Friday, July 25, 2008

The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1)

**This review was created for an assignment at Texas Woman's University**

Book Review: The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1)

DiTerlizzi, Tony & Black, Holly. 2003. THE FIELD GUIDE (THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, BOOK ONE). New York: Simon and Schuster.
ISBN: 0689859368

The Field Guide is the first book of five written about the Grace children, Mallory, Jared, and Simon and the Spiderwick Manor. The children have moved with their mother from New York City to their great-aunt Lucinda’s old Victorian home after their parents divorce. Strange and spooky occurrences begin in the home shortly upon their arrival. Jared hears a noise that sounds that make him think there might be a creature of sorts living inside the walls of the dilapidated home. The children are curious to find out more about where the sound is coming from.

Mallory cracks a hole in the wall and they discover evidence that some kind of animal or being is really living there. Jarod stumbles into a mysterious study that contains a trunk with a field guide inside which detailing the existence of fairies and other creatures at the Spiderwick manor. Strange things start happening in the Grace home as Jarod takes the blame for the unexplainable destruction. Book one ends abruptly with the appearance of a creature who tells the children to dispose of the book warning that harm may come to them. Readers will have to tune into book two to find out what happens to the Grace children.

DiTerlizzi and Black have created short and engaging work of fantasy that brings readers into a world of excitement and curiosity. The inclusion of boys and girls as the main characters in the story will make this book appealing to both genders. Mallory, Simon, and Jarod are all characters that students can relate to. They are playful, mischievous, and interested in finding out the unknown.

The plot of the story is outlined at the beginning of the book, and moves in a logical progression that young readers can follow. The style of writing in this book will hold the interest of readers with the anticipation that builds as Jarod ultimately discovers The Field Guide to the Spiderwick Manor and begins reading about creatures such as pixies, nixies, and boggarts.

The setting is well-detailed allowing readers to visualize the details of the home and it’s surroundings. The house was is described as looking as if, “… a dozen shacks had been piled on top of one another. There were several chimneys, and the whole things was topped off by a strop of iron fence sitting on the roof like a particularly garish hat,”

The language of the book includes vivid details of the home. When Mallory looks into the contents found inside of the wall the description is as follows, “Straight pins poked into the wooden beams on either side, making a strange upward-snaking line. A Doll’s head lolled in one corner. Dead cockroaches were strung up like garlands.” The drawings done by DiTerlizzi offer a form of visual appeal that also helps establish and enrich the setting and plot of the story.

The end of the book comes suddenly when the children receive a warning about the dangers that come with reading the book from a "mannikin the size of a pencil" who appears to them in manor library. He warns, “All who have kept it have come to harm.” The authors leave a lot of wondering up to the imagination of readers, which will surely be an appeal and a hook factor for students to explore the next book in the series.

Publishers Weekly: “Appealing characters, well-measured suspense and an inviting package will lure readers on to The Seeing Stone.”

School Library Journal: “The fast, movie-like pace will grab young readers.”

*Students can discuss and write their own ending to the story and then compare their story with other classmates.
*Students can begin to predict what might happen to the Grace children in the second book.
*The second book in the series can be read following the first book to continue interest in the series.

North Dakota Flicker Tale Award in the Intermediate Book Category
Colorado Children’s Choice Book Award
Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Award

Web Resources:

Looking for Alaska

**This review was created for an assignment at Texas Woman's University**

Book Review: Looking for Alaska

Green, John. 2005. LOOKING FOR ALASKA. New York: Dutton Books.
ISBN: 0525475060

Sixteen-year-old Miles Halter leaves the comfort of his Florida home and “boring” high school to attend the private school Culver Creek in Birmingham, Alabama. He is looking for adventure and the mystery of the “Great Perhaps”* that he hopes awaits him at his new school.

Miles makes friends quickly at Culver Creek. His roommate Chip “the Colonial”, and young female student Alaska become the friends her trusts most. A tragic event and loss of a close friend force Miles and his friends to deal with grief like they have never experienced in their lives. Miles and his friends begin to search for answers surrounding their friends death, and in the process learn more about life and loss then they ever realized was possible.

