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25 March 2013


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There's an early chapter book that's actually decent called Fire at the Triangle Factory, and a very good younger middle-grade novel called (horridly! THE WORST TITLE!) Gotcha! (http://www.amazon.com/Rosie-New-York-City-Gotcha/dp/0689857144) that's more about the nascent labor movement led by women and the process of striking -- the Triangle Fire is there, but not front-and-center. And there's another YA novel called Lost by Jacqueline Davies that didn't work for me. I like all the ones you mentioned, probably Threads and Flames and Uprising the most. Flesh and Blood So Cheap is a non-fiction account, really well-designed and illustrated with (sometimes graphic and harrowing) photos; I thought it was terrific for MG/YA readers who can handle the horror of it, and I thought Albert Marrin was particularly good at bringing in the way sweatshop conditions still exist and what we can do about social justice today.


I read Uprising. It shows the event through 3 different young women. The narrative shifts viewpoint between the women and by the end you really become invested in each woman. I not only really enjoyed Uprising but learned a lot from it and the subsequent author's note. At the end of the book is a powerful and informative author's note about the factual history of the event, what happened to the owners of the factory, how it lead to work safety reform, and how it spite of said reform, this is still relevant issue today with the global economy. But we need to turn our eyes not just to 3rd world countries and how our demand for artificially low cost clothing contributes to these conditions but also at home where the sweat shops often have terrible working conditions. She also includes bibliographical references.

Though I haven't read it yet, there is a picture book that came out this year that is garnering a lot of critical praise. Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Synopsis from the Amelia Bloomer Project website: "When Clara Lemlich came to America, she ended up toiling in a factory job with other young, immigrant workers. After attending night school to learn English, Clara next set her sights on the unfair working conditions in the factories. In 1909, she led the largest walkout by women workers in U.S. history."

I definitely want to check out Triangle. Thank you for featuring it.


Oops. I forgot to close the italics above. Sorry about that.


@Eliza: No problem, I fixed it! Thanks for all of the recs!

@marjorie: On your say-so, I will bump Uprising and Threads & Flames up SLIGHTLY HIGHER than Ashes of Roses. Heh.


I read Triangle last year, I think because of your recommendation, and it was terrific!


Yay! Glad you liked it!


Just wanted to comment on the pretty, pretty cover of Triangle. It's lovely and so perfect for the subject matter. Kudos to the designer on this one.

Leila - I look forward to reading what you thought of Uprising. I've requested Triangle from the library. I'm looking forward to reading it.


@Eliza: Isn't it so pretty? I love how they did the title: just perfect.


The picture book, Brave Girl, I mentioned in my earlier comment is featured today in Anita Silvey's Children's Book-a-Day Almanac. Anita always supplies interesting background about author, the book, or subject matter. I adore this fact, "Clara, by the way, lived to be 96, had two husbands and three children, and even helped organize the staff of her nursing home in later years." Guess you can't take the union organizer out of the girl. Check out Anita's review: http://childrensbookalmanac.com/2013/03/brave-girl-clara-and-the-shirtwaist-makers-strike-of-1909/

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