Rose Spoke Out: The Story of Rose Schneiderman

Apples & Honey Pr. Apr. 2023. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781681156170.
Gr 2-4–“Rose’s mother said she had a big mouth. Rose didn’t think so. She thought she had a big voice.” A Jewish immigrant from Poland, Rose Schneiderman loved school but left after her father’s death to help support her family. She worked 14-hour days in a hat factory; appalled by working conditions, Schneiderman used her big voice and encouraged her coworkers to speak up. This led to some changes, but not enough. Schneiderman helped organize a strike in the Garment District in 1909, which resulted in improved conditions at some factories. The Triangle Shirtwaist fire in 1911 horrified and inspired her. Schneiderman spoke out to bigger audiences to improve working conditions. Abielle’s illustrations are in muted tones with minimal details. Schneiderman’s red hair stands out and her facial expressions show her frustration and determination. The “More About Rose Schneiderman” section includes a photo and further information on her career in unions and government. Her famous quote “The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too” is mentioned and part of the quote appears on the back of the book. This a nice introduction to Schneiderman, but her achievements feel slighted by focusing on only one part of her life.
VERDICT This is a fraction of the story of an important labor movement activist, but it’s still a good first purchase.

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