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Children's LiteratureThe highly controversial but inarguably influential subject of the latest in the "Great Hispanics Fact Finders" series is Pancho Villa, rebel leader, Mexican general, and outlaw. A childhood raised in poverty gave Pancho (born Doroteo) a keen understanding of the difficulties faced by Mexican workers and their families. When his country's president refused to allow a fair election and, instead, jailed his opponent (a man by the name of Madero), Pancho joined the rebellion and became a leader. Eventually, elections were held, and Madero became the president. Nevertheless, just a few short years later, he was assassinated. A civil war began. Pancho gathered as many as 40,000 men to fight under him, but lost several battles. When supplies ran low, his remaining troops entered a New Mexico town to take what they needed. Meeting with resistance, they killed eighteen Americans. Pancho Villa escaped back to Mexico and retired to a ranch given to him by the new president. Several years later, Villa himself met a violent end. Englar has done an amazing job of paring Villa's life down to a concise, brief story. Includes a timeline, a glossary, a bibliography, and details about facthound.com, where readers can find current links to more information. 2006, Capstone, Ages 8 to 12.
—Heidi Hauser Green