*Famous last words of French writer Francois Rabelais

This debut novel by John Green is one that will leave a lasting impression in the minds of readers. Green has developed very sophisticated and complex characters in this novel. Green does not shy away from bringing real and relevant topics and themes such as sex, smoking, drugs and alcohol, and suicide to readers in spite of any controversy the discussion may arouse. His style of writing is sharp and witty with dialogue that reveals the internal and emotional challenges that the characters face as they deal with the “real” pressures that related teen life.

Green writes through Miles’s narration after the loss of his friend, “… I have lost something important, and I cannot find it, and I need it. It is fear like if someone lost his glasses and went to the glasses store and they told him that the world had run out of glasses and he would just have to do without.”

The story is set at a private school in southern Alabama. The setting is important to the story because of the inclusion of the outdoor places characters frequent as a get-away place from the pressures of their school.

The relationships between the characters in the book develop and grow in many of these private areas set outdoors. Areas such as the “smoking hole” and the surrounding areas around Culver Creek provide comfort and solace for the characters. The tragic event that defines this book occurs on the I-65 interstate which is the main highway going in and out of Culver Creek.

Green writes, “And lying there, amid the tall, still grass and beneath the star-drunk sky, listening to the just-this-side-of-inaudible sound of her rhythmic breathing and the noisy silence of the bullfrogs, the grasshoppers, and the distant cars rushing endlessly on I-65.”

The plot development is defined in two parts around the central tragedy in the book, before and after. The strength and the individual growth seen in the characters in the story builds throughout, and comes to a head in the “after” section of the story. Readers will feel like they are right there experiencing the lives of the characters in this novel and they turn the pages of this book. An author's note is included at the end of the book where Green shares his intent for writing the story. He also includes references related to the literary works quoted in the book.

Green has written a well-developed and contemporary work of fiction that will engage readers and allow them to connect with the characters in this story on many different emotional levels. Readers will surely be looking to his next novel for another dose of exciting and adventurous writing.

Publisher’s Weekly: “Readers will only hope that this is not the last word from this promising new author.”

Kirkus Reviews: “What sings and soars in this gorgeously told tale is Green's mastery of language and the sweet, rough edges of Pudge's voice. Girls will cry and boys will find love, lust, loss and longing in Alaska's vanilla-and-cigarettes scent.”

*Teachers can use this novel to talk to teens about peer-pressure as their lives relate to the characters in this book.

Winner of the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award

Thursday, July 24, 2008


**This review was created for an assignment at Texas Woman's University**

Book Review: Rules

Lord, Cynthia. 2006. RULES. New York: Scholastic.
ISBN: 9780545036405

Rules is a delightful and heartwarming book about a twelve-year-old girl named Catherine and her relationship with her younger brother David. David is autistic and his sometimes odd and repetitive behaviors embarrass her at times, especially in front of her peers.

The chapter titles in the book are named after a list of rules Catherine created for David to follow that include topics such as chewing with your mouth closed, knocking before opening the bathroom door, and saying “excuse me” after you burp. Catherine is the narrator of the story giving readers insight into the personal struggles she faces as a sibling of a child with a disability. She wishes at times that her parents would pay as much attention to her as they do David. She is terrified of losing friends because of her brother.

Catherine’s life and point of view about her brother take a positive turn when she meets Jason, a patient who receives therapy at the clinic where her brother attends. Jason helps Catherine gain a new perspective on the way she views her family, and realizes that people are more accepting then she thought allowing her to begin accepting her brother for who he is.


Cynthia Lord has excited readers with the debut of her contemporary fiction novel Rules. Lord has created a candid coming of age story in which readers meet Catherine, a twelve-year-old girl who’s younger brother David is autistic. Through Catherine, readers come to an understanding of the emotional ups and downs that come with living with a sibling who has a disability.

Lord has created believable characters that readers can identify with relate to. Catherine’s emotions come through in her thoughts as well as her words. She says of her brother David,

“Sometimes I just wish I someone would invent a pill so David’d wake up one morning without autism.”

Strong themes surrounding acceptance and understanding people who are different then yourself run throughout the story. Family issues related to wanting a sense of belonging and attention from parents are themes that readers may relate well to. Catherine longs for the attention of her parents, and resents that so much of their time goes to her brother David. She creates a set of rules for David out of the embarrassment and frustration that her brothers behavior has caused for her.

