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Across the Fruited Plain by Means




With Illustrations by Janet Smalley

[Cover Illustration: Cars] [Cover Illustration: Hoeing] [Cover Illustration: Picking] [Cover Illustration: Weeding]

New York : Friendship Press, c1940

Plans and procedures for using _Across The Fruited Plain_ will be found in "A Junior Teacher's Guide on the Migrants," by E. Mae Young. Photographs of migrant homes and migrant Centers will be found in the picture story book _Jack Of The Bean Fields_, by Nina Millen.

This book is dedicated to a whole troop of children "across the fruited plain": Tomoko, Willie May, Fei-Kin, Nawamana, Candelaria and Isabell, and to the newest child of all--our little Mary Margaret.

[Illustration: Cissy and Tommy at the Center]


Foreword 1: The House Of Beecham 2: The Cranberry Bog 3: Shucking Oysters 4: Peekaneeka? 5: Cissy From The Onion Marshes 6: At The Edge Of A Mexican Village 7: The Boy Who Didn't Know God 8: The Hopyards 9: Seth Thomas Strikes Twelve


Dear Mary and Bonnie and Jack and the rest of my readers:

Maybe you've heard about the migrants lately, or have seen pictures of them in the magazines. But have you thought that many of them are families much like yours and mine, traveling uncomfortably in rattly old jalopies while they go from one crop to another, and living crowded in rickety shacks when they stop for work?

There have always been wandering farm laborers because so many crops need but a few workers part of the year and a great many at harvest. A two-thousand-acre peach orchard needs only thirty workers most of the year, and one thousand seven hundred at picking time. Lately, though, there have been more migrants than ever. One reason is that while in the past we used to eat fresh peas, beans, strawberries, and the like only in summer, now we want fresh fruits and vegetables all year round. To supply our wants, great quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables must be raised in the warm climates where they will grow.

Another reason is that more farm machinery is used now, and one tractor will do as much work as several families of farm laborers. So the extra families have taken to migrating or wandering about the country wherever they hope to find work.

A further cause of the wandering is the long drought which turned part of our Southwestern country where there had been good farming into a dry desert that wouldn't grow crops any more. The people from the Dust Bowl, as the district is called, had to migrate, or starve. A great many of them went to the near-by state Of California, which grows much fruit and vegetables. There are perhaps two hundred thousand people migrating to California alone each year.

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