Kids on Strike!

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Bartoletti’s history of the child labor movement in the U.S. has as its focus... read more

Bartoletti’s history of the child labor movement in the U.S. has as its focus the child activists who were at the forefront. She begins in 1836 with eleven-year-old Harriet Hanson who was one of the first to “turn out” or strike at the Lowell Textile Mill and ends with 15-year-old Camella Teoli who testified before Congress during the 1912 Lawrence Mill Strike, a time in which growing awareness of deplorable conditions began to turn the tide of public opinion. The author describes the typical working conditions of children in mills, coal mines, and factories; on city streets as newsies, messangers and bootblacks; and in rural areas as sharecroppers and fieldhands. Each type of work and organized protest is personalized with her accounts of the efforts if young workers, typically teenage girls, who helped to organize their co- workers to strike for better working conditions. Black-and-white documentary drawings and photographs, many by Winslow Homer and Lewis Hine, further illustrate the working lives of these young people. (Age 11-16)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2000

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