Kentucky children’s book author George Ella Lyon was recently featured in the New York Times Sunday Book Review in the article, Protest Songs for Young Dissenters.
Her book, Which Side Are You On?, is a fictionalized adaptation of the story of a union organizing coal-miner’s wife, Florence Reece, trying to defend her family against anti-union gunmen in 1931 Harlan County, Kentucky. Reece writes the classic protest song “Which Side Are You On?” in response.
The Times writes,
“Alas, in these union-unfriendly times, the subject of the book… a labor anthem written 80 years ago by a coal miner’s wife in Harlan County, Ken., is far less known today than the work of Bob Dylan. But the story is a good and important one, and it is well told for an elementary-school audience.”
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