Brave Girl

By Michelle Markel, Melissa Sweet (illustrator),

Book cover of Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

Book description

The true story of the young immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography about the plight of immigrants in America in the early 1900s and the timeless fight for equality and justice should not be missed.

When Clara arrived in America,…


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Why read it?

3 authors picked Brave Girl as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The title of this book hooked me right out of the gate: Brave Girl. I knew it was a story for me. How could it not be? Young Clara Lemlich stood only 5 feet tall, but she was a spitfire. Her story will inspire boys and girls alike when they learn how she fought for equality, raising her voice against powerful factory owners in the early 1900s. Another reason this book is such a treat is that it was illustrated by Melissa Sweet, one of the most creative children’s book illustrators around. The art in this book is a…

From Aimee's list on brave and extraordinary women.

I loved Brave Girl from the first line: “A steamship pulls into the harbor, carrying hundreds of immigrants—and a surprise for New York City.” The surprise is Clara Lemlich, who discovers that life in America is not all she imagined, and sets out to fight for change. Brave Girl doesn’t pull any punches about the harsh conditions in the sweatshops where Clara worked, or the very real risks of organizing strikes. (The police arrested her seventeen times, and broke six of her ribs.) Yet, somehow, the story remains upbeat and inspiring—and SO relevant today. Like the girls Clara worked with,…

From Mara's list on biographies of Jewish women.

Brave Girl is the amazing story of Clara Lemlich and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909. Clara, a young Jewish immigrant who could not speak English upon arrival in New York, was instrumental in fighting against poor treatment of textile factory workers, leading the largest walkout of women workers in US history. Clara embodies ‘being able to do what you put your mind to,’ spending long hours studying, working, and advocating for downtrodden workers, fighting for fairness. This book not only inspires activism, but provides readers with a glimpse into the harsh realities of past working environments. Told clearly and…

From Jennifer's list on strong inspiring women.

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