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

From acclaimed author Michelle Markel and Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet comes this true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography includes a bibliography and an author's note on the garment industry. It follows the plight of immigrants in America in the early 1900s, tackling topics like activism and the U.S. garment industry, with handstitching and fabric incorporated throughout the art.

Praise

  • “The zingy images masterfully (and appropriately) incorporate fabric and stitches as well as old images of checks and time cards … This book has fighting spirit in spades-you go, Clara!”
    —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

    “Readers are treated to solid information with a buoyant message about standing up for what is right. Sweet has created an outstanding backdrop for Markel’s text with a vibrant collage of watercolor, gouache, blank dress-pattern paper, bookkeeping pages, stitches, and fabric pieces.”
    —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

    “Sweet incorporates images of assorted fabrics and stitch patterns into her tender illustrations, brightening the lives of workers whose reality was bleak.”
    —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

    “In her simple but powerful text Markel shows how multiple arrests, serious physical attacks, and endless misogyny failed to deter this remarkable woman as she set off on her lifelong path as a union activist.”
    —The Horn Book

    “Markel ably brings to life the plight of immigrant garment workers and Clara’s courageous advocacy.”
    —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s BookS