Summary: Grade 4-8-The dramatic story of Chavez's 340-mile march to protest the working conditions of migrant farmworkers in California is the centerpiece of this well-told biography. Readers meet Chavez at his grandparents' home in Arizona where he lived happily amid a large extended family. His childhood was cut short when, due to financial difficulties, the family was forced to move to California to seek employment. After years of laboring in the fields, Chavez became increasingly disturbed by the inhuman living conditions imposed by the growers. The historic 1965 strike against grape growers and the subsequent march for "La Causa" are vividly recounted, and Chavez's victory-the agreement by the growers granting the workers better conditions and higher pay-is palpable. While sufficient background information is provided to support the story and encourage further research, focusing on one event makes the story appealing to younger readers. The text is largely limited to one side of a spread; beautifully rendered earth-toned illustrations flow out from behind the words and onto the facing page. A fine addition to any collection.Sue Morgan, Tom Kitayama Elementary School, Union City, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Themes: Activism, Peace, Social Activism, Hope, Prejudice, Perseverance
Classroom Implications: A must to match with Cesar: Si, Se Puede!/ Yes, We Can! by Carmen Bernier-Grand. This picture book is an excellent piece of nonfiction/biography that will reach and inspire students. Cesar's life is an accessible venue by which to teach fairness, activism, peace and perseverance.
Teacher's Guide to Book