This young-adult book does an excellent job introducing the Bread and Roses mill workers' strike that took place in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912.
The author follows two 13-year-old fictional characters through the historical events: Rosa, the daughter of Italian imigrants, and Jake, a "native-born" boy who works in the Lawrence mills. Historical notes at the end of the story help the reader sort fiction from fact.
I highly recommend this book--and then recommend following it up with a tour of Lawrence's sister mill-city: Lowell, Massachusetts. The National Park Service has restored the Boott Cotton Mills and created a museum where you can see (and hear) the looms working, and hear interviews with mill workers that were collected before the museum opened. You can find more information about the museum here: http://www.nps.gov/lowe.