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.
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.
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.
When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully -- the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.