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Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez Hardcover – March 1, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Sue Morgan, Tom Kitayama Elementary School, Union City, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
The book describes the inhumane treatment of the farm workers, focusing on Chavez' own experience: "Anyone who complained was fired, beaten up, or sometimes even murdered." Some may complain that this represents a monolithic view of ALL landowners in California. Still, this is a children's book, not a history of agricultural employment in California. The author correctly points out the terrible conditions that Chavez battled through non-violence, notably the 1965 grape strike which ended with Chavez signing the first farmworker contract in American history. The book ends with a 2-page "author's note" that summarizes what Chavez accomplished. I look forward to more of Morales' work.
"La familia Chávez hablaba constantemente de ahorrar lo suficiente para poder volver a comprar su rancho. Pero al atardecer, la familia entera había ganado no más de treinta centavos por todo un día de trabajo. Conforme pasaban los años, hablaban cada vez menos del rancho."
That's right, a total of thirty cents pay for a long, backbreaking day of labor put in by the whole family!
Oh. You didn't understand that the first time because it was in Spanish? Hey! What's wrong with you?
"The towns weren't much better than the fields. WHITE TRADE ONLY signs were displayed in many stores and restaurants. None of the thirty-five schools Cesar attended over the years seemed like a safe place, either. Once, after Cesar broke the rule about speaking English at all times, a teacher hung a sign on him that read, I AM A CLOWN. I SPEAK SPANISH. He came to hate school because of the conflicts, though he liked to learn. Even he considered his eighth-grade graduation a miracle. After eighth grade he dropped out to work in the fields full-time.Read more ›
Kathleen Krull's latest biography flies in the face of such convention, daring children to resist the status quo, to take a stand and to, yes, fight.
This past Saturday San Antonio honored the legacy of Cesar E. Chavez with a march to the Alamo - the mission, not the premiere. But how much do we really know about the noble migrant laborer who passed away peacefully in his sleep 11 years ago? How much do our children know about this Chicano organizer - only the second Mexican American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom?
With broad brushstrokes and soft, warm tones, Krull and illustrator Yuyi Morales paint a picture of a quiet, peaceful man who was compelled by injustice, greed and racism to overcome his own fears and insecurities.
The story begins on a summer night upon the lush, utopian, magical fields of his grandfather; family that relaxes after a long, but satisfying day working the land surrounds Cesar.
Watching young Cesar run away from school on the first day of class back to the loving embrace of his gentle mother, the reader relates, beginning to see the human being behind the legend.
To drought and depression paradise is soon lost and the Chavez family must strike out towards California to seek out new opportunities, a new Promised Land.
But Cesar finds instead an oppressive blanket of harsh reality, patched together by insecticides, calluses, short-handled hoes and pennies a day for backbreaking work. After many brutal hours under the unrelenting sun his family returns to a shack with no doors in an overcrowded shantytown.Read more ›
The fact of the matter is, there's not a single misstep in this book. Anyone familiar with the previous Pura Belpre winner, "Esperanza Rising" will see that this book succeeds where "Esperanza" was apt to fail. But, quite frankly, it's unfair to compare the two. Fiction will always pale in comparison to well-written non-fiction. In this book you have an honest story told simply with an elegance all its own.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great children's book explaining Chavez's childhood & how he became a "migrant" farmer. How he began the cause for raising pay for what the migrant farmer does and the... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Julie Northrop
Language is above kindergarten level, but paraphrased to make meaningful. Beautiful illustrations!Published 16 months ago by lindy lou
Awesome! My fourth grade students enjoyed the book and I am thankful for the quick shipment!Published 16 months ago by Tracy L. Figgins