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***Harvesting Hope

The Story of Cesar Chavez

by Kathleen Krull

illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Reviewed September 1, 2003.
Harcourt, San Diego, 2003.  48 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JB CHA).
A 2004 Pura Belpré Honor Book for Illustration.
Winner of the 2004 Christopher Award for ages 8-10.

Here’s a biography of Cesar Chavez, told in a simple picture book style.  The book I read by John Steinbeck, On America and Americans, talked about the desperate plight of California’s migrant workers.  This book told about a man who did something about it.

The book starts with his happy childhood on his family’s farm, ended by a drought that forced them to turn to life as migrant workers.  It describes a little bit of the hardships they then faced, focusing on things kids can understand, like a teacher who made him wear a sign reading, “I am a clown.  I speak Spanish.”

The book stresses Chavez’s commitment to nonviolence.  The climax is his three hundred mile march to Sacramento that resulted in an agreement with the grape companies.  A note at the back of the book explains how he continued to spend his life working for better conditions for the farm workers.

Review of another book by Kathleen Krull:
Wilma Unlimited

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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