Labor Day

Fire! The Beginnings of the Labor Movement

By Barbara Diamond Goldin

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In 1911, Rosie becomes involved in the struggle for better working conditions in factories when fire rips through the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, where her older sister Freyda is employed.

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Esperanza Rising

By Pam Munoz Ryan

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Beautiful Esperanza has grown up in luxury at her father's ranch, but when her father dies as the Great Depression strikes Mexico, she and her sick mother must leave their home to go to work in the labor camps of Southern California.

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Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp

By Jerry Stanley

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Thousands of families looking for work and a better life came to settle in 1930s California, but the town people wanted nothing to do with them and refused to let their children attend the same school as the "Okies" from Oklahoma. The Arvin Federal Emergency School was created to give these unwanted kids a chance to learn.

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Cesar Chavez: Union Leader

By Bruce W. Conord

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Cesar Chavez fought for the rights of migrant workers who worked picking lettuce and grapes in 1960s and 1970s California.
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Call Me Ruth

By Marilyn Sachs

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All Ruth wants to do is fit in with her new American friends, but her Russian mother is such an embarrassment! She keeps talking about joining a labor union, something that no one from a good family would do.

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Big Annie of Calumet: A True Story of the Industrial Revolution

By Jerry Stanler

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The copper mines in Michigan were dangerous, and the men who worked there toiled for long hours and made very little money. Annie Clemenc, a miner's wife, marched against these conditions even when the mining company resorted to violence.

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American Labor

By Boy Scouts of America

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Learn the history of American workers' fight for better pay and working conditions. Part of the Boy Scouts of America's Merit Badge series. Click here to reserve this title.

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A. Philip Randolph: Union Leader and Civil Rights Crusader

By Catherine Reef

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Randolph, one of the brains of the Harlem Renaissance, was determined that African-American workers should share the rights that the labor unions had fought so hard for, despite their history of excluding his people. This was a hard fight, but, in the end, the labor unions became strong and integrated.

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A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter

By Patricia McKissack and Fredrick McKissack

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Back in the 1930s and 1940s, the trains took everybody everywhere in Pullman sleeping cars. The people who looked after the passengers were called porters. They were mostly black, and they formed their own union to fight against unfair working conditions. This book tells, in their own words and photos, the story of how they won their fight for justice.

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A Chance Child

By Jill Paton Walsh

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A boy climbs aboard a rickety boat and travels back in time one hundred years to the Industrial Revolution where he suffers at the hand of his bosses. Meanwhile, his half-brother, frantically looking for him in the 20th century, comes across his brother's name in the history books where he had testified to the brutal conditions under which he has been forced to live.

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