Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories

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Overview

Now in paperback, this critically acclaimed book features photographs, poems, and interviews with nine children who reveal the hardships and hopes of today's Mexican-American migrant farm workers and their families.

Photographs, poems, and interviews with children reveal the hardships and hopes of Mexican American migrant farm workers and their families.

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Overview

Now in paperback, this critically acclaimed book features photographs, poems, and interviews with nine children who reveal the hardships and hopes of today's Mexican-American migrant farm workers and their families.

Photographs, poems, and interviews with children reveal the hardships and hopes of Mexican American migrant farm workers and their families.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW called this compendium of interviews, poems and photographs spotlighting nine migrant Mexican-American children in California's Salinas Valley "a well-rounded, moving look at a small, struggling group." Ages 10-up. Apr. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Voices that few Americans have heard speak out in this collection of respectfully edited interviews, poems and photographs. Nine migrant Mexican-American children from California's Salinas Valley share their experiences of living within two cultures, building the reader a picture detail by detail: they tell of working in the fields, the importance of family, such problems as gangs and prejudice, and their efforts to become educated so that the next generation will not work in the fields. Unusually wide trim (812) gives the book the feel of a photo album, the perfect format for Atkin's black-and-white shots of her subjects and their families. Poems presented both in Spanish and in English illuminate the themes of the interviews, although it's disappointing that Atkins provides no background information about the represented poets. She does, however, supply helpful, succinct introductions to each of the nine first-person narratives. This is a well-rounded, moving look at a small, struggling group. Ages 10-up. (May)
KLIATT
Atkin has delivered a readable yet factual book concerning the plight of the children of migrant farmworkers. This volume is comprised of poems, first-person narratives, and photographs. The Spanish text of the poems is accompanied by English translations. Essay writers convey their feelings on Hispanic values and issues facing Hispanics today. They discuss prejudice and discrimination, the power of gangs, beliefs about family, and their hopes for the future. The value of education is discussed heavily throughout this work. According to Atkins, 43% of Hispanics in the U.S. drop out of high school by the age of 17. Many families feel that education is their children's chance to make something of themselves and break the cycle—or in the words of one narrator, "If I behave badly I won't be anyone." As Atkins points out, despite many advances in educational opportunities and working conditions, for this group "education is still often secondary to survival." The essay "My Home" describes bad living conditions, a condition not uncommon for migrant workers. Yet despite this situation the narrator of "The Strawberry" still retains his hope for the future. The author concludes the book with suggestions for further reading. However, the most recent title listed was written in 1990, around the time the original hardback version of this title was published. As a result, many books listed may be out of print or no longer relevant. For libraries that serve a Hispanic population or want to simply expand their collection in this area, this title will prove to be a worthy purchase. The photographs and short chapters will draw in reluctant readers, and this book will appeal to teens by virtue of itsbrowsability. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1993, Little Brown, 96p, 24cm, 92-32248, $12.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Tricia Finch; Youth Scvs. Mgr., North Port P.L., North Port, FL, September 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 5)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
The children of migrant farm-workers talk about themselves, their prose framed by poetry of their peers-all eloquent expressions of warmth, love of family, inner strength, and character undiminished by the peripatetic quality of their lives. The poems are in Spanish and English.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613274326
  • Publisher: San Val
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.68 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

S. Beth Atkin, a graduate of Barnard College, is a photographer and writer whose editorial and commercial work appears in national publications. To do research for this book she moved from New York City to the Salinas Valley in California, where she attended educational programs and visited the homes and schools of migrant children. She frequently lectures about farmworker issues and about her work, which focuses on children and youth.

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