We all know about Jim Crow segregation in the South, but in California segregation existed as well, separating Mexicans and other Latinos from whites. Sylvia Mendez was a young girl who didn’t understand why she couldn’t attend the white school. Her family couldn’t get a satisfactory answer as to why they were being separated, so they sued, and won, ending segregation in California seven years before Brown v. Board of Education would desegregate the South. Duncan Tonatiuh’s book, written after he interviewed Sylvia, tells their story and includes Tonatiuh’s unique illustrations.
About the Author
Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende. His books have received many awards over the years. He currently lives in San Miguel with his wife and children but travels to the US often.
** STARRED REVIEW**
"Tonatiuh masterfully combines text and folk-inspired art to add an important piece to the mosaic of U.S. civil rights history."
— Kirkus Reviews
** STARRED REVIEW**
“Younger children will be outraged by the injustice of the Mendez family story but pleased by its successful resolution. Older children will understand the importance of the 1947 ruling that desegregated California schools, paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education seven years later.”
— School Library Journal
"Tonatiuh (Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote) 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 straightforward narrative is well matched with the illustrations in Tonatiuh’s signature style, their two-dimensional perspective reminiscent of the Mixtec codex but collaged with paper, wood, cloth, brick, and (Photoshopped) hair to provide textural variation. This story deserves to be more widely known, and now, thanks to this book, it will be."
— The Horn Book Magazine