Gr 4-7-- A crisp, clear accounting of the founding of the National Farm Workers Association in the 1960s. Brief biographical sketches of Chavez and Dolores Huerta tell of their meeting and deciding to work together to organize a union to help their fellow workers. The book ends as a first grape boycott and NFWA strike are settled. Because of this title's focus, it is easy to assume that all farm workers are Hispanic and work in the West. Libraries will want to balance their collections to avoid this misconception. James Terzian and Kathryn Cramer's Mighty Hard Road (Doubleday, 1970; o.p.) gives more information on Chavez, has photos instead of the black-and-white illustrations found here, and covers La Causa . DeRuiz's book is a useful addition to any library needing materials for short reports, additional information on Cesar Chavez, or a peek into part of the life of Dolores Huerta. Although this book is a quick, interesting read, it is not likely to be sought out for recreational purposes, and there is not enough information for other than the briefest of reports. --Jody McCoy, Casady School, Oklahoma City
This is history seldom told in children's books: the struggle of the migrant farmworkers and the role of their leaders, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, in organizing the United Farm Workers union in the 1960s. The authors spoke with Huerta, and all quotes are as recorded or remembered by the participants. The story is told with immediacy and drama: eyewitness accounts of the harsh working conditions, long hours, poor pay; the struggle to organize a scattered labor force always on the move; strikes and confrontations on the picket lines; and the long march to Sacramento. Influenced by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., Chavez was committed to nonviolence, and the parallels with the civil-rights movement are emphasized. Notes at the end provide further background; there's a brief bibliography, and several full-page drawings capture the stark confrontation.