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That's Not Fair! / ¡No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice/La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia (Spanish and English Edition) (Spanish) Hardcover – April 1, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–6—The title of this bilingual biography echoes the theme of the life of a legendary Mexican-American activist in Texas during the 1920s and 1930s. The story moves from Tenayuca's childhood introduction to the poverty and unfair treatment of Mexican Americans living in her hometown of San Antonio to her increasing awareness of the injustice they suffered, and ultimate fight for their civil rights. Their plight made her angry: "She saw so many people go to work when it was still dark and not come home again until late at night. Many worked so many hours that they were coughing and sick, and still they did not earn enough to feed their children." In 1938, at the age of 21, she led a successful strike of 12,000 pecan shellers whose pitiful wages had been cut from six cents to three cents an hour. In an afterword, which includes photographs of Tenayuca, the rest of her story is related: jailed many times, forced to move, she eventually worked her way through college and returned later to San Francisco as a reading teacher for migrant children. Ybáñez's striking illustrations, framed by pecan-tree branches, are reflective of traditional Mexican mural art, with bold colors and simple shapes. An important book celebrating the struggle for justice and civil rights.—Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
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From Booklist

This handsome picture-book biography in English and Spanish relates the struggle of Mexican American farmworkers in the early twentieth century through the perspectiive of Emma Tenayuca, who became a labor activist. Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, in the early twentieth century, Tenayuca was shocked by the gross inequality around her, comparing her comfortable home to the extreme poverty of the many families of factory and farmworkers. As a smart, kind teenager, she spoke in public about the plight of the pecan shellers in the factories, and at 21, in 1938, she led 12,000 workers in a strike that forced factory owners to raise wages. Co-authored by the late Tenayuca’s niece and one of the activist’s friends, the story is heavy on exclamatory messages. Yet the stirring, unfamiliar chapter in labor history and the humanitarian efforts of Tenayuca herself will intrigue children, who will also like the bold, mural-like illustrations, which show a child confronting suffering and growing up to make a difference. Pair this with Francisco Jiménez’s personal stories and with Sí Se Puede! Yes We Can (2002). Grades 2-4. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Wings Press; Bilingual edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: Spanish, English
  • ISBN-10: 0916727335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916727338
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jyotsna Sreenivasan on October 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This picture book tells the true story of Emma Tenayuca, who at the age of 21 led thousands of Mexican-American pecan shellers in a successful strike.

The authors focus on Emma's childhood and her awakening empathy with Mexican-American laborers. Emma was not born poor: she attended school in San Antonio, Texas, and had enough clothes and food. Yet she encountered children who could not learn to read because they were working as farm laborers. She saw kids who didn't have enough to eat, and not enough clothes to keep them warm.

Even as a schoolgirl, Emma taught a friend to read, and gave food and clothing to children in need. As a teenager, she began to give speeches about the injustices suffered by Mexican-American laborers. In 1938, she led 12,000 pecan shellers in a two-month strike that resulted in higher wages.

Because it focuses mostly on Emma's childhood, his book will appeal to kids in the lower elementary grades. Kids may not understand the concept of labor unions, but they do understand fairness, and that's what this book emphasizes. The pictures are colorful, simple, and appealing. The text is printed in both English and Spanish.

I have included this book in my online Gender Equality Bookstore.
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By Bobbie on November 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It is a great story that should be shared with all children. I purchased an extra copy to donate to our cultural center library in memory of a recently deceased family member.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought 3 copies of That's Not Fair! for the children of my family and friends. One friend told me that her 2 daughters asked to have their mother re-read it that night. Also, another friend told me her children enjoyed it and liked looking at the drawings. I bought a 4th copy for myself, and I enjoyed it too. It's a great book for children and adults.
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