Reading List

Bisbee '17 Delve Deeper Reading List

Nonfiction for Younger Readers

Bartoletti, Susan. Kids on Strike!Harcourt Brace and Company, 1999.

By the early 1900s, nearly two million children were working in the United States. From the coal mines of Pennsylvania to the cotton mills of New England, children worked long hours every day under stunningly inhumane conditions. After years and years of oppression, children began to organize and make demands for better wages, fairer housing costs, and safer working environments.

Brimner, Larry. Strike! The Farm Workers’ Fight for Their Rights.Calkins Creek Books, 2014.

In 1965, as the grapes in California's Coachella Valley were ready to harvest, migrant Filipino American workers—who picked and readied the crop for shipping—negotiated a wage of $1.40 per hour, the same wage growers had agreed to pay guest workers from Mexico. But when the Filipino grape pickers moved north to Delano, in the Central Valley, and again asked for $1.40 an hour, the growers refused. The ensuing conflict set off one of the longest and most successful strikes in American history.

Burgan, Michael. Breaker Boys: How a Photograph Helped End Child Labor.Compass Point Books, 2012.

Little boys, some as young as six, spent their long days, not playing or studying, but sorting coal in dusty, loud, and dangerous conditions. Many of these breaker boys worked 10 hours a day, six days a week – all for as little as 45 cents a day. Child labor was common in the United States in the 19th century. It took the compelling, heart-breaking photographs of Lewis Hine and others to bring the harsh working conditions to light. Hine and his fellow Progressives wanted to end child labor. He knew photography would reveal the truth and teach – and change the world.

Larkin, Annie Graeme. Early Bisbee (Images of America).Arcadia Publishing, 2015.

Before Bisbee became a bustling mining camp, it was a haven to Native Americans for centuries. However, their presence brought the intrusion of army scouts and prospectors into the Mule Mountains. The coincidental discovery of vast mineral wealth at the future site of Bisbee permanently affixed the fate of the land forever. Rising from the remote desert was a dynamic mining city, a city that grew into one of the most influential communities in the West. Bisbee was unique in the Old West because of the mixed moral values. High society and the decadent underworld lived in a delicate balance, but a vibrant multicultural community was forged from these social fires.

Markel, Michelle. Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909.Balzar & Bray, 2013.

Ukrainian immigrant Clara Lemlich worked in the garment industry during the day and took classes in the evening. The mistreatment of her fellow laborers inspired Clara to organize a large walkout of women workers. This picture book biography highlights factory labor in the early 1900s and the fight for fair working conditions.

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