Catherine says, “I keep all the rules I’m teaching David so if my someday-he’ll-wake-up-a-regular-brother wish doesn’t ever come true, at least he’ll know how the world works, and I won’t have to keep explaining things.”

Catherine is keenly sensitive to the social pressures that come with having a brother with a disability. She lives in fear of her new neighbor Kristi rejecting her as a friend because of David. Catherine learns to face her fears through a relationship that she develops with Jason, a boy who is not able to speak at her brother’s therapy sessions. The relationship between Jason and Catherine is ultimately what leads Catherine to the point of acceptance and sensitivity to her brother’s needs.

Readers will gain their own understanding about autism and acceptance of people who are different then themselves through the experiences of each character in the story. Lord has created a work of fiction that is very current and relevant to lives of its readers.

Library School Journal: “A lovely, warm read, and a great discussion starter.”

Booklist: “The details of autistic behavior are handled well, as are depictions of relationships.”

*After reading this novel, teachers can lead a discussion about autism asking students what they know about autism from their own lives and how this book has changed or shifted their perception about people with disabilities.
*Students can use the rules in this book as a starter for writing their own set of rules they would want to create for certain situations in their lives or classrooms.
*Teachers can ask students to do a character analysis of Catherine and discuss how her feelings change over time in the story.

Newbery Honor Book, 2007
Schneider Family Book Award, 2007
ALA Notable Children’s Book, 2007

Web Resources:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

**This review was created for an assignment at Texas Woman's University**

Book Review: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

Schlitz, Laura. 2007. GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES! VOICES FROM A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE. Cambridge: Candlewick Press.
ISBN: 9780763615780

The doctor’s son, the tanner's apprentice, and the glassblower’s daughters are all characters readers will meet in Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village. This stunning collection of plays contains twenty-two monologues and dialogues written about life in England during the year 1255. The author wrote these plays to be read or to be performed. The plays included in this collection are written in prose and verse. Background information is included for topics that will help the reader with historical information and context during the Middle

Topics included in this collection include ways of life in a medieval village and towns, a structured social caste system, farming techniques, medieval pilgrimages, the crusades, and falconry. The characters included in this collection breathe life and witty dialogue into a fascinating time period of history.

This Newberry Award winning book provides readers an opportunity to interact with the figures and voices from of a medieval village in a dramatic fashion. Schlitz describes her purpose for writing the book in an engaging forward, where she describes the students whom she wrote the plays for. Her intent was to give them engaging dialogue to perform to supplement their excitement and passion for their study of medieval history.

The topics that Schlitz offers readers about the Medieval Ages are historically accurate and well researched. She includes an extensive bibliography at the end of the text allowing students to do more research about this time period if they please. The plays themselves cover a wide range of medieval life offering readers a glimpse into life inside a medieval village through the eyes of different individuals within medieval society. She includes footnotes throughout her writing giving readers “on the spot” background information as they read. These notes deepen the comprehension of the text and offer details that help enrich the reading experience. The collection also features background notes at several points in the book giving readers factual information about topics such as the three-field farming system, medieval pilgrimages, and falconry.

Each play in the collection has it’s own unique plot, characters, setting, and theme. Some characters appear more then once in the collection showing up in several plays. Schlitz uses a combination of dialogue, prose, and verse throughout the plays giving readers a different experience with each story. Her writing reflects the written and spoken language of the Middle Ages.

One play, Alice, the Shepherdess, offers a song with notes and lyrics at the end of the monologue where the words are changed to reflect a young shepherdess’s prayers for her ailing sheep, “God restore thee, thou heavenly sheep, hark to my music and heal in thy sleep. Do not forsake me, my sister, my sheep, slumber ye gently and heal in thy sleep.”

Another play, Otho, The Miller’s Son is written in verse with a repeated chorus throughout,

“Oh, God makes the water, and the water makes the river,
And the river turn the mill wheel
And the wheel goes on forever.
Every man’s a cheater, and so every man is fed,
For we feed upon each other,
when we seek our daily bread.”

The illustrations that accompany this collection of plays adds depth and drama to the pages including a detailed map of village that shows careful attention to the setting and the characters included in the book.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village is a well crafted collection of plays that will delight readers and those who may witness the performances of students who choose to dramatize stories included in the book.

