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Posted March 4, 2009
Book Review on Cesar
Written by Cramen T. Bernier-Grand and illustarted by David Diaz, this children's chapter book reveals Cesario Chavez's life struggles and triumphs. Each chapter shares with readers important events in his life. He was born on March 31, 1927 to father, Librado Chavez and mother, Juana Estrada. His father was a migrant farm worker, so Cesar moved from city to city, attending over thirty schools by the time he reached eighth grade, where he had to drop out to support his family. He In 1952 Cesar met Fred Ross and worked with him for the Community Service Organization (CSO). In 1956 he became the general director of the CSO, where they helped Lations become citizens. He soon moved to Delano where he started the National Farm Workers Association, which later became known as the United farm Workers (UFW). The UFW was not just a union but later became known as "The Cause", a civil-rights movement that empowered workers to change their own working conditions and improve the quality of the workers' lives. While leading the UFW, Cesar led non-violent strikes, fasts, marches, and boycotts to force growers (their employers) to negotiate with the workers for better wages, improved working conditions and reduced the use of pesticides.
Cesar is still remembered by several states, by creating March 31 a holiday. Many schools and centers are named after him and students continue to learn about "The Cause" he led and fought for. While this may seems like a complicated life story, Bernier-Grand wrote the book in short, easy to read chapters for students in grades fourth through sixth. However, I am an adult and I enjoyed reading it and learned a little too. I believe that children will enjoy the colorful illustrations by David Diaz. There are several words throughout the book that were written in Spanish and that students could look in the glossary at the end of the book for a translation into English. I beleive that students, especially English leaners, would enjoy and benefit from reading this book. I recommend reading this book to your children (or have them read it themselves) because it provides examples of core values, such as: helping the needy, self-sacrifice, determination, non-violence, respect, community, and innovation.
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