Which Side Are You On? The Story of a Song
By George Ella Lyon, artwork by Christopher Cardinale
This wonderful childrens’ book tells the story of a song written in 1931 that has become an anthem for people fighting for their rights all over the world. Florence Reece’s husband Sam, a coal miner in Kentucky, was helping organize a union when all hell broke loose. The company and its hired thugs started attacking miners and their homes, including Reece’s. While bullets flew around her and the couple’s seven children and they took cover under their bed, Florence took out her pencil and started writing – and the song was born.
Writer George Ella Lyon tells this hair-raising story through the eyes of one of Florence’s daughters, a dry-witted pig-tailed gal, whose vantage point is from under the bed. The thugs’ bullets hit the thin doors and windows of the company house, the kids lying low wonder whether they’re going to make it out of this alive, wonder exactly if this strike will make their lives better or end them, but their mother keeps scribbling and singing. “We need a song,” she tells her kids. That’s not at all what they think they need. Graphic novelist Christopher Cardinale brings Florence’s triumphant story to life in true anarchist style. 40 pages hardcover
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