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Labor

Brown, Monica  Side by Side / Lado a lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and César Chavéz / La historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez
Gr. K–3     32 pp.      HarperCollins/Rayo

Illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Translated by Carolina Valencia. Brown makes a significant contribution to the increasing number of books about César Chávez by focusing equally on his partner, Dolores Huerta. Their life stories are told in parallel until they meet and “side by side…began their journey.” Huerta’s accomplishments are admirable, and she gets her due in this heartfelt bilingual volume enhanced by Cepeda’s emotion-filled mixed-media illustrations.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Bilingual books; Foreign languages—Spanish language; Chávez, César; Huerta, Dolores; Women—Biographies; Women—Mexican Americans; Labor leaders; Migrant labor; Women—Labor leaders; Mexican Americans

Farrell, Mary Cronk  Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights
Gr. 4–6      48 pp.     Abrams

Garment-factory seamstress Fannie Sellins became a leader of the labor movement and “an angel of mercy” for striking workers’ families. She was killed in 1919 when police turned clubs and rifles against protesters. Farrell relates the story of this extraordinary activist with deft pacing and relatable anecdotes; an engaging layout includes copious photos and primary source clippings. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Government, Economics, and Education; Activism; Strikes and lockouts; Labor movements; Women—Labor leaders; Labor leaders; Social reformers; Labor unions; Women—Social reformers; Sellins, Fannie

Jiménez, Francisco  Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University
Middle school, high school     200 pp.      Houghton

This fourth volume of Jiménez’s memoir series (The Circuit, etc.) covers graduate school at Columbia during the turbulent 1960s, his courtship and marriage to college sweetheart Laura, and their children’s births. Throughout, Jiménez never forgets his beginnings as the child of migrant farm workers. The humble sincerity of Jiménez’s prose makes us root for him to succeed. A selection of captioned photographs is appended.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Autobiographies; California; Migrant labor; Mexican Americans; Family; Colleges and universities; Jiménez, Francisco

Lyon, George Ella  Which Side Are You On?: The Story of a Song
Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Cinco Puntos

Illustrated by Christopher Cardinale. The narrator of this fictionalized tale lives in Kentucky “in a coal company house on coal company land…[Pa] says the company owns us sure as sunrise.” When company thugs harass the family, Ma, unfazed, scribbles words for the song that would become the union anthem. Lyon’s text captures the family’s sympathetic plight while Cardinale’s woodcuts display drama and energy. Author’s note. Bib.
Subjects: Picture Books; Labor unions; Songs—Folk songs; Kansas; Family; Mines and mining

Otfinoski, Steven  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: Core Events of an Industrial Disaster
Gr. 4–6, middle school     32 pp.     Capstone

Fact Finders: What Went Wrong? series. This brief overview of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire contains a wealth of gripping details. The swift narrative begins with the blaze that ultimately killed 146 people, and ends with the development of new laws regulating working conditions. Eerie black-and-white photos of structural damage and victims illustrate the magnitude of the destruction, while sidebars expand on the information. Reading list. Glos., ind.
Subjects: North America; Fire; New York (NY); Safety; Labor movements; Disasters

For more on labor and labor movements, click on the tag HBMayDay17.

From the May 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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