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Children's LiteratureThis straightforward biography of Severita Lara examines her life as an activist in Crystal City, Texas. A childhood battle with rheumatic fever left her temporarily crippled but taught her perseverance in all aspects of her life. A summer working as a migrant laborer at sugar beet farms taught her the value of hard work. All of her childhood lessons were put to the test when she organized the 1969 walkout of Chicano students to protest the school board's unequal treatment. Severita Lara worked with the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) to successfully change racist school policies. She also participated in the formation of La Raza Unida (The United People) with the organization Ciudadanos Unidos (United Citizens). Married young, she traveled to Mexico with her son to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor; but despite her hard work and effort, illness and misfortune derailed her plans. She fought an unsuccessful race to become judge in Crystal City; but then became a city counsel member and later Mayor. A single mother of two sons, she continues to desire change and action in her hometown. Gutierrez, who knew Lara much of her life, lends authenticity to this part of the "Hispanic Civil Rights" series. Forward by Henry A. J. Ramos, executive editor of the series. 2005, Arte Publico Press, Ages 12 up.
—L. F. Wade