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Separate Is Never Equal : Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation
by Duncan Tonatiuh


Overview - A 2015 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor Book and a 2015 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education , Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites only" school.
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More About Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh
 
 
 
Overview
A 2015 Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor Book and a 2015 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites only" school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

Praise for Separate is Never Equal
STARRED REVIEWS
"Tonatiuh masterfully combines text and folk-inspired art to add an important piece to the mosaic of U.S. civil rights history."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Younger children will be outraged by the injustice of the Mendez family story but pleased by its successful resolution. Older children will understand the importance of the 1947 ruling that desegregated California schools, paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education seven years later."
--School Library Journal, starred review

"Tonatiuh (Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote) offers an illuminating account of a family's hard-fought legal battle to desegregate California schools in the years before Brown v. Board of Education."
--Publishers Weekly

"Pura Belpre Award-winning Tonatiuh makes excellent use of picture-book storytelling to bring attention to the 1947 California ruling against public-school segregation."
--Booklist

"The straightforward narrative is well matched with the illustrations in Tonatiuh's signature style, their two-dimensional perspective reminiscent of the Mixtec codex but collaged with paper, wood, cloth, brick, and (Photoshopped) hair to provide textural variation. This story deserves to be more widely known, and now, thanks to this book, it will be."
--The Horn Book Magazine


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781419710544
  • ISBN-10: 1419710540
  • Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
  • Publish Date: May 2014
  • Page Count: 40
  • Reading Level: Ages 6-9
  • Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > History - United States/20th Century
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > People & Places - United States - Hispanic/Latino
Books > Juvenile Nonfiction > Social Topics - Prejudice & Racism

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-03-03
  • Reviewer: Staff

Tonatiuh (Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote) offers an illuminating account of a family’s hard-fought legal battle to desegregate California schools in the years before Brown v. Board of Education. In 1944, after years of laboring as a field worker, Sylvia Mendez’s father leases his own farm in Westminster, Calif. But even though Mexican-born Mr. Mendez is a U.S. citizen and his wife is Puerto Rican, their children are banned from the local public school and told they must attend the inferior “Mexican school.” When all else fails, the Mendezes and four other families file a lawsuit. Readers will share Sylvia’s outrage as she listens to a district superintendent denigrate Mexicans (Tonatiuh drew his words and other testimony from court transcripts). Visually, the book is in keeping with Tonatiuh’s previous work, his simplified and stylized shapes drawn from Mexican artwork. He again portrays his characters’ faces in profile, with collaged elements of hair, fabric, and fibrous paper lending an understated texture. An extensive author’s note provides historical context (including that Sylvia Mendez received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011) and urges readers to make their own voices heard. Ages 6–9. (May)

 
BAM Customer Reviews