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Childrens Literature

Page history last edited by Siri 12 years, 5 months ago

Children's Literature:


Assignment Specifications


Final Projects


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Stories about Immigrants


A Coal Miner's Bride

The Diary of Anetka Kaminska

by Susan Bartoletti

Stef Bristow

Rachel Johnson 

Mary Eggs

A 13-year old Polish girl finds herself traveling to America to become a Coal Miner's Bride.  Married to a man she does not love, Anetka soon finds herself a widow responsible not only for herself in this new land, but also for her late husband's 3 children.  
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan Andrew Bocchi 
Kristina (3/29) 
The story of Esperanza, a young Mexican girl whose life of material comfort is turned upside down after she and her mother are forced to flee the country to resettle in a camp of Mexican farm workers in rural California. 

If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine

Amanda Nelson Stef B. on 3/27.
This book is about Ellis Island and Immigration to America from the 1880s to 1914. It is in Question and Answer format. It is aimed for ages 8-11.
Song of Sampo Lake by William Durbin  Ashlie Schulz  

Corissa Hanna (3/28) 


Becky Tulenchik


15 year old Matti and his Finnish family immigrate to Minnesota in 1900, in hopes of owning their own homestead and creating a new life in America. Struggling in the dark and dangerous iron ore mines in Soudan Mn, laboring in the rocky soil to create a homestead, and the brutal cold winters are only a sneak peek at the troubles and triumphs this loveable family endures. Matti is stuck in the middle of his older athletic brother and his cute younger sisters, he struggles to find his way, but is given the chance to shine and gain his fathers approval. Grades 4-8
The Journal of Otto Peltonen by William Durbin
Betsy Brokaw 
Devon O.
In 1905, fifteen-year-old Otto describes in his journal how he travels from Finland to America, joining his father in a dreary iron ore mining community in Minnesota and becoming involved in a union fight for better working conditions. Ages 9-12


Stories about Mining

Student author of curriculum

Peer Reviewed By...


America at Work : Mining 
JoDelle Lox 
Andrew B. 
and Corissa (3/28)
A set of twins, learns about where the metal for the skate blades comes from. They learn about all the methods used in detecting different minerals, how ore is mined and how a blast furnace works
Boy of the Deep Devon Owings 

Andrew B.


 Based on the story of the author’s own grandfather who worked down an English mine when he was boy, this is a powerful and very meaningful picture book that paints a picture in words and illustrations of what it was like to be a child who had to work for a living.


In Coal Country by Judith Hendershot
Kristina Olson

Cindy A.


Tells the story of growing up in a coal-mining town through the eyes of a coal miner's daughter. Ages 4-8. 

Growing up in Coal Country

by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Ann Thier 
Cindy A. 
Devon O.
This is a composition of many stories of children who worked in the coal mines in the late 1880 to early 1900's.  This book has great stories directly from the young boys who worked in the mines and has many, many pictures.  Age group 4th through 8th grade depending on the focus of the lesson. 

Calico Dorsey  

Mail Dog of The Mining Camps

by Susan Lendroth

Becky Tulenchik  

During the 1880's when the west was booming with mineral rushes, a small town of Calico needed to transport mail in between two mining towns.  They found just the right canine to do the job.  A stray and friendly boarder collie named Calico Dorsey. 

Grades: 2-5


A Bride for Anna's Papa

Isabel R. Marvin

Rachel Johnson  Stef B.  done 3/29
The character in the story, Anna looses her mother at the age of 13. It is 1907, and she is now in charge of caring for her family, including her 9 year old brother, and her father. Her father is a mine worker in the iron ore mines on Minnesota's iron range. She tries to help her lonely father out by finding him a "mail order" bride from Finland. This fills the family full of different emotions and struggles.  Ages 9-11
Out of the Ordinary by Michelle M. Barone  Corissa Hanna  Mary Eggs
The character of Julia, based on the author's grandmother, attends a one-room schoolhouse with children in grdes one through eight during the early 20th century.  When workplace difficulties arise for the miners in the near by town where her father works, Julia is the only one who can prevent a similar disaster. 


Stories about Labor Issues

Joe Van Der Katt and the Great Picket Fence  by Peter J. Welling





This is a story about a group of feline factory workers who are exploited by their boss. The workers at the company build a picket fence for the boss but don't make a gate. The workers promise to build a gate and return to work when their demands are met.
Kids On Strike
Cindy Alfred



By the early 1900's nearly two million children were working in the United States, working long hours many times under inhumane conditions.  After years of opposition, children began to organize and make demands for better wages, fairer housing costs, and safer working environments.
Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop
Tandy Kibbler



Inspired by a photo of a young girl working in a Vermont cotton mill, Winthrop images the story of Grace and her struggles and life in 1910. 

No Star Nights

by Anna Egan Smucker

paintings by Steve Johnson 

Candida Vareberg 



Childhood in a West Virginia mill town. Ages 8-10

Big Annie of Calumet


Mary Eggebraaten



In 1913, miners in Calumet, Michigan, fought to a bitter stand-off with the powerful C & H Mining Company. An inspiration for many strikers was the wife of a Croatian miner, Annie Clemec. At 6-foot-2 inches, "Big Annie" led marches seven days a week over the months of the strike, carrying a "massive American flag on a 10-foot staff." Protesting the brutal working conditions, low pay, and the fact that "on average, one worker a week died in the mines, and two were crippled for life every day" at Calumet, Annie's dedication won the hearts and attention of many citizens and newspapers, who in turn backed the striking miners. 



Mother Jones: One Women's Fight for Labor by Betsy Harvey Kraft (ages 8-12)

Growing up in Coal Country by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (ages 9-16)

Big Annie of Calumet: A True Story of the Industrial Revolution by Jerry Stanley (ages 10-15)

The Reuther Brothers: Walter, Roy, and Victor by Mike Smith and Pam Smith (ages 10 and up)

A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter by Patricia McKissack and Fredrick McKissack (ages 11 and up)

Bread and Roses: The Struggle of American Labor, 1865-1915 by Milton Meltzer (age 11-14)

Out of the Ordinary by Michelle M. Barone (ages 8-12)

Calico Dorsey by Susan Lendroth (ages 5-10)


More Ideas available at this bibliography:





Comments (1)

Siri said

at 3:00 pm on May 1, 2011

I started alphabetizing, if someone wants to finish have at it!

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