Thousands of young girls came all alone to New York City looking for work, and they found it in the factories, making lovely dresses for a cheap wage. Finally, Clara Lemlich had had enough. She stood up at her work table and announced in Yiddish, which most of the girls understood, that she had a plan to make things better. This book tells the beginnings of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, one of the first unions to recognize that women, as well as men, deserved decent pay and better hours.
When union members arrive to organize their West Virginia coal mining town, fourteen-year-old Clarence Henderson, shunned for his cleft lip, and his neighbor Elizabeth Braxton tell about the changes in their own lives and in the lives of everyone in their community.