“A biography for the times … Brill paints a vivid picture of her subject and calls attention to a civil rights leader who was often overshadowed by her male counterpart even as she fought sexism in her own community.… An excellent read for anyone hoping to believe one person can make a difference. Young readers will recognize Dolores Huerta’s rallying cry ‘Yes, we can!’ even as they are inspired by her vision for a better world.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[Brill] takes complex issues, such as unionizing, collective bargaining, and Communism, and makes them comprehensible for the intended audience. Many of the issues Huerta championed—workers’ rights, the living conditions of immigrants, women’s equality—are still timely topics that will resonate with today’s youths.…VERDICT This well-told, age-appropriate account of a vital and essential activist deserves a place in all middle grade collections.”
School Library Journal (starred review)
“[Dolores Huerta Stands Strong] … effortlessly weaves Huerta’s personal story into the epic of her generation. Notes at the end of chapters give additional information about what society was like at the time, a crucial addition for young readers who may not have a deep sense of historical perspective and who believe that the world has always been the way it is right now.… This is a great addition to any collection and gives a fresh choice to readers who are investigating biographies.”
Karen Yingling, Ms. Yingling Reads
“Brill has crafted an enticing and empowering picture of courage, belief, struggles, commitment, and justice that future generations of all colors and genders can use as a model for future battles. ‘Sí, se puede,’ or ‘Yes, we can,’ is rightfully attributed to a courageous Latina whose message has been echoed and propelled all over the world.”
Maritza Rocha, Director of Youth Services, Mujeres Latinas en Acción
Today, we know Dolores Huerta as the cofounder, with Cesar Chavez, of the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers of America. We know her as a tireless advocate for the rights of farmworkers, Mexican American immigrants, women, and LGBTQ populations. And we know her as the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2012.
Before all that, though, Huerta was a child in the farming community of Stockton, California, and then a teenager whose teachers underestimated her because she was Chicana. When she became a teacher herself, she witnessed her students coming to school shoeless and hungry. Many took days off from school to work in the farm fields to help feed their families. What could she do to help them? A young mother at the time, Huerta quit her teaching job to organize their parents. That began her journey to educate a nation about who produces our food and the conditions under which they work.
Dolores Huerta Stands Strong follows Huerta’s life from the mining communities of the Southwest where her father toiled, to the vineyards and fields of California, and across the country to the present day. As she worked for fair treatment for others, Dolores earned the nation’s highest honors. More important, she found her voice.
Marlene Targ Brill is an award-winning author of books for all ages. She especially seeks to write women into history and tell stories of the undersung. You can learn more about Marlene and her other books at www.marlenetargbrill.com. More info →
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Long before she wrote The House of Dies Drear, M. C. Higgins, the Great, and many other children’s classics, Virginia Hamilton grew up among her extended family near Yellow Springs, Ohio, where her grandfather had been brought as a baby through the Underground Railroad. The family stories she heard as a child fueled her imagination, and the freedom to roam the farms and woods nearby trained her to be a great observer.
In the third installment of our series Biographies for Young Readers, Nancy Roe Pimm gives us the life of Jerrie Mock, who in 1964 became the first woman to fly solo around the world. Mock, born in Newark, Ohio, received little attention for her feat, despite accomplishing what her childhood heroine Amelia Earhart died trying. Meticulously researched, Mock’s story as presented by Pimm is engaging, accessible, and packed with inspiration for middle-grade readers aspiring to adventure.
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