Happy Labor Day!

Recommended Books for Labor Day

Labor Day | People at Work |
Kids Making Money | Individual Occupations |
Planning for a Career | Stories about Work and Working |
The History of Labor
For Teachers

Books about Labor Day
Labor Day (ages 9-12)
Written by Mir Tamim Ansary

Part of the Holiday Histories series, this book explores how the holiday began, how it has developed over the years, and how it is celebrated today.

Labor DayLabor Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays) (ages 4-8)
Written by Carmen Bredeson

In simple terms, this Rookie Read-About Holidays book explains how and why we celebrate Labor Day.

Labor Day -- Pebble BooksLabor Day
Written by Mari C. Schuh
Geared toward kindergarten through second day students, this book offers a brief explanation of the holiday, its history, and how it is celebrated. Although appropriate for any young child, the books in this series are especially beneficial to ESL students attempting to assimilate a new culture as well as a second language.

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Books about People at Work
coverThe Berenstain Bears on the Job (ages 3-8) (also in hardcover)
Written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain

America's favorite brother and sister bears meet people from all walks of life as they try to decide what they want to be when they grow up.

cover Community Helpers from A to Z (ages 4-8)
Written by Bobbie Kalman

Kids enjoy real photographs of real people hard at work making our communities cleaner, safer places to live. Clear text provides a simple, yet accurate overview of what each job involves and why it's important to the community.

cover Daddies at Work (ages 3-8) (also in hardcover)
Written by Eve Merriam; Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Ethnically diverse and warmly illustrated, this book helps young children understand what Daddy is doing when he "goes to work" every day.

Guess Who (ages 2-6)
Written by Margaret Miller

Who fixes your car? Who cleans your teeth?  A puppy, an umpire, a violinist, or a ??? Simple questions and answers, along with full-color photographs introduce young children to common occupations while fostering critical thinking skills.

coverMommies at Work (ages 3-8) (also in hardcover)
Written by Eve Merriam; Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Soft illustrations show mommies from diverse ethnic backgrounds working in various occupations, but the gentle text assures children that mommies like nothing better than coming home to them at the end of each day.
Who Drives This? (ages 2-6)
Written by Charles Reasoner

In this Sliding Surprise book, the youngest listeners get to know members of various occupations by the cars they drive.

WorkWork (ages 3-8)
Written by Ann Morris; Illustrated by Ken Heyman

Simple text and full-color photography show people at work all over the world. Clear, straightforward language helps even very young children grasp the concept of work.

coverWorksong (ages 4-9) (also in hardcover)
Written by Gary Paulsen; Illustrated by Ruth Wright Paulsen

In this beautifully-illustrated book, the Paulsens pay tribute to the working people of the world. The lyrical text describes every one from blue collar workers to highly-paid professionals working all day, then coming home to tuck their kids in bed.

Additional recommendations include ...

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Books to Help Kids Make and Manage Money
Fast Cash for Kids (ages 6 and up)
Written by Bonnie Drew and Noel Drew

The Drews provide simple, workable ideas for kids interested in making money. Even more significantly, they convince youngsters that real success is possible. The book also relates some of the childhood ventures of people who went on to become some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.

cover50 Money Making Ideas for Kids (ages 8 and up)
Written by Lauree and L. Allen Burkett; Adapted from materials by Larry Burkett

This book suggests 50 businesses even elementary-age children can start with little or no help and at which they can succeed. It also discusses foundations of a successful business such as planning ahead, managing finances wisely, and operating with integrity. Written from a Christian perspective.

The Kid's Guide to Money: Earning It, Saving It, Spending It, Growing It, Sharing It (ages 9-12)
by Steve Otfinoski

Otfinoski takes on the impossible -- teaching kids how to survive and thrive in the American economy -- and succeeds. He provides down-to-earth advice about starting a business, budgeting, saving, and even long-term investing.

coverThe Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting and Running a Business (ages 10 and up)
Written by Steve Mariotti

A former high school teacher, Mariotti tells the stories of entrepreneurs who went on to create successful business empires. He also lays out the basics of starting a business, from recognizing opportunity to handling finances. Written for young adults, this book is a must-read for anyone thinking of starting their own business, however large or small.

