Book Award
Press Release


New Book on Discrimination and Retaliation in NE Minnesota
Wins National Award

The book, Plaintiff Blues: Job Discrimination and the Chilling Effect of Retaliation, by Judith Pearson, has won national recognition in the Memoir category from the 2008 Eric Hoffer Awards for Books. These awards are given to recognize freethinking writers and independent books of exceptional merit. The awards are named in honor of one of America's greatest philosophers and freethinkers. For more than fifty years, Eric Hoffer's books have circulated the world and been translated into several languages.
The award announcement read, "Congratulations on your Eric Hoffer Book Award. Your book endured rigorous judging and surpassed dozens of titles within its category. Each winner was determined to be unique, worthy and well produced in all aspects of writing and publishing."
Lake Vermilion resident, Iron Range native, and retired educator Judith Pearson wrote Plaintiff Blues as a personal instruction manual on "the how and why" of civil rights. It is Pearson's story of the discrimination lawsuit she won against St. Louis County School District and the devastating retaliation that ensued. Pearson's seventeen-year saga starts in 1986 when she applied for the Cook high school principal position and was told, "Hell will freeze over before we hire a woman principal at the Cook High School," and "The rumor is that you are sleeping with the superintendent," after her scheduled interviews for that position. She sued and won and now Pearson gives readers the story beyond the newspaper coverage, including the personal and professional costs she paid for exercising her civil rights. Plaintiff Blues is a candid representation of one woman's challenge to provincialism in northern Minnesota, a white-collar version of the book Class Action and the movie North Country. Pearson provides insight into initiating an EEOC complaint, filing a civil lawsuit, confronting retaliation, and being a plaintiff. The context of Pearson's story includes a close up look at her common sense approach to teaching and education administration.
Readers have written:

"WOW! You're a great writer. Your book kept me enthralled! I realize that it took some soul searching and real effort to write it! You're also a terrific researcher & "keeper of records." I want to buy more copies and give them to other women friends who've experienced blatant discrimination, not as bad as what you went through, though, but they'll profit from your writing."
Dr. Neal Nickerson (Professor Emeritus - Department of Educational Policy and Administration, University of Minnesota.)

"Hi Judy, what a wonderful book. I read it over the past weekend and couldn't put it down. You faced a great number of trials during your tenure, continuing to fight when others may have given up. Your tenacity to keep fighting when things looked bleak speaks volumes. This is a book that peaked my interest from the first page to the last. It's a good read, but more importantly it tells a story that needed to be told. I'm proud to know you."
Denny Anderson (news anchor WDIO, author Good Night Everybody ... and be kind)

Published book reviews and additional readers comments can be viewed at The books are also available at Woodward's Bookstore in Virginia and Howard Street Bookstore in Hibbing.

(300 dpi version of book award)
(300 dpi graphic of book cover)

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