cover image Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children

Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children

Jonah Winter, illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Random House/ Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-449-81291-4

A doughty white-haired woman, arms akimbo, nearly steps off the opening page of this book: “My name is Mother Jones,/ and I’m MAD./ And you’d be MAD, too, if you’d/ seen what I’ve seen.” Using Jones’s folksy voice, Winter whirls readers into descriptions of abominable working conditions, where “children YOUR AGE... worked like grown-ups.” To protest, Jones leads a march of child mill workers in 1903 from Pennsylvania to the Long Island summer home of President Theodore Roosevelt. Though the march doesn’t trigger immediate action, over the next 40 years, the cause prevails through legislation. Carpenter’s illustrations adroitly capture both the grim reality of children at work and the irresistible hope of people coming together to demand change. Supplemental materials note that “worldwide, there are 215 million child workers” yet today. Ages 4–8. [em](Feb.) [/em]