Monday, October 31, 2016

All About Middle Grade Review: Fannie Never Flinched

Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights by Mary Cronk Farrell, November 1, 2016. 56 pages. Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers. Source: Publisher*.
Fannie Sellins (1872–1919) lived during the Gilded Age of American Industrialization, when the Carnegies and Morgans wore jewels while their laborers wore rags. Fannie dreamed that America could achieve its ideals of equality and justice for all, and she sacrificed her life to help that dream come true. Fannie became a union activist, helping to create St. Louis, Missouri, Local 67 of the United Garment Workers of America. She traveled the nation and eventually gave her life, calling for fair wages and decent working and living conditions for workers in both the garment and mining industries. Her accomplishments live on today. This book includes an index, glossary, a timeline of unions in the United States, and endnotes.

First off, while this is marketed towards middle grade readers, it is more for upper middle grade to young adults due to content with a recommended age range of 10-14 years old.

If you haven't noticed, I'm really in to books that deal with history. I really enjoy reading not only about big points in history but also the people that helped to shape it. So, when I was approached with the opportunity to read Fannie Never Flinched I could not resist because it sounded like an interesting read. It was!!

  • Fannie Never Flinched, was every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I really enjoyed how well the author told Fannie's story without glossing over the difficulties that she faced in attempting to help workers better themselves. When I say "better themselves" I mean to fight for just wages and better working conditions/time off; all things that one can find about work in the CCC (2434-2436). Those three entries do a great job of representing what Fannie was fighting for and how those who work are entitled to a just wage and time off. Food for thought.
  • Before I continue on with how much I loved this book, there is just one facet of the book that I disagreed with. As one who has been reading up on the Middle Ages, I do not agree with what the author said in regards to fiefdoms or her view upon them. As imperfect as some of them were, not all were forms of bondage. There's a wonderful book that obliterates the biggest myths of the Middle Ages that I highly recommend reading if you want to learn more. It was just a short entry within the book, but enough to require a short entry in my review.
  • Honestly, I thought Mary Cronk Farrell did a wonderful job getting to the essence of Fannie's story and showing the difficulties that she, and especially those she sought to help, suffered at the hands of employers who did not treat their people with respect nor the dignity that is inherent in all people. She did not gloss over the details of what happened, which showcases Fannie's story all the more clearly because you see it from all angles. 

  • The images were a nice addition to the overall aesthetic of the book. While you can read something and understand it, sometimes it takes a picture to fully convey the depths of what one's reading about. When it came to the photographs and images within Fannie Never Flinched, they did a great job illustrating what the author was speaking of and giving it more clarity. 
  • In closing: Fannie Never Flinched is a wonderful biography of a courageous woman who fought for just treatment of American workers. Her story is one that I think many readers will enjoy learning about Fannie Sellins and American history!While very informative, the book is written in a way that just pulls you in to this slice of history, so, yeah definitely something I would recommend to all.

Final Verdict: Fannie Never Flinched-  As a history buff, I cannot recommend this book enough because Fannie and her story were incredible. Seriously though, a fascinating look at history and one courageous woman!

Fannie Never Flinched earns

About the Author:
I'm an award-winning author of Children's/YA books and former journalist with a passion for stories about people facing great adversity with courage. Writing such stories has shown me that in our darkest moments we have the opportunity to discover our true identity and follow an inner compass toward the greater good.

Both my fiction and non-fiction titles feature little-known true stories of history based on thorough research. Most include an author's note, bibliography and further resources, but they are not dry, scholarly tomes! Confronting grief, adversity and failure in my own life, enables me to write stories with an authentic emotional core.

You can haunt Mary Cronk Farrell at-
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon |

A copy of this book was received in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

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