Brave Girl

Brave Girl:  Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909
by Michelle Markel
illustrated by Melissa Sweet
published by Balzer & Bray

I know it wasn't that long ago that I was telling y'all that I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction.  The problem is that I just didn't know that I'm a fan...

Since discovering the amazing creative non-fiction that is out there these days, I humbly recant my previous statement to announce that I LOVE creative non-fiction.

What I love about creative non-fiction is that is humanizes the story.  It inserts can actually feel these characters (as opposed to some of the drab non-fiction that's out there!)

Shana Corey is a favorite.  And I'm still discovering other amazing authors who have perfected their craft.

I just read Michelle Markel's Brave Girl about Clara Lemlich and her willingness to take a stand against those who ran factories at the turn of the century.  She refused to be treated terribly and encouraged others to take a stand with her.

Three elements I love about this story:

1.  Clara stood up for what she believed in and was strong for those who couldn't (or wouldn't) be.

2.  Clara was a girl!  And even in the time she lived, she didn't let that impede her from being all that she could be.  Girl power!

3.  The story is told with creativity and connect with Clara and the other workers.  You "get" the story...and when it's over, there is a "More about the garment industry" section to explain the facts.  What better way to teach a child (or anyone) that to lure them in with an inspirational story and then to give them the facts.  I think this techniques helps to imprint the facts in our minds.

Read this story if you haven't--even if, like me, you think you don't like non-fiction!  You just might decide you've been wrong!

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