The beginning of one of the few three-day long American weekends is starting tonight. In the same way Memorial Day marks the unofficial summer kick off, Labor Day signs the end of the summer season.
Both holidays, however, mean much more than a day on the beach or a BBQ in our backyards.
Labor Day, always celebrated on the first Monday in September in the United States, is first a public holiday that honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers bring to the prosperity of this country.
What the French is the American labor movement? may ask many young Americans. Starting with my own kids.
In 2016, more and more people work independently, seeking the pursuit of their professional goals outside big corporations. Working for a company, big or small, and for a boss is no longer a requirement. The fact that many of us can work remotely has increased our professional independence. This independence has a cost since independent work means working without the protective umbrella of a company.
In 2016, less educated people or with skills that are no longer sought after must often cumulate small jobs to make ends meet. These jobs more often than not come without benefits.
The current deep political divide in the US shows how we differ on the kind of world we want to put together. Mostly what’s dividing us is the kind of world progressive people want to create versus the kind of the world conservatives want to build.
But in our definition of a perfect world we rarely talk anymore about the working middle class.
It seems to me that the reason why numerous Americans don’t embrace the presidential candidates with the fervor and hope we witnessed in 2008, for example, is the lack of empathy from the candidates for the working middle class.
Often I dream to write about the people who wonder who is making them hungry. In the story they would finally find out and get really angry.
Then, I figure I would be Zola and write Germinal.
Meanwhile, I read as many books as I can and write my to-read list for the shorter days of the fall.
Still Life With Tornado (October)
By A S King
A new young adult novel by one of the best, also one of my favorite authors in the genre. In this story A S King explores everyday abuse and survival. Currently waiting for my signed copy from the lovely Aaron’s Books in Lititz, PA. Yeah!
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day
A middle grade novel set in the sixth grade (a class my grad student daughter is currently teaching in San Diego) that tells of three troubled boys and their teacher who believes in them. Remember that teacher you never forgot? Not the mean one or the boring one. The one who looked at you. Really. And told you you mattered? That’s Ms. Bixby. And my young daughter who is considering to teach English, a field where unions still matter.
Draw the Line
By Laurent Linn
First young adult novel from this author, also an art director for children and yound adults’ books. Set in Texas, an adolescent boy realizes that despite the potential danger to stand up for his beliefs, it’s not always possible to remain quiet and invisible.
Garvey’s Chance (October)
By Nikki Grimes
From the queen of stories written in verse, a middle grade novel about a young African American boy searching for himself, between parental and societal expectations.
By Sharon Creech
From the Newbery Medal recipient, a middle grade novel set in Maine where Sharon Creech also resides. I discovered her work through my daughters. Now, I cannot pass a novel set in Maine.
Saving Red (October)
By Sonya Sones
Another verse novel from another favorite of mine. In Saving Red Sonya Sones tackles the topics of homelessness, runaways and mental illness.
From my humble labor front, I am currently seeking publication for my latest Young Adult novel while writing a new one and also discovering my new computer since my beloved McBook Air fell ill after many years of loyal services. My husband cared for it, but alas his geeky talents couldn’t cure it. So I just got a shiny new machine, a McBook Pro this time. A little heavier than the Air but with a better screen definition. Exploring its possibilities…
Wherever you are, enjoy your Labor Day weekend!