Other recommendations include ...

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Books about Individual Occupations
cover Fire Fighter (ages 4-8) (also in hardcover)
By Angela Royston

Part of the Eyewitness series, this book invites children to travel along with fire fighters as they rush to the scene of an emergency. Through simple text and vivid photographs, it captures the urgency of emergency response.

I'm Going to be a Fire Fighter (ages 4-8)
Written by Edith Kunhardt

Through real full-color photographs and simple text, Kunhardt helps children see what it's really like to be a fire fighter.

cover I'm Going to be a Vet (ages 4-8)
Written by Edith Kunhardt

Illustrated with full-color photographs, this book tells the story of young Nicole, who decides to be a veterinarian like her father. Readers spend the day with Nicole as she helps her dad care for animals of all shapes and sizes.
I Want to Be a Doctor (ages 4-8) (also in hardcover)
Written by Daniel Liebman

Simple texts and actual photographs show male and female doctors from diverse ethnic backgrounds hard at work.

coverI Want to Be a Police Officer (ages 4-8) (also in hardcover)
Written by Daniel Liebman

Full-color photographs, each accompanied by one or two simple sentences, let the youngest readers see inside the daily life of a police officer.
Jungle Jack Hanna's What Zoo-Keepers Do (ages 4-8) (also in hardcover)
Written by Jack Hanna

Who better than a zoo-keeper to help kids see what daily life inside the zoo is all about? Jack Hanna shares his own love for a zoo-keeper's life and offers kids a glimpse behind the scenes into animal diets, exercise, health care, and training.

coverTruck Trouble (ages 3-7)
Written by Angela Royston

This Eyewitness Book illustrated with full-color photographs lets youngsters step inside the world a truck driver for a day as he overcomes a series of humorous, yet realistic obstacles to make a special delivery on time.

Other recommendations include ...

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Books about Planning for a Career
coverCareers for Kids Who Like ... (ages 9-14)
Written by Diane Lindsey Reeves; Illustrated by Nancy Bond

This well-written series of books helps older children and young adults identify careers they might be interested in pursuing, based on their current interests and skills. Each book begins with a set of questions to help kids determine who they are, what they like to do, and what they do best. The books then go on to describe specific professions in detail, including everything from what the job will demand to how kids can prepare.

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Stories about Work and Working
coverA Day's Work (ages 4-8) (also in hardcover)
Written by Eve Bunting; Illustrated by Ronald Himler

A small Mexican-American boy accompanies his grandfather as the old man searches for work, because the grandfather speaks no English. The boy lies about his grandfather's work experience to help him get a job as a gardener, then the two must work without pay to repair the damage they do. Even young children can see the value of work and comprehend the importance of honesty and integrity.

cover Amos Fortune: Free Man (ages  9 and up) (also in hardcover)
Written by Elizabeth Yates

Born in Africa, the son of a king, Amos Fortune was captured by slave traders at the age of 15 and brought to Colonial America. Fortune spent the next 45 years working to buy his freedom, finally achieving his goal at the age of 60. This book chronicles his labors in slavery and as a free man.
The Bobbin Girl (ages 5-11)
Written by by Emily Arnold McCully

Set in the 1830s, 10-year-old Rebecca goes to work in local textile mill when her mother's income from the boardinghouse is no longer enough to support them. Older children can read this book on their own. Younger children will enjoy having it read to them.

coverCarry On, Mr. Bowditch (ages 9 and up)
Written by Jean Lee Latham

Latham's 1995 Newbery Award winner is a fictionalized biography of Nathan Bowditch of Salem. Through hard work, a young boy denied a Harvard education masters the art of navigation. Bowditch slowly rises from an indentured slave to a ship's captain and, in the process, literally re-writes the book on navigation making the seas safer for everyone. This classic novel beautifully illustrates the power of persistence and hard work. 

coverGood Work, Amelia Bedelia (ages 3-8) (also in hardcover)
Written by Peggy Parish; Illustrated by Lynn Sweat

Youngsters delight in the zany humor and ridiculous actions of Amelia Bedelia. At the same time, they see how important communication is when it comes to getting a job done right the first time.

