Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909by Michelle Markel, Melissa Sweet
From acclaimed author Michelle Markel and Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet comes this true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography includes a bibliography and an author's note on the garment industry. It follows the plight of immigrants in America in the early
From acclaimed author Michelle Markel and Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet comes this true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography includes a bibliography and an author's note on the garment industry. It follows the plight of immigrants in America in the early 1900s, tackling topics like activism and the U.S. garment industry, with handstitching and fabric incorporated throughout the art.
When Clara arrived in America, she couldn't speak English. She didn't know that young women had to go to work, that they traded an education for long hours of labor, that she was expected to grow up fast.
But that didn't stop Clara. She went to night school, spent hours studying English, and helped support her family by sewing in a shirtwaist factory.
Clara never quit, and she never accepted that girls should be treated poorly and paid little. Fed up with the mistreatment of her fellow laborers, Clara led the largest walkout of women workers the country had seen.
From her short time in America, Clara learned that everyone deserved a fair chance. That you had to stand together and fight for what you wanted. And, most importantly, that you could do anything you put your mind to.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.
“Markel ably brings to life the plight of immigrant garment workers and Clara’s courageous advocacy.”
Meet the Author
Michelle Markel is a former freelance journalist who has written stories and opinion pieces for the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. After her two daughters were born, she started writing for young people. She has written a number of notable picture books, including, most recently, Tyrannosaurus Math, The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, and the award-winning Brave Girl. Michelle is also a founding member of the Children's Authors Network. She and her husband, an anthropologist, live in West Hills, California, with their two sweet cats.
Melissa Sweet has illustrated many award-winning books for children, including A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant, a 2009 Caldecott Honor Book, an NCTE Notable Children's Book, and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. She has also written and illustrated Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade, Tupelo Rides the Rails, and Carmine: A Little More Red, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book for 2005. Her collages and paintings have appeared in the New York Times and Martha Stewart Living.
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Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Micelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet Balzer + Bray, 2013 Historical Fiction Picture Book 32 pages Recommended for grades 3-5 I love sharing picture books with my third and fourth grade students. This was enjoyed by all students, many having lots to say about this story, the history, immigrant experiences, etc. Without one small young woman taking a stand, who knows how long others would have had to suffer until job laws changed.