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Annie Shapiro and the Clothing Worker Strike

lernerbooks.com   Gr. 2-5

What if you worked under dirty, smelly conditions? Then your nasty boss cut your already low pay? You needed the money to help your family buy food. But this pay cut was unfair. Seventeen-year-old Annie Shapiro decided to fight back. She walked out of work in protest. Within weeks, 40,000 sweatshop workers in Chicago and Milwaukee followed. Annie's brave stand led to changes in work conditions everywhere and to formation of a new union that became the giant Workers United today. This is her true story.

Fun Activities:
- The back of this book has a Readers Theater script. Divide the parts among your friends and act out Annie's story.

- Most clothes in the 190Os were made in cramped, dark, and unsafe factories called sweatshops in the United States. Today, our clothes come from around the world. Check the labels on your clothes. Each tells the country where the article of clothing was made. Plot these places on a map to see where your clothes came from.

Reading about Child Labor:
- Kids at Work: Lewis Hines and the Crusade Against Child Labor by Russell Freedman

- The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire by Elaine Landau

- Kids on Strike by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

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The Rough Riding Adventures of Bronco Charlie

lernerbooks.com   Gr. 1-5

Charlie Miller, or Bronco Charlie, learned to tame wild horses when he was only ten. But his real dream was to deliver mail on horseback for the Pony Express. This is the true story of how Bronco Charlie became the youngest Pony Express rider in 1861. The story, which is a graphic novel, also called comic book, is an update of my original award-winning Bronco Charlie and the Pony Express.

Fun Activities:
- Think about something you really want to do--either now or in the future. Write a short story about your dream and what you can do to achieve it.

- Break down your story into small steps. Draw a picture to go with each step. Adjust the words to go with the pictures. Put the pictures in order of the story. Now you've made your own graphic novel.

- If you're a fan of horses, do some detective work. Find out which horses are the fastest breeds. Discover if these were the type of horses used for the Pony Express.

Reading about Child Labor:
- Whatever Happened to the Pony Express? by Verla Kay

- Bronco Charlie and the Pony Express by Marlene Targ Brill (Me!)

- They're Off: The Story of the Pony Express by Cheryl Harness

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Michelle Obama: From Chicago's South Side to the White House

lernerbooks.com   Gr. 4-8

First Lady Michelle Obama's journey to the White House hasn't always been easy, but she's handled each bump in the road with grace and style. From her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to the best universities, top Chicago law firm, and social service jobs, Obama has proven herself a capable woman who strives to give back to her community. Readers will learn how she brings intelligence, wit, and warmth to her latest dual roles as First Lady and First Mom-in-Chief.

Fun Activities:
- Michelle Obama values family and friendships from life growing up in Chicago. Research online and in books to discover what Chicago's South Side neighborhood is like. How is it similar or different from your neighborhood?

- First daughters Malia and Sasha went from a regular childhood with regular parents to living in the White House with their father as president. Would you like to live in the White House? Write why or why not.

Reading about Michelle Obama's World:
- Chicago History for Kids: Triumphs and Tragedies of the Windy City by Owen Hurd

- www.Whitehouse.gov/about/White_House_101 White House 101: a history and tour of the White House especially for kids

Decades of the Twentieth Century in America series:


America in the 1900s

America in the 1910s

America in the 1970s

America in the 1980s

America in the 1990s

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Each book details the most important social, political, economic, technological, and cultural events in the United States during the particular decade. With plenty of photos, quotes, and highlighted biographies and events, these books are just plain fun to read while painting a thorough picture of the times.

Fun Activities:
- Review two books from this series. Compare popular fashion, music, and arts of the two decades with what's going on today. Create a chart of your findings.

- Read about your favorite decade. Imagine what your life would be like if you lived then. Write a story about your life in that decade.

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Barack Obama: President for a New Era

lernerbooks.com   Gr. 4-8

Barack Obama: President for a New Era is the second edition of the first children's biography about this popular public figure. This update reflects Obama's rise to 44th and first African-American U.S. president. The book reveals Obama's remarkable journey growing up in two cultures, struggling with being different, and striving to improve people's lives within his community, state, and now nation.

What Others Say:
"Brill offers a warm, personal portrait of the politician, beginning with his parents' disparate backgrounds and his multinational upbringing and moving through his political awakenings, higher education, and public life. . . . .Brill offers an intimate portrait that is bolstered by her own interviews with Obama's colleagues, schoolmates, and friends."


Fun Activities:
- Interview a neighbor or friend. Ask what that person likes to do, what their favorite activities and school subjects or jobs are, and the kind of books they like to read. When you have enough information about this person, write their story in a biography. Use Barack Obama: Working to Make a Difference for ideas about what to include.

- Young Barack lived in Hawaii and Indonesia. Find these places on a map. Read other books to discover what their cultures are like. Keep a diary of activities you like to do in your neighborhood. How are they different from where Barack grew up? How are they the same?

Books about Other Countries:
(Hawaii) Hello USA by Joyce Johnston

(Indonesia) Cultures of the World by Gouri Mirpuri

Copyrightę 2005 Marlene Targ Brill. All rights reserved.