The Little Engine that Could (ages 2-8) (also in board book)
coverWritten by Watty Piper; Illustrated by George Hauman

This modern classic tells the tale of the Little Engine taking toys to all the good boys and girls when it encountered a mountain that seemed impossible to climb. Telling itself, "I think I can, I think I can," the small train slowly made its way to the top, then successfully completed its task. Even children can understand its message of sticking with a job until it's finished.

cover Lyddie (ages 9-16) (also in hardcover)
Written by Katherine Patterson

Child labor may be a thing of the past in the United States of today, but 150 years ago, it was a part of daily life for many youngsters. In this realistic story, young Lyddie Worthen's mother hires the child out to work in the factories of Lowell, Massachusetts, after the father abandons the family and leaves them deep in debt.

coverMike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (ages 3-8)
(also available in hardcover, with audio cassette)
Written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton

In this modern classic, Mike Mulligan chooses to remain faithful to his old steam shovel Mary Anne, even when gas- and diesel-powered machines that can do the job in half the time threaten their future. On a deeper level, this work illustrates the impact of modernization on the labor industry, putting the heavy concept into concrete terms even the youngest children can grasp.

coverMr. Griggs' Work (ages 4-8) (also in hardcover)
Written by Cynthia Rylant; Illustrated by Julie Downing

Meet the delightful Mr. Griggs, who loves in his job at the local post office. When Mr. Griggs gets sick and has to miss a day at work, he worries what will happen in his absence. Children see that it's possible for people to find jobs that they truly enjoy, and discover that how much a job pays isn't the most important thing.

coverTrashy Town (ages 3-8)
Written by Andrea Griffing Zimmerman and David Clemesha; Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

"Dump it in / Smash it down / Drive around the Trashy Town." Mr. Gilly may not have the best-paying job in the world, but it's certainly an important one. As Trashy Town's garbage collector, he works all day long to make is community a cleaner, safer place, then goes home each night to enjoy a refreshing and much-needed bath.

Other Recommendations for young children include ...

Additional recommendations for older children include ...

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The History of Labor
cover Industrial Revolution (ages 9-12)
Edited by John D. Clare

This book traces the history of the Industrial Revolution, from its beginnings in Great Britain to its spread throughout the rest of Europe and into North America. The work also examines the technological, industrial, and social changes it brought about. A part of the Living History series.

cover Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor (ages 9 and up) (also in hardcover)
Written by Russell Freedman; Photographs by Lewis W. Hine

Freedman chronicles the state of child labor in the United States in the early part of the 21st century, while documenting the life of photographer Lewis Hine. Hine left a teaching position in 1908 to become a full-time investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee.

coverFire! The Beginnings of the Labor Movement (ages 9-12) (also in hardcover)
Written by Barbara Diamond Goldin; Illustrated by James Watling

Eleven-year-old Rosie thinks she wants to quit school and go to work in one of New York City's garment factories--until fire sweeps through the Triangle Shirtwaist factory where her sister works. Some workers escape. Many, including Rosie's cousin, don't. Following the deadly blaze, Rosie begins attending union meetings with her sister, hoping the organization of a labor union will improve conditions. This work is fictional, but based on historic events that occurred in 1911.

