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César ¡Sí, se puede! (Yes, We Can!)
     

César ¡Sí, se puede! (Yes, We Can!)

by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, David Diaz (Illustrator)
 

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An award-winning picture-book biography in free-verse celebrating the life of the great labor leader

Overview

An award-winning picture-book biography in free-verse celebrating the life of the great labor leader

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This book chronicles the life and death of activist Cesar Chavez through a series of 19 poems. Written in an approachable, oral-tradition style, the author brings Cesar's struggles to life and seamlessly weaves Spanish words into the main English text while also including Cesar's own words, verses from the Bible, prayers and folk sayings. Cesar was born in 1927 to a loving and hard-working family. During the Depression, Cesar's parents and extended family lost their jobs. As a result they "lived in a tent set in a puddle-filled lot...The boys slept . . . between the wet earth and the wet sky". Years of hard labor, discrimination, and migration to California ultimately lead Cesar to become a great leader in La Causa (The Cause), the struggle for farm worker's rights. Three poems found in the middle of the book, Virgen of Guatalupe, Crooked Lines and Learning What Was Inside Him, provide a touching and insightful study into the making of a hero. Because of Cesar's work, many Mexican-Americans won better wages, safer working conditions, and a sense of self-respect. The author's wonderful portrait doesn't end there. She also provides end notes where quotes are referenced and a sources page where websites, publications and interviews are listed. She includes a glossary, a brief biography of Cesar's life, and a chronology that begins with Cesar's birth and ends in 1994 with the creation of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. 2004, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 8 up.
—Michelle Negron Bueno
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-The life and times of Cesar Chavez are vividly re-created in this collection of poems. Where most biographies stick to the facts of what a person did, this one also touches on the man's character and values. Children will learn about Chavez, but, more importantly, they will learn the important lessons he taught, and they will be able to apply them to their own lives. The lyrical language describes events and paints evocative pictures to which children will relate. Diaz's stylized, computer-drawn, folk-art illustrations capture the subject's private and public life, from the images of picking fruit to peaceful demonstrations. A glossary and translation of the Spanish words used, a concise well-written biographical essay, and famous Chavez quotes are appended. An excellent choice for most libraries.-Scott La Counte, Anaheim Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Aimed at slightly older children than Kathleen Krull's Harvesting Hope (2003), this powerful biography in poems relates incidents in the life of Cesar Chavez with insight and a sense of wonder. "Who could tell / that he with a soft pan dulce voice, / hair the color of mesquite, / and downcast, Aztec eyes, / would have the courage to speak up / for the campesinos." At the time of his death, Cesar did not own a car and had never owned a house. The final words of the last poem are Chavez's own, and a fitting tribute: "True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire." The numerous Spanish phrases will make reading aloud a challenge for non-Spanish speakers, but learning to do so is worth the effort. Backmatter includes notes, a chronology, a list of sources, a prose narrative, a selection from Chavez's own words, and an extensive glossary. Diaz's softly beautiful and illuminating illustrations add much to this already rich celebration of Cesar's life and legacy. (Poetry/biography. 9-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761451723
Publisher:
Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
7.36(w) x 11.18(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Carmen T. Bernier-Grand is a national award winning author of eleven books for children and young adults. She teaches writing at the Whidbey Island MFA, a program of Northwest Literary Arts, at Writers in the Schools, a program of Oregon Literary Arts, and at Wordstock.In 2008, The Oregon Library Association's Children's Division gave her the Evelyn Lampman Award for her significant contribution to the children of Oregon in the field of children's literature. Bernier-Grand was born in Puerto Rico but lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her bilingual dog, Lily.

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