TROUBLE AT THE MINES by Doreen Rappaport


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The coal miners of Arnot, PA, voted to strike in July of 1899; it was eight months before their grievance was settled. The story of that strike is told by Rosie, daughter of a union leader. Her point of view is limited and domestic; most of the time the men are off somewhere else, and it's the womenfolk who march, demonstrate and keep their husbands in line. Mother Jones is a prominent figure here, an inspirational public speaker, ingenious community organizer (several of her famous techniques are detailed), and by far the most rounded character in the book. The narrative has its simplistic aspects--there's little violence, the strike is over the instant a raise is promised (there were other issues involved), and the victory' parade features bunting and elaborate fireworks (who paid for that?)--but young readers will find in Rosie a satisfying combination of fear and determination. The author concludes with a brief historical note and a tribute to Mother Jones. Illustrations not seen.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1987
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Crowell