Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Fannie Never Flinched” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 3rd Year Book Blogger.
I received my complimentary copy of Fannie Never Flinched from the publicist at JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Why I was excited about this non-fiction picture book:
I’ve spent 2016 becoming acquainted with Women’s Rights & the Suffragette movement – gaining further insight into the plight of women who pioneered our future path to walk with freedom, dignity and the innate rights we were denied so long ago. Although readings on these topical subjects began originally when I first picked up a novel about the Shirtwaist Industry called Rivington Street by Meredith Tax; this pre-dates my blog Jorie Loves A Story; back when I was earnestly reading books out of the family library ahead of borrowing books from the local one. The book spoke to me in my early twenties and due to such a horrific testament of real-life, I had to take a break from pursuing to read more books with similar topics and themes.
Somehow 2016 became the year where I picked up the courage to continue where I left off, however, I did not exactly plan my path through Feminist Historical Literature nor have a pre-set focus on Women’s Rights, no what happened is truly quite an organic projectory of interest as stories alighted in my hands to read which hugged me closer to the truth that was not yet available to learn whilst in school. This is my third year as a book blogger and within that span of time I’ve learnt more about History from such a dynamic layer of interest and thought of presence than I ever did in the years ahead of my graduation! Imagine!? The authors who are writing Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction on select topics of Women’s Studies are carving out a new level of insight for today’s woman and young girls.
Girls do not have to grow up and wait til they can seek out the literature on their own to find the stories that are capturing those of us in our twenties and thirties who would have loved to have had the same stories available to us at their age. Publishers are being more cognisant of what today’s readerly audience needs and wants; as they are giving us more of the hidden stories that are shrouded from the historical past by biographers who never felt their light needed to shine. They are being pulled forward out of time’s capsule of secrets by writers who felt inspired by their life story and are presenting them to us in wonderful accounts across genre and range of interest.
This is why I was so thankful to find Fannie Never Flinched as it felt like nearly a capstone of honest readings where women championed a cause that enabled them to find progress at a time where that felt like it could be impossible to obtain. The Labour Rights for Women was definitely hard-won, but until this year, I hadn’t realised just how hard-won the battle was for us to gain those rights. There are such horrible things that happened to the original women who stood their ground and demanded better respect, pay and equality than we could ever fully imagine. We can have empathy and understanding for what they went through – but the physical, emotional and internal wounds they must have carried with them is harder to fathom. They are history’s heroines who allowed all of us the ability to stand firmer on our future paths for having carved out so many obstacles out of our way!
In Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights Mary Cronk Farrell combines vivid prose, primary research and historical photos to reveal the life and death of one woman who helped pave the way for labor reform in the United States, illuminating the hard work, courage and spilled blood underlying the benefits many American workers enjoy today.
When immigrant women earning poverty wages in St. Louis sweatshops voted to strike, Fannie Sellins was there. When destitute coal mining families dared to unionize in West Virginia – and got thrown from their homes – Fannie was there. When hired gunmen threatened, beat and shot miners walking the picket line in Pennsylvania, Fannie was there.
In August 1919, when miners struck Allegheny Coal and Coke in Western Pennsylvania, mine operators would have paid any price to get rid of Fannie. They even threatened to kill her, but Fannie refused to stop her work helping strikers and their families. One muggy afternoon, violence broke out on the picket line and a crowd of people saw company gunmen shoot Fannie down in cold blood. Young people will learn that her killers never paid for their crime and how such injustice could happen in America.
Fannie Sellins (1872-1919) lived during the Gilded Age of American Industrialization, when men like Andrew Carnegie and J. P Morgan lived lives of luxury while their workers spent long hours laboring for poverty wages.
Places to find the book:
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers
on 1st November, 2016
Format: Hardcover Edition
Available Formats: Hardcover Edition
Converse via: #KidsLit, #PictureBook + #NonFiction, #WomensRights
Read more about Fannie on the author’s blog!