I Am Thomas

The author of “Mahtab’s Story” and the author of “The Island “team up to bring young readers another powerful social justice-related work–an inspiring, thought-provoking picture book about finding one’s way in the world “”You must do as you’re told.”””” “”Let the army make you a man.”””” “”Your country needs your vote.”” As the voices in his life crowd in on him, Thomas looks for another way, refusing to conform to the expectations and demands of family and community. A loner, Thomas refuses to feel lonely, an inspiring choice in this masterful tale of questioning authority and resisting oppression. Powerful illustrations and a spare text make a parable of Thomas’s journey, which reflects the courage we all need to find our passion and be ourselves.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 2

500 Anos Del Pueblo Chicano / 500 Years Of Chicano History: In Pictures

500 yearsThis bilingual pictorial history depicts the Mexican American/Chicano people from their origins 500 years ago with Columbus’ “discovery” & the invasions of the New World, to their struggles for social justice today. Over 800 photographs with brief explanatory texts tell the story of how Mexicans came to what is now the U.S. well before the Pilgrims & after the U.S. war of 1846-48, were made strangers in their own land. Elizabeth Martinez, author of books & articles on social movements, presents a vivid record of the life, culture, & collective struggles by farmworkers, miners, students, factory workers, women’s organizations, noted leaders, immigrants, & artists across the country. The faces of weathered workers, militant youth & beautiful children alternate with victims of lynchings & bloody repression to create a work of both pain & celebration. This updated edition should be of special interest, given today’s emphasis on multiculturalism, to teachers & students as well as the general public. The publisher, the SouthWest Organizing Project, is a community-based organization nationally known for its work on racial, social, & economic justice issues. Order from Southwest Community Resources, 211 10th St., SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, 505-247-8832.

Hazel: A Novel

Hazel Louise Mull-Dare has a good life, but it’s so dull. With an adoring father who grants her every wish, a place in the Kensington School for the Daughters of Gentlemen, and no pressure to excel in anything whatsoever, her future looks primly predictable.But on the day of the Epsom Derby — June 4, 1913 — everything changes. A woman in a dark coat steps in front of the king’s horse, in protest at the injustice of denying women the vote. She dies days later, bringing further attention to the suffragist cause. Young Hazel is transfixed. And when her bold new friend Gloria convinces her to take on the cause, Hazel gets her first taste of rebellion.But doing so leads her into greater trouble than she could have ever imagined. Such great trouble that she is banished from London, all the way to where her family fortune originates — a sugar plantation in the Caribbean. There Hazel is forced to confront the dark secrets of her family — secrets that have festered, and a shame that lingers on.

500 Years Of Chicana Women’s History/ Anos De Historia De Las Chicanans

500The history of Mexican Americans spans more than five centuries and varies from region to region across the United States. Yet most of our history books devote at most a chapter to Chicano history, with even less attention to the story of Chicanas. 500 Years of Chicana Women’s History offers a powerful antidote to this omission with a vivid, pictorial account of struggle and survival, resilience and achievement, discrimination and identity. The bilingual text, along with hundreds of photos and other images, ranges from female-centered stories of pre-Columbian Mexico to profiles of contemporary social justice activists, labor leaders, youth organizers, artists, and environmentalists, among others. With a distinguished, seventeen-member advisory board, the book presents a remarkable combination of scholarship and youthful appeal. In the section on jobs held by Mexicanas under U.S. rule in the 1800s, for example, readers learn about flamboyant Doña Tules, who owned a popular gambling saloon in Santa Fe, and Eulalia Arrilla de Pérez, a respected curandera (healer) in the San Diego area. Also covered are the “repatriation” campaigns” of the Midwest during the Depression that deported both adults and children, 75 percent of whom were U.S.-born and knew nothing of Mexico. Other stories include those of the garment, laundry, and cannery worker strikes, told from the perspective of Chicanas on the ground. From the women who fought and died in the Mexican Revolution to those marching with their young children today for immigrant rights, every story draws inspiration. Like the editor’s previous book, 500 Years of Chicano History (still in print after 30 years), this thoroughly enriching view of Chicana women’s history promises to become a classic.

Teenage Refugees from Haiti Speak Out (In Their Own Voices)

These books begin with historical overviews of Haiti, including the reasons for recent political unrest. The first-person narratives of young refugees follow. All of the teens tell why they left their native countries, how they made their journeys, their experiences and difficulties in North America, and if they plan to return to their homelands. The introductions state that the young people were interviewed; it is unclear exactly when these conversations took place. It seems in Haiti as if they occurred prior to the reinstatement of President Aristide.

Tonight, by Sea

Seek life. Chache Lavi. That’s what Paulie’s uncle says they must do. But to seek life, Paulie and her family have to leave Haiti-the only home that Paulie has ever known. Since forever, Paulie has run in and out of the little houses nestled under the palms, smelling cocoa-bread and playing on the beach with her best friend Karyl. But now the little houses are gone. Their wood has been made into boats-boats used to escape Haiti.Paulie wants to stay and fight-to change Haiti into a better place to live. She wants to talk to the reporters and bravely tell the truth, like Karyl’s brother, Jean-Desir. But the macoutes come with their guns and knives to stop them. And they do something so terrible that Paulie must face the truth: before the soldiers come back, they must all leave-tonight, by sea.