Skinner Strike

Stephanie S. Tolan

The Great Skinner Strike

Macmillan, 1983

When the four Skinner children and their father arrive home one October afternoon to find their resident wife-and-mother on strike and walking a picket line in front of their house, they begin to suspect that they are not quite the "ordinary middle class family" they had thought.

Fourteen-year-old Jenny Skinner relates the hilarious story of the nineteen days of social conflict and domestic disaster.  Mrs. Skinner makes demands, lives in a tent on the front lawn, organizes dozens of women into a group called Wives/MAD, and draws the attention of newspapers, television talk shows, and local crazies.  Mr. Skinner and the children try to prove they can manage without her, only to be tripped up by the dirty laundry and convenience food catastrophes.  When they create the ominously named organization CHAOS - Children and Husbands Against Offensive Strikes - the family, if not the strike, appears doomed.  It is then Jenny and her sister Marcia, beginning to see things in a new way, instigate a strike of their own....

In The Great Skinner Strike, Stephanie S. Tolan tells a funny story with a serious theme - family liberation.  She celebrates the American family as she challenges some of its strongest conventions, inviting self-examination as well as laughter.

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Last modified: March 05, 2007