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Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel /Si Lakas at ang Makibaka Hotel Hardcover – February 23, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Inspired by the successful resistance by the residents of the Trinity Plaza Apartments in San Francisco, author and activist Robles has created a memorable story, supported by Angel's vibrant, hopeful art. In a tribute to Makibaka, the spirit of struggle, young Lakas helps his neighbors stand together to keep their home, the Makibaka Hotel, which the landlord is selling. While specifically honoring Filipino culture and communities, this richly patterned text in both English and Tagalog yields a universal message. As Fernando states, I was afraid before, but not now. We are together, no matter what happens. In this way, we have already won. While the easy, successful resolution might be too simplistic for some readers, the messages-that voices of all people are worthy of being heard and that social change comes with unity-are those that all readers will appreciate. A great read-aloud, the story will also be enjoyed by independent readers, along with Lakas and the Manilatown Fish (Children's Book Press, 2003).-Alexa Sandmann, Kent State University, OH
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Gr. 2-4. This lively bilingual picture book, in English with a Tagalog translation on every spread, begins with a note from the author about his Filipino grandparents, who came to the U.S. as farm workers and brought Makibaka, the spirit "of struggle, of love, and of laughter," with them. With that in mind, Robles tells the story of Lakas, a contemporary kid in a busy city neighborhood, who rouses his poor community to resist the demolition of their hotel home and the gentrification of their neighborhood. The vibrant, double-page collages, in bright shades of red, purple, and green, show Lakas calling on the people in his community, including the wild, irreverent dancers and musicians and the Karaoke King, who make signs, march through the streets, and defeat the landlord, a comic figure clothed in a suit of garish green banknotes. Filipino families will want this, as will many immigrant families. Pair it with Diana Cohn's picture book Si, Se Puede = Yes, We Can! Janitor Strike in L. A.(2002). Hazel Rochman
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