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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HARVESTING HOPE (Cesar Chavez)

HARVESTING HOPE: THE STORY OF CESAR CHAVEZ
by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Harcourt)
On a ranch in the Arizona desert was a family thriving on eighty acres, until the great drought drove them all to migrant work. Though their crops may have withered, a seed was germinating in young Cesar Chavez. The indignities he experienced as a shy Spanish-speaking student and the grueling conditions are honestly portayed. Children will be stirred by these indignities, and their hearts equally swelled by the huelga, Chavez's peaceful movement against threatening overlords. His three-hundred mile march from Delano to Sacramento was the longest in U.S. history, and resulted in the first ever contract for farmworkers. This is an extremely powerful book that underscores the bravery and resolve it takes to engage in non-violent protest, and rightly puts Chavez on the same scaffolding as Martin Luther King as a champion of civil rights. The lush illustrations roll across double-pages horizontally set, thoughtfully designed as to emphasize distance: how far the people had to travel both spiritually and physically to achieve the goal. A page-turning read-aloud about an important chapter of Latino history that reads aloud as well to second graders as to eighth graders, this is a welcome and well done contribution to the shelves of children's biography. Viva la Causa! (All ages)

40 comments:

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