One of the best parts of writing for children is finding authors and their outstanding books. I picked up Fannie Never Flinched at the writing conference I went to in Spokane last weekend and read every word, shocked at how much one woman did for others many years ago.
Beautifully written with incredible photos of workers and union organizers from the earlier 1900, this book tells of Fannie Sellins. The widow first worked tirelessly to support her family in a garment factory behind locked doors much like those you now hear about in places like Bangladesh. She then protested and organized to bring us weekends and 8 hour days along with freedom for children to go to school instead of working in factories or starving while their fathers toiled for low wages in the mines. It surprised me to learn that the powerful men like Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan could often convince the government to use the National Guard to break strikes.
The author Mary Cronk Farrell explains that many like Fannie died for the cause of better working conditions without ever knowing justice. I knew all this before but something about reading the life of one woman made me more grateful than I was before. Even in her last moments, she was trying to save children from the bullets of deputies.
Books written for children are so often good for all of us to read. Fannie Never Flinched stands out as a tribute to all those who struggled and died for social justice in the workplace. It’s a book for everyone.