|Fire! - The Beginnings of the Labor Movement |
Illustrated by James Watling; Once Upon America Series
ISBN: 0140346856, Paperback, Puffin Books, 1997 [Buy this Book]
ISBN: 0140346856, Hardcover, Econo-Clad, 1999 [Buy this Book]
Reading level: Ages 7 to 11
Rosie wishes she could quit school and work in a factory like her older sister, Freyda. She'd love to get dressed up every day in a long skirt and go with her friends to work. But Freyda insists that it's no fun: conditions in the Triangle Shirtwaist factory in 1911 are brutal and unsafe, and her union's struggle for better conditions seems hopeless. Then disaster strikes. Fire rips through the factory and workers are trapped. Can this tragedy be the workers turning point? Does New York City's shocked reaction mean changes ahead at last?
Barbara Diamond Goldin says, "I feel very close to the story of the Triangle Factory Fire, as my mother's family lived on the Lower East Side and my grandfather was a garment worker at the time of the fire. In writing about these times, I hope that I have passed on to young people today a sense of what conditions were like for these workers and a sense of why unions were so important to them. These labor unions not only gave factory workers better working conditions, but were also connected to their hopes and dreams for their own future and their children's future."