Which Side Are You On?
The Story of a Song
That's why they had to have a union. Miners went on strike until they could get better pay, safer working conditions, and health care. The company hired thugs to attack union organizers like Sam Reece.
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 with her six brothers and sisters. The thugs' bullets hit the thin doors and windows of the company house and 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 rip-roaring union style.
About the Authors
Christopher Cardinale is a graphic novelist and muralist.
"Which Side Are You On? is beautiful, lyrical, and important, subtly showing us the importance of music and—even better—how anyone can make a difference, no matter their circumstances, as long as they put their heart and soul into it. A treasure."—Silas House, author of Eli the Good
"Cardinale's digitally colored scratchboard art is dynamic. [ . . . ] Given that many of the same [labor] conditions exist today, only changed by mechanization, the music and lyrics included may well find use in the current generation. Lyon has given today's readers a stirring story."—Kirkus
"A high-stakes account of grace under pressure."—Publishers Weekly
"The story has real power and so do the best of the illustrations."—Booklist
"Lyon and Cardinale make a perfect match for this picture-book homage to a 1931 rallying cry born under duress in Harlan County, KY. [ . . . ] Although this book describes a historical event, it can open a gateway to understanding terms such as 'collective bargaining,' what that right has meant, and to consider what it means today."—Shelf Awareness
"What a perfect time for this picture book's arrival. [ . . . ] 'Which Side Are You On?' is an old song with new relevance for a generation facing a dubious future."—New York Journal of Books
Other Titles by George Ella Lyon