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Mother Jones: Labor Leader
Mother Jones: Labor Leader
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Reviewed Titles
Graphic Library

Mother Jones: Labor Leader

Tells the story of Mary "Mother" Jones, a leading labor union and child labor activist in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Written in graphic-novel format.

PublisherCapstone Press
BrandGraphic Library
Age Level8-14 Years
Reading LevelGrades 3-4
GenreGraphic Nonfiction
SubjectGraphic Novels
Trim Size7 x 9
Page Count32



Smart Writers Journal

"Once the most dangerous woman in America, Mary Jones became known as Mother Jones when she shepherded and organized mine workers to unionize and stand up for their rights to better pay and working conditions, and for children, she championed their right to go to school and have free time to play, rather than work away their youths in textile mills and coal mines. She fought for social justice well into her old age and died in 1930, just two years before the labor reforms to which she had dedicated her life were passed at last. This biography, told in a graphic novel format, will inform and entertain readers. Capstone's on a roll with the quality production, too." - Smart Writers Journal

October 1, 2006

Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

"As Mary, a young girl living in Ireland the year the potato crop was destroyed, the future Mother Jones learned first-hand about unfairness. Her family immigrated to Canada in the 1850s, where she was able to attend teachers’ college. A teaching job then took her to Tennessee, where she married an iron molder and had four children. Her husband, George Jones, urged his fellow workers to join the union, but in 1867 he and all of their children died from yellow fever (a tragedy glossed over in the text). Deciding to carry on her husband’s work, Mary became a passionate advocate for workers’ rights. For over sixty years, she lobbied throughout the United States, even landing in jail several times. Her unorthodox approaches (arming women with brooms and mops to fight off scabs; marching children to President Theodore Roosevelt’s home) made her all the more loved by workers…and feared by those in power. Her unflagging determination to see workers of all ages (especially children) treated fairly, paved the way for minimum wage and the outlawing of child labor. This entry in the “Graphic Library Biographies” series is a well-researched effort documenting a worthy heroine and includes the helpful feature of highlighting direct quotations in yellow. Unfortunately, the unflattering illustrations have far less appeal than the subject herself. Furthermore, this heroic woman deserves a more thorough exploration than this format inherently allows; but if this book generates further interest in Mother Jones, it has served its purpose well." - Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

March 1, 2007

Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review

"Mary was born in Ireland and her family was severely affected by the failure of the potato crop in the 1840’s. So much so in fact that it was decided that the family would move to Canada where there were more opportunities for work. Mary grew up to become a teacher and then she moved south to the state of Tennessee where she married and had children. Mary’s family was very poor and she knew what it was like to have to do without. She also knew what it was like to be a member of the working class, a class which had very little power to change its circumstances for the better. When Mary’s husband and children died during a yellow fever epidemic she moved once more looking for a new life. As she lived and worked in Chicago she continued to see how ill used the poor working class people were. At every turn she saw how they suffered while the rich flourished. Finally in the 1890’s Mary began to become active in the labor movement. Giving speeches she fought for the unions and became the “mother” of working people who did not have decent working conditions, who were not paid enough, and who had no one to speak for them. She participated in strikes and was arrested several times and through her hard work and her refusal to give up Mary made a difference in the lives of hundreds of men, women, and children all over the United States. This excellent picture book will help children to understand that there once was a time when many of America’s workers lived and worked under appalling conditions. Mother Jones spoke for these people, knowing all too well what they were suffering at the hands of their employers. An inspirational story combined with a graphic rich format makes this a compelling work of non-fiction." - Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review

March 1, 2007

Connie Colwell Miller

Connie Colwell Miller

Connie Colwell Miller is a writer, editor, and teacher who lives and works in Mankato, Minnesota. She studied writing at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and went on to earn her Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she won an award for her poetry manuscript. She has written over 25 books for kids and published parenting essays and poetry online and in journals around the country. She spends her free time goofing around with her husband and three young, highly spirited children.

Go to the Author’s Page →