history. Following an all-star career as a high school football player, Blue became involved in unions through his work at Belle City Malleable. As World War II raged on, he participated in the home-front battle against discrimination in work, housing, and economic opportunity. When Blue became president of the union at Belle City, he organized blood drives and fought for safety regulations. He also helped to integrate labor union offices. In 1962, he became president of the U.A.W. National Foundry in the Midwest, and found himself in charge of 50,000 foundry union members. Labor leader, civil rights activist, and family man, Blue shows readers how the fight for workers' and minorities' rights can be fought and won through years of hard work. Learn More
  2. Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy

    Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy

    $20.00

    This book is intended for young adult readers. On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City burst into flames. The factory was crowded. The doors were locked to ensure workers stay inside. One hundred forty-six people—mostly women—perished; it was one of the most lethal workplace fires in American history. But the story of the fire is not the story of one accidental moment in time. It is a story of immigration and hard work to make it in a new country, as Italians and Jews and others traveled to America to find a better life. It is the story of poor working conditions and greedy bosses, as garment workers discovered the endless sacrifices required to make ends meet. It is the story of unimaginable, but avoidable, disaster. And it the story of the unquenchable pride and activism of fearless immigrants and women who stood up to business, got America on their side, and finally changed working conditions for our entire nation, initiating radical new laws we take for granted today. With Flesh and Blood So Cheap, Albert Marrin has crafted a gripping, nuanced, and poignant account of one of America's defining tragedies Learn More
  3. Kids On Strike!

    Kids On Strike!

    $15.00

    By the early 1900s, nearly two million children were working in the United States. From the coal mines of Pennsylvania to the cotton mills of New England, children worked long hours every day under stunningly inhumane conditions. After years and years of oppression, children began to organize and make demands for better wages, fairer housing costs, and safer working environments. Some strikes led by young people were successful; some were not. Some strike stories are shocking, some are heartbreaking, and many are inspiring — but all are a testimony to the strength of mind and spirit of the children who helped build American industry. Learn More
  4. Lyddie - Katherin Paterson

    Lyddie

    $10.00

    In 1843, three years after her father abandons his failing Vermont farm, 10-year-old Lyddie and her younger brother Charles are hired out as servants, while Mama and the two youngest children go off to live with relatives. After spending a grueling year working in a tavern, Lyddie flees to Lowell, Mass., in hopes of finding a better job that will provide enough income to pay off farm debts and allow the family to be reunited. Life continues to be a struggle after she is employed in a cloth factory, but Lyddie finds refuge from wretched working conditions by burying herself in books. Learn More
  5. Shutting Out the Sky

    Shutting Out the Sky

    $15.00

    Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924

    by Deborah Hopkinson

    Acclaimed author Hopkinson recounts the lives of five immigrants to New York's Lower East Side through oral histories and engaging narrative. We hear Romanian-born Marcus Ravage's disappointment when his aunt pushes him outside to peddle chocolates on the street. And about the pickle cart lady who stored her pickles in a rat-infested basement. We read Rose Cohen's terrifying account of living through the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, and of Pauline Newman's struggles to learn English. But through it all, each one of these kids keeps working, keeps hoping, to achieve their own American dream.

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  6. The World at Her Fingertips

    The World at Her Fingertips

    $8.00

    by Joan Dash

    The story of Helen Keller is well-known, but this biography covers the entire scope of her life including her years in the IWW and the socialist movement. Winner of the American Library Association's Best Book for Young Adults award.

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  7. ¡Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. (English and Spanish Edition)

    ¡Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. (English and Spanish Edition)

    $8.00

    ¡Sí, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can! is a bilingual fictional story set against the backdrop of the successful janitors’ strike in Los Angeles in 2000. It tells about Carlitos, whose mother is a janitor. Every night, he sleeps while his mother cleans in one of the skyscrapers in downtown L.A. When she comes home, she waves Carlitos off to school before she goes to sleep. One night, his mamá explains that she can’t make enough money to support him and his abuelita the way they need unless she makes more money as a janitor. She and the other janitors have decided to go on strike. How will Carlitos support his mother? Carlitos wants to help but he cannot think of a way until his teacher, Miss Lopez, explains in class how her own grandfather had fought for better wages for farmworkers when he first came to the United States. He and the other children in his class join the marchers with a very special sign for his mom! ¡Sí, Se Puede! is a Jane Addams Peace Award Honor Book, a Skipping Stones Honor Book, as well as a selection for The Best of Beyond Difference, a recommended list of the top 10 diversity books published in 2002. Learn More

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