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Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A.

Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A.

by Diana Cohn, Francisco Delgado (Illustrator)

When the janitors' union strikes for better wages, Carlitos discovers a way to help his mother.


When the janitors' union strikes for better wages, Carlitos discovers a way to help his mother.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Focusing on the event in April 2000 that united 8,000 workers in the Justice for Janitors Campaign, -Si, Se Puede!/Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. by Diana Cohn, illus. by Francisco Delgado, trans. by Sharon Franco, chronicles the proceedings through the eyes of one female worker's son. An opening color-pencil sketch in fiesta-bright colors shows Mam tucking in Carlitos for bed before she leaves for work. She explains to her son the need for a strike, and a series of spreads chart the strikers' progress. A final spread profiles union organizer Dolores S nchez; the dust jacket doubles as a poster that explains labor unions and strikes, along with a poem by Luis J. Rodriguez.
Children's Literature
"¡Sí, Se Puede! Sí, Se Puede!" cries the crowd of underpaid janitors in this historical fiction picture book based on the janitor strike in Los Angeles, California in the year 2000. The book uses historically accurate details to tell about the strike while it uses a fictional family to make the book more personal. Carlitos is a young boy whose mother tucks him in every night and heads off to work as a janitor in a large office building. One evening, she tells Carlitos that she cannot take care of him and his grandmother the way she wishes she could because of the poor working conditions and that she and the other janitors are going on strike. The janitors are underpaid and work long hours, even on the weekends. As bathrooms go unclean and trash piles up, Carlitos is exposed to the importance of what his Mamá is doing. One day at school, Carlitos's teacher even talks about it. He realizes that he is not the only student in his class that has a parent involved. The children decide that they will combine together to help their parents out. Carlitos and his friends meet together to paint signs. They plan on rallying along with their parents. Carlitos makes a sign that says, "I love my Mamá, she is a janitor!" After three weeks the strike ends and the janitors receive the pay raises and respect that they have deserved and waited for. 2002, Cinco Puntos Press,
— Tricia Toy

Product Details

Cinco Puntos Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
5 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Diana Cohn lives in northern California. When not writing or working on other creative projects, she works as a program officer for a national foundation on issues related to economic justice. She is also a hobbyist beekeeper. Francisco Delgado, the illustrator, grew up in Juárez, Chihuahua, but completed high school in El Paso. He received his MFA at Yale in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking in May 2002. Francisco is becoming known nationally for his political paintings that satirize U.S. icons blind to the meztizo and immigrant communities of Mexico. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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