The Lowell Mill Girls: Life in the Factory (ages 10 and up)
Edited by Joanne Weisman Deitch

This collection of letters, journals, newspaper accounts, and interviews of the young girls who worked in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, in the first part of the nineteenth century is balanced against the words of the Mill owners. It provides excellent background information for the study of  Emily Arnold McCully's The Bobbin Girl or Katherine Patterson's Lyddie. A part of the Perspectives on History series.

Other resources include ...

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Especially for Teachers
823022: Community Helpers Pocket Flash Cards
Community Helpers Pocket Flash Cards
By Trend Enterprises

Real-life community helpers teach kids about careers in many fields. Cards feature photos of real workers, extensive career information, and pictures of tools important to the job. Set includes activity ideas. Handy 3 1/8" x 5 1/4" size makes cards great for travel. 56 cards. For ages 8-12.
936011: Community Helpers Fun-to-Know Puzzlers
Community Helpers Fun-to-Know Puzzlers
By Trend Enterprises

Match everyday helpers to the common tools they use. Format adapts to abilities and features interlocking pieces with photographs for easy recognition and retention. 20 puzzles/40 pieces. Sturdy, durable pieces with self-checking design. Ideal for Pre-Kindergarten to 1st Grade (Ages 3 to 7).
902412: Occupation Jingo
Occupation Jingo
By Gary Grimm & Associates

Similiar to Bingo, Occupation Jingo builds career-related vocabulary skills, listening skills and word-to-picture recognition.
768301: Tools of the Trade Sorting Tray Game
Tools of the Trade Sorting Tray Game
By Smethport Specialty Company

Children love to talk about what they want to be when they grow up. The Tools Of the Trade Game and activity introduces children to 32 different occupations and the tools they use as they sort picture tiles depicting various tools into the correct compartments in the tray. Includes a sturdy sorting/storage tray, 56 tool tiles, and 4 category cards with self checking feature. No reading required. 1 or 2 players, ages 4-8.
222885: Community Helpers: A Matching Card Game
Community Helpers: A Matching Card Game
By School Specialty Publishing

A lively game that reinforces knowledge about community helpers! Players match community helpers with their equipment; the most matches wins. Includes 40 playing cards. For 2-4 players. Grades 1-2.
Multi-Ethnic Careers 8 Puzzle Set Multi-Ethnic Careers 8 Puzzle Set
By Lights, Camera Interaction

Reinforces cultural, gender and occupational awareness with colorful, positive images. Sturdy non-toxic wooden pieces will encourage a child's creativity while teaching manual dexterity. Set of 8 wooden puzzles. Each puzzle has 11-17 pieces. Ages 2 and up.
34496X: Community Helpers, Grades PreK-K
Community Helpers, Grades PreK-K
By The Mailbox Book Company

Part of The Mailbox Theme Series, this book offers ideas for crafts, curriculum-based activities, games, reproducible patterns, and more.
342673: September Monthly Reproducible Activities, Grades 2-3
September Monthly Reproducible Activities, Grades 2-3
By The Mailbox Book Company

Use even more fun reproducible activities and ideas! This September themed book focuses on Labor Day, Breakfast Week, ice cream, and more. 64 pages, Grades 2-3.
401847: September Calendar Companion
September Calendar Companion
By School Specialty Publishing

The calendar is a natural springboard for many teaching ideas. A Teacher's Calendar Companion for September is packed with challenging and fun ideas that will supplement your classroom's monthly themes. The creative writing prompts, motivating math applications, fun art projects, hands-on science lessons, independent activities, and time-saving and convenient teacher's resources are sure to become favorites that you'll use year after year. 48 pages. Grades K-3.
503779: September Monthly Idea Book
September Monthly Idea Book
By Scholastic Teaching

Each creative idea book is filled with on-target reproducible monthly activities that are ready-to-go and make learning fun! These books integrate with any curriculum and are loaded with cute patterns, ideas, motivation awards, bookmarks, open-ended games, crafts, bulletin board suggestions and celebrations for every special day of the month! Grades PreK-6.

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