Uprising is a beautiful story about three girls who grow up during the early 1900's. This is the time of the workers strike at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and the fire that sets the building to flames not long after. Bella is an Italian girl who is one of the many immigrants who work in New York for the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. Yetta is a Russian Jew who works alongside Bella, and who goes on strike against the horrible working conditions each factory worker faces each day. Privileged Jane discovers the strike of the factory workers, and she becomes a part of the fight for better work conditions and women's rights. Despite their differences, the three girls form a strong friendship and they fight together until the fire in the Shirtwaist Factory occurs on March 25, 1911, changing the lives of many people forever.
Uprising is realistic, powerful, and full of amazing girls who fought to make a difference. It also hit me hard to read about girls who were my age who had to work under such harsh conditions in order to support themselves and their families. Uprising was a wonderful page turner that was also inspirational, unforgettable, and an important story everyone should read.
Proving that in America,
wrongs can be righted,
warriors can wear skirts and blouses,
and the bravest hearts
may beat in girls
only five feet tall.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire by Steven Otfinoski (along with a number of similar books) is written for readers old enough to take in photos of the tragedy. We were able to find all three of these books at our local library.
It's so important to find + share the stories of those whose hands have made our clothing + the stories of those who fight for human rights. This is not an easy topic, but it is vital to the future of the garment industry. Teens + young adults are especially vulnerable to the messaging, pricing, accessibility + appeal of fast fashion. Teens + young adults around the world are the main makers of our clothing. Teens + young adults have fought + are fighting for better working conditions, medical leave, the right to organize, human rights, living wages, + change in the garment industry. Our teens + young adults are capable of joining their efforts + voices. Privilege doesn't get a pass. Education matters. Living in tune with our values can start young + strong.