*Teachers and librarians can use this book as an engaging tool to read and share with students prior to or in conjunction with a social studies unit on the Middle Ages.
*Students can perform the monologues and dialogues as intended by the author.
*Teachers and students can use the extensive bibliography in this book extend their study of this time period in history.

Newberry Medal, 2008


Friday, July 18, 2008

The River Between Us

**This review was created for an assignment at Texas Woman's University**

Book Review: The River Between Us

Peck, Richard. 2003. THE RIVER BETWEEN US. New York: Puffin Books.
ISBN: 0142403105

The small southern Illinois town of Grand Tower serves as the backdrop for Richard Peck’s award winning historical fiction novel The River Between Us. The story begins in 1916 with a young boy taking a trip to Grand Tower with his father and brothers in a Model T Ford. Young Howard Hutchings meets four older family members in Grand Tower who helped raise his father. The story unfolds as Howard wonders what these individuals’ lives were like in the time of his Father’s childhood.

The novel backtracks to the year 1861 with the arrival of two young ladies who arrive in Grand Tower via the Mississippi River from New Orleans. The women were destined for St. Louis, but with the start of the war the trip is considered too dangerous. Delphine is a stunningly beautiful and impeccably dressed. She is accompanied by a woman thought to be her slave or servant. Both women need a place to stay, and Ma Pruitt comes forward offering her home that she shares with her three children, Tilly, Noah, and Cass.

Young Tilly Pruitt narrates the story. Tilly, her younger sister Cass, and twin brother Noah become entwined in the lives of Delphine and Calinda. Delphine is a sophisticated woman who speaks French and tells stories about the grand events in her life back in “Nouvelle Orleans”. She is a larger then life woman who is very passionate about her southern home. Calinda is a quiet woman who walks behind Delphine.

The beginning of the Civil War brings each of the main characters in the story to a state of worry and fear. Ma worries about Noah going off to war, Cass sees visions of soldiers dying, and Tilly works hard to keep the family together during this time of uncertainty. Townspeople in Grand Tower begin to start rumors that Dephine and Calinda are spies for the south.

When Noah leaves for war the Pruitt family is torn apart. Fear tears apart Ma who desperately worries about her son’s safety. Tilly and Delphine travel to Cairo, Illinois to find Noah and the events that transpire reveal not only the harsh realities of life during the Civil War, but the strength and determination of the human spirit.

The novel ends with a return to the events in the first chapter in 1916. Readers will encounter many of the main characters of the story in their latter years as secrets about the Pruitt family are revealed that will startle readers leaving them wanting to know more about the lives of Tilly, Noah, Delphine, and Calinda.

Peck tells an emotional and moving story about a small Mississippi River town and it’s inhabitants during the beginning of the Civil War. He successfully achieves a balance of providing readers with factual elements of the places and happenings of the Civil War while blending elements of storytelling as well. Peck pays close attention to historical accuracy carefully citing his research and the historical events and locations of the novel in a note section at the end of the story. The various settings in the novel are real places that were researched by Peck. Events that were portrayed in the novel such as the Battle of Belmont were actual events of the Civil War.

The characters in The River Between Us are real and believable. Peck’s descriptive writing will have readers visualizing the details of the dresses that adorn Delphine, and the atrocities of war through vivid battlefield descriptions. The characters and the townspeople of Grand Tower show a very human side of war as social issues such as racism and classism are revealed through their beliefs and actions. Peck demonstrates how individuals and families were impacted by the war through the eyes of the characters in this story through his writing.

The style of writing and dialogue in the novel reflects the language of the time period and the geographical areas represented in the story. Mama responds to the townspeople who want her to send Delphine and Calinda on their way, “Well, I don’t see how I can send them home. The boats isn’t running.” Calinda shouts, “PRAWLEEENS, NEW ORLEANS STYLE” from the foot of the gangplank as she sells to boats stopping in Grand Tower, and Delphine speaks often of her “Maman and Papa” back in New Orleans in a French dialect.

The plot of the story thickens when Delphine and Tilly take off to find Noah in Cairo, Illinois. The vivid descriptions of their experiences when they first walked into Camp Defiance paint a vivid picture for readers, “The smell hit me, and nearly sent me sideways.” The condition of the soldiers also evokes powerful images. This was written about a soldier who turned out to be Noah when Tilly and Delphine find him at camp, “One sat at the end of his cot with a bucket and a dipper at his feet. He was badly wasted, and his cheeks were sunk to where he looked like a death’s-head.”

