From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8?This easy-to-read biography touches on Olmos's early life and education, concentrating mainly on his acting career and mentioning his recent participation in "Rebuilding Los Angeles," a group founded after the riots of 1992. The book is well illustrated with full-color and black-and-white photographs that give a sense of Olmos and the culture that influenced him, but there are no pictures of him as a young boy. Quotes from the subject are included, but they are not documented. An index and chronology are helpful for research, but the list for further reading cites books about acting and other Mexican-Americans rather than additional sources about Olmos himself. Aimed at reluctant readers, this title provides a brief but useful look at an accomplished Hispanic American.?Phyllis Graves, Creekwood Middle School, Kingwood, TX
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3-5. Although a biography about an actor might seem lightweight, Olmos proves a worthy subject for this latest addition to the Hispanic Heritage series. Olmos, winner of Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe awards as well as an Oscar nomination, grew up in East L.A. (Martinez deftly relates Olmos' youth to the experience of today's Chicanos). After Olmos received a Tony, he was offered many roles that he refused on principle because the parts typically portrayed Latinos as criminals or drug addicts. Olmos' integrity was rewarded, as he moved on to Miami Vice
and Stand and Deliver
. His peacemaking in the L.A. riots, his talks to schools and prisons, and his disavowal of drugs and alcohol make him an outstanding yet somehow accessible role model. Claiming his achievements come from hard work guided by the virtues of patience, faith, and dignity, Olmos personifies attainable success. Chicanos and budding thespians of any race will find much food for thought here. Julie Yates Walton