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A Picture Book of Cesar Chavez (Picture Book Biographies) Hardcover – July 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-4–Adler and his son, Michael, have collaborated to produce another respectable addition to the biography series the senior Adler began years ago. Those owning Kathleen Krull's Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez (Harcourt, 2003), a standout biography of Chavez for this age group, will still want to consider this title because of its slightly different bent. While Krull emphasizes Chavez's younger years that inspired him to become an activist and focuses on the 1965 grape pickers boycott and the 300-mile march that resulted in the first farm workers' contract, the Adlers' book includes those events, but provides a more linear approach. It covers Chavez's life from birth to death, providing important facts, such as the posthumous award of the Congressional Medal of Freedom, not mentioned in Krull's title. Olofsdotter's lively, earth-toned illustrations extend the text.Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The selfless struggles of labor leader Chavez are given a tempered and lucid treatment in this educational overview. It only takes one page for the Adlers to zero in on the theme of inequality: “Chavez and others who helped put food on Americans’ tables often had no tables of their own, no real homes.” After losing their farm in the Great Depression, the Chavez family headed west, living an itinerant lifestyle as they moved from farm to farm—and shuttling young Cesar among 65 different elementary schools. The books focuses mainly on Chavez’s later fights for better wages and safer working conditions. Three of his hunger strikes are described, though Olofsdotter keeps her illustrations gentle and ennobling. The characters are drawn in an intentionally stiff style that fits with the depth-challenged folk art backgrounds, most of which are dominated by the color of sand. The text, meanwhile, is peppered with quotes from Chavez, all of which are backed up with source notes. An elegant introduction to a man who inspired thousands. Grades 1-4. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 880L (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Book Biographies
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082342202X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823422029
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deb HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Young Cesar looked pensive as he rubbed his hands together while his mother tended to his brothers and sisters inside a shabby dwelling with only a sheet for a door. They were itinerant farm workers, field hands who owned nothing but worked very hard for very little in return. He "traveled with his family from one farm to the next to pick beans, broccoli, lettuce, and other crops." It was not an easy life, but his mother, Juana, made sure that he recognized his own self worth and acknowledged that of others by saying such things as, "What you do to others, others do to you."

Cesar was able to go to school, but it hurt when he was unable to speak Spanish or acknowledge his culture. The emotional pain was often accompanied by a stern look and the smack of a ruler across his knuckles. ENGLISH! But Cesar Chavez was not English ... he was Hispanic and one day would stand up for his rights and those of others. In the meantime it was the Great Depression and he had to struggle with his family in the fields. They were homeless and had to keep moving from field to field to pick the crops that made others rich. Would this inhumane system ever stop? Would he be able to help change it?

This is a beautifully expressive picture book biography of Cesar Chavez, a man who stood up for the rights of all farm workers. The importance of family and the regard for the rights of others was clearly expressed in this book. For example, when the family was mistreated or working conditions were harsh Librado, his father, would say, "Okay, let's go," something that Cesar later commented on by saying, "Our dignity meant more than money." His work in organizations such as the Community Service Organization (CSO) is mentioned as are the boycotts and fasting. In the back of the book are important dates, an author's note, source notes, a selected bibliography, and additional recommended websites to explore.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well written and gave a lot of details about Cesar Chavez's life. I purchased it for use in my 2nd grade classroom. This text would probably appeal more to an intermediate level class. It was not engaging enough for my students. I gave it 5 stars because it is a good book with wonderful illustrations.
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Format: Hardcover
Cesar Chavez, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America and a highly influential civil rights leader, learned from his parents to value dignity even in the face of poverty. The Great Depression had caused his family to lose their Arizona farm and to move to California in search of work. Already at a young age Cesar helped his family to earn a living by picking fruits and vegetables. Constantly on the move (sometimes in response to especially poor working conditions that the family refused to tolerate), Cesar attended sixty-five elementary schools and was forced to drop out of school at the age of fifteen to work full-time.

As a young adult, Cesar channeled these hardships into action, beginning with a voter registration drive and subsequently with the formation of a fruit pickers union. Over time he used a variety of forceful but nonviolent methods to advocate for farm workers' rights, including marches, church meetings, sit-ins, boycotts, and hunger strikes. His organizing tactics resulted not only in higher wages, benefits, and improved working conditions for farm workers, but also in the promotion of Latino civil rights.

Experienced biographer David Adler and his son do an excellent job in helping children become more familiar with an important advocate for social justice and worker rights. The detailed narrative is nicely balanced with a compelling story and bold illustrations to keep younger readers thoroughly engaged.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My students enjoyed learning about the life of Cesar Chavez. The story was especially appropriate to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautiful pictures. I use it to go along with one of my favorite books, Esperanza Rising. Both books help teach children about the history of our country.
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Would have liked it better and think that it would hold up to the wear and tear by children (to whom it is geared) if it had a hard cover.
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