The combination of unforgettable characters, intelligent discussions about race and culture, and lyrical storytelling in this novel offers readers a glimpse into a period of U.S. history through a emotional and thought provoking story. The characters and events in this story are memorable and will stick with readers long after the have finished reading the book.

Publishers Weekly: "The author crafts his characters impeccably and threads together their fates in surprising ways that shed light on the complicated events of the Civil War."

Kirkus Reviews: “Peck writes beautifully, bringing history alive through Tilly's marvelous voice and deftly handling themes of family, race, war, and history. A rich tale full of magic, mystery, and surprise.”

*This novel can be paired with a social studies unit on the Civil War to bring a new perspective to this period of history.
*Students can create a map and timeline of the events in this novel and of the war in Mississippi River region to deepen their understanding of the events and places in this story.
*Students can research and learn more about the battles and the main figures of the Civil War mentioned in this novel such as: President Lincoln, General Grant, and Jefferson Davis.

Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, 2003
National Book Award Finalist

Web Resources:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


**This review was created for an assignment at Texas Woman's University**

Book Review: Nightjohn

Paulsen, Gary. 1993. NIGHTJOHN. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.
ISBN: 0440219361

Hardship, struggle, abuse marked the lives of slaves working on plantations in the 1850’s. Award winning author Gary Paulson breathes life into this dark period in American History in his book Nightjohn through Sarny, a twelve-year old slave girl struggling to find her way on a southern plantation. Sarny’s life changes for the better in ways she never dreamt were possible when she meets Nightjohn, a new slave on the plantation.

During the dark of night, veiled in secrecy, Nightjohn teachers Sarny to read and write. Slaves during this time could read or write, and furthermore those who taught other slaves to read and write faced severe consequences for their actions including physical abuse, and sometimes death. Nightjohn proceed with nightly teachings in spite of the danger until the day Mr. Waller finds out Sarny’s secret.

The punishment inflicted on Nightjohn by plantation owner Mr. Waller terrifies Sarny, but she does not let her fear of punishment derail her passion for learning to read and write. Paulson’s heart-warming story reveals the strength and determination that Sarny and Nightjohn possessed, and shines a light of happiness and hope to a very dark period of American History.

Award winning author Gary Paulson combines a true story adapted in parts about the horrific realities of slavery with emotion that reveals a very human side to the life of protagonist Sarny and those who are close to her. Nightjohn is narrated by Sarny, which allows readers to get her perspective on the life of a slave girl during the 1850’s. Both characters are strong and prolific figures that will stick in the minds of readers long after they have finished reading the book.

Paulson’s style of writing and dialogue included reflects the dialect and language of the time in which the novel takes place. The plot and setting of Nightjohn reflect careful consideration to the historical accuracy of plantation life with descriptions about slavery that reflect the harsh conditions in which slaves lived, the disparaging actions of slave owners, and the fear that existed in the daily lives of slaves. Paulson does not list his sources for Nightjohn but does write in the beginning of the novel, “Except for variations in time and character identification and placement, the events written in this story are true and actually happened.” Perhaps more creditability for historical accuracy could have been gained if Paulson had cited his sources.

Paulson does not try to water down the details of slave life. The descriptions he gives about slavery include harsh and difficult to read details at times because of the raw emotion that the words evoke. Paulson writes the following about a slave who attempted to run away, “The master set the dogs on him and they tore and ripped what they could reach until there wasn’t any meat on Jim’s legs or bottom. The dogs ripped it all off to hang in shreds.” He includes background detail that helps the reader understand the desires and actions of the characters. Sarny asks Nightjohn, “"Why they be cutting our thumbs off if we learn to read--if that's all 
there is?" Nightjohn replies, “'Cause to know things, for us to know things, is bad for them. We get 
to wanting and when we get to wanting it's bad for them. They thinks we 
want what they got."

Readers will experience a wide range of emotions ranging from anger to hope upon finishing this piece of historical fiction, and will more then likely want to know more about what followed for Sarny and Nightjohn.

Publishers Weekly starred review - "Among the most powerful of Paulsen's works, this impeccable researched novel sheds light on cruel truths in American history as it traces the experiences of a 12-year-old slave girl in the 1850s."

