Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes

by Juan Felipe Herrera, Raul Colon
     
 

An inspiring tribute to Hispanic Americans who have made a positive impact on the world

This visually stunning book showcases twenty Hispanic and Latino American men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, politics, science, humanitarianism, and athletics.  Gorgeous portraits complement sparkling biographies of Cesar Chavez,

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Overview

An inspiring tribute to Hispanic Americans who have made a positive impact on the world

This visually stunning book showcases twenty Hispanic and Latino American men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, politics, science, humanitarianism, and athletics.  Gorgeous portraits complement sparkling biographies of Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, Ellen Ochoa, Roberto Clemente, and many more. Complete with timelines and famous quotes, this tome is a magnificent homage to those who have shaped our nation.

In this volume: Adelina Otero-Warren, Bernardo de Galvez, Cesar Chavez, David Farragut, Dennis Chavez, Desi Arnaz, Dolores Huerta, Ellen Ochoa, Helen Rodríguez Trías, Hero Street USA, Ignacio Lozano, Jaime Escalante, Joan Baez, Judy Baca, Julia de Burgos, Luis Alvarez, Rita Moreno, Roberte Clemente, Sonia Sotomayor, and Tomas Rivera

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/04/2014
California Poet Laureate Herrera (The Upside Down Boy) profiles 19 famous Hispanic-Americans in this collection of short biographies. Each entry opens with a light-infused mixed-media portrait by Colón (Abuelo), followed by nearly three pages highlighting the person's life and career. The vignettes don't overwhelm with dates and places, instead providing interesting snippets about the scientists, entertainers, civil rights workers, doctors, artists, politicians, educators, and judges. Readers learn, for example, that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor "read every Nancy Drew novel she could get her hands on" when growing up, and that Civil War naval commander David Farragut's ("Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!") father hailed from Spain. Two final spreads break from the pattern of biographies, with one focusing on Hero Street in small Silvis, Ill., home to numerous war veterans of Mexican-American heritage. The last spread pays tribute to Victoria Leigh Soto, a teacher killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, with a poem: "your heart was strong/ To learn, to explore.../ A leader with heart, for all occasions." Source notes, a bibliography, and recommended reading conclude this retrospective look at some of the Latinos and Latinas who helped shape the United States. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
A 2015 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book

"This visually and textually stunning title is one to cherish and celebrate." –SLJ, starred review

School Library Journal
★ 11/01/2014
Gr 4–8—A dazzling collection of short biographies on 20 Latino men and women who have shaped United States history. Profiled chronologically, each entry provides a succinct but lyrical description of how these heroes have made their mark. From the arts (Desi Arnaz, Joan Baez, Rita Moreno) to the sciences (Luis W. Alvarez and Ellen Ochoa), the breadth of influence covered is vast and aptly demonstrates the diversity within the Hispanic community. Inclusion of the usual suspects (César Chávez, Sonia Sotomayor, Roberto Clemente) is appreciated, but what sets this work truly apart is the memorialization of little-known figures, such as Julia de Burgos (poet), Judith F. Baca (artist), and Ignacio E. Lozano (journalist). California Poet Laureate Herrera packs relevant info and kid-appropriate details (Tomás Rivera meeting the "library lady" for the first time; Dennis "Dionisio" Chavez being bullied because of his name) without overwhelming the work, infusing the narratives with engaging text. Colon's portraits are luminous. His use of watercolor and pencils gives each entry an ethereal cast, elevating the subjects to an almost beatific place of honor. This is especially true in the case of "Hero Street U.S.A.," one of the last chapters, about a street in Silvis, IL, that was renamed in remembrance of eight American soldiers of Mexican descent. Complete with helpful recommended reading, suggestions and source notes, this visually and textually stunning title is one to cherish and celebrate.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
2015-05-02
Short and engaging biographies of 20 inspirational Hispanic-Americans from fields as varied as sports, arts, sciences, politics, and teaching. In his introduction, Herrera—the current poet laureate of California—says, "In a land of immigrants, it is an irony that Latino lives have been largely ignored." It is this gap that he has set out to fill with his book. He includes several well-known figures, such as community organizers César Chávez and Dolores Huerta; artists Desi Arnaz, Rita Moreno, and Joan Baez; baseball player Roberto Clemente; and Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor. He also makes plenty of room for the less-renowned but equally inspirational, such as teacher Jaime Alfonso Escalante, whose life story became the basis of the feature film Stand and Deliver; suffragist Adelina Otero-Warren, who fought for women and children; and astronaut Ellen Ochoa. The task the author has set out to accomplish is big, and the space allotted him is not big enough, but the very helpful recommended readings, bibliography, and source notes at the end of the book should help motivated readers seek out more information. Each profile is accompanied by a beautiful full-page portrait done in watercolor, colored pencils, and litho pencils, etched in Colón's signature style to stunning effect. A worthy introduction to some of the Hispanic-Americans who have left their marks on the country and culture through their commitment and dedication. (Biography. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803738096
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
08/07/2014
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
291,873
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

A “hero,” un héroe, was rarely in my vocabulary growing up as an only child of two tireless and kind California farmworkers. Speaking and reading only Spanish when I began school made my hero discoveries more difficult.

Yet, my library was rich with storytelling and other “oral” forms of history about Latina and Latino bravery, voyages, and experiments. And it still is the way many Hispanic Americans learn about their heroes. To this day, I sing the corridos,xs ballads of the Mexican Revolución, that Mamá taught me. And my papí’s harmonica—I play it sweetly.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the grape boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta roused a generation of Latina and Latino students, scholars, and community activists to ask: Are the stories about our Latino and Latina heroes, those who came or were born here in the United States, in our libraries? Most of the books had to be written. And they were—filled with lives in search of change, justice, and innovation—and a place they could call home. The books diamond-sparkled with unimaginable heroism.

Meet the Author

Juan Felipe Herrera, the son of migrant farmworkers, grew up to become a prominent Mexican-American poet. He is currently the California Poet Laureate and will serve as the U.S. Poet Laureate for 2015-2016.  The award-winning author of many books of poetry, he is also an actor, a musician, and a popular professor at the University of California, Riverside. He lives in Redlands, California.

Raúl Colón is the award-winning illustrator of many books for children. He has won the Golden Kite award, the New York Times Best Illustrated award, Silver and Gold Medals from the Society of Illustrators, and ALA Notable honors, as well as critical acclaim from reviewers. He lives in New City, New York.

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