In 1946, almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites only" school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.
"Tonatiuh offers an illuminating account of a family’s hard-fought legal battle to desegregate California schools in the years before Brown v. Board of Education." -- Publishers Weekly
"Pura Belpré Award–winning Tonatiuh... makes excellent use of picture-book storytelling to bring attention to the 1947 California ruling against public-school segregation. The concise, informative text, with occasional and always translated Spanish lines, discusses how being banned from enrolling in an Orange County grade school because of her skin tone and Mexican surname inspired Sylvia Mendez’ family to fight for integrated schools....An endnote essay recapping the events, photos of Sylvia and her schools, and a glossary and resource list for further research complete this thorough exploration of an event that is rarely taught." -- Francisca Goldsmith, Booklist
|Recommended Age||6 - 9|
|Publication Date||May 6, 2014|
|Publisher||Harry N. Abrams|
|Award Winners||Jane Addams Award|