School Library Journal starred review - "Nightjohn should be required reading (and discussing) for all middle grade and high school students."

*After reading Nightjohn, teachers can read the first chapter of the companion book, Sarny: A Life Remembered for readers interested in how her life turns out.
*This book can be used in conjunction with social studies lessons and units related to slavery and the Civil War.
*Students can talk about and discuss what it would be like to want to learn to read and write and not be allowed to.

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Notable Children’s Book
An IRA-CBC Children’s Choice

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez

**This review was created for an assignment at Texas Woman's University**

Book Review: Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez

Krull, Kathleen. 2003. HARVESTING HOPE: THE STORY OF CESAR CHAVEZ. New York: Scholastic.
ISBN: 0439691087

Harvesting Hope is a biography written by Kathleen Krull about the life of Cesar Chavez. The story begins with a glimpse into Cesar’s happy childhood growing up on a ranch with his family in Arizona. At the age of ten Cesar and his family is forced to move from their Arizona ranch to the green valleys of California when a drought hits the area. Cesar and his family become migrant workers living and working in the harsh conditions that existed at that time.

Cesar begins to speak out against the hardships migrant workers and their families were forced to endure with low wages, long hours, and horrific living conditions. At first, Cesar had a hard time getting people to pay attention to his cause for change, but with time and effort he was able to gather supporters and come up with a plan of action for change. Cesar organized the National Farm Workers Association, and organized a strike in the San Joaquin valley in 1965. The owners of the vineyards began to suffer financial losses because of the strike. La Causa (The Cause) was officially beginning to make an impact on the lives of the migrant workers.

Chavez and La Causa gained momentum during the march from the San Joaquin valley to the state capitol in Sacramento. Supporters came out in droves during the march and began lending their voices to the plight of migrant workers. The wealthy ranch owners and agricultural companies came to Chavez after losing millions of dollars in crop money after the strike and offered workers a contract guaranteeing fair wages and living conditions for migrant workers. The contract was the first ever for farmworkers in American History.

Cesar Chavez continued to push for change and fair labor laws until his death in 1993.

Award winning author Kathleen Krull brings the story of Cesar Chavez to life in Harvesting Hope. Krull’s descriptive and lyrical writing with the inclusion of personal anecdotes and stories about Chavez’s life will give readers who may not be familiar with Chavez’s story a solid understanding of his leadership, bravery, and dedication to the cause of improving life for migrant workers.

Although Krull does not cite her sources or include documentable dialogue, it is evident that careful consideration was paid to historical accuracy with the inclusion of timelines and an author’s note at the end detailing historical, political, and social events that defined the life of Cesar Chavez.

Krull’s biography is organized nicely for readers beginning with Chavez’s childhood and moving sequentially through his life, struggles, and victories. Krull features the most important events that shaped the life of Cesar Chavez and personalizes the story allowing the reader to really know who Chavez was and why he believed what he did. “Despite his shyness, Cesar showed a knack for solving problems. People trusted him. With workers he was endlessly patient and compassionate. With landowners he was stubborn, demanding, and single-minded. He was learning to be a fighter.”

Krull captures Chavez’s commitment to non-violent resistance including statements that demonstrate his strong views about the topic, “In a fight for justice, he told everyone, truth was a better weapon then violence. Nonviolence, he said, Takes more guts.

The design of the book pairs Krull’s writing with vivid and colorful illustrations that bring Cesar Chavez and the events that shaped his life into a clear and engaging focus. Krull’s passionate writing style will leave readers feeling inspired wanting to read more about the life of Cesar Chavez and the history of the migrant workers he championed for.

School Library Journal: “The dramatic story of Chavez's 340-mile march to protest the working conditions of migrant farmworkers in California is the centerpiece of this well-told biography.”

Kirkus Reviews: “She portrays Chavez as a quiet, patient, strong-willed man who believed implicitly in his "causa" and worked tirelessly for his people.”

*This book can be used as a companion to a study of American History during the time of Chavez’s life.
*Students can pair this biography of Chavez with narrative texts written about the life of migrant workers in California such as Esparanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan and A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting
*Students can read this biography and the biography of other historic figures that worked for non-violent social change during their lives such as Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King.

ALA Pura Belpre Honor Book
ALA Notable Children's Book

Web Resources: