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.
Before the Brown vs. Board of Education, which is well known to me, there was the Mendez family who fought for equality in the schools. I find it awful that such things have even taken place in this country, although, I know it has.
I applaud people like the Mendez's who fought for their children to have good education. All children deserve to have the same opportunities. This story follows them from the time the children were rejected right through the court case and back to the school.
I should not be, but I was amazed at the bigotry provided by the school, especially when the children were present at the case. Again, I question why?
In the back of the book, there is an update by the author, photographs of the real people involved, a glossary, and bibliography.
The illustrations in the book were simple line drawing and added to the feel. The colors were muted blues, browns, reds, and greens. I thought it was interesting that none of the character's faces were faced forward but always sideways. Was this a statement in itself? Perhaps.
Overall, I think this is a book that should be read to all children and the case should be brought to the public more as this was just the beginning of children's right to school.
5 stars! Note: This book has received at least two rewards but I was not able to find which ones for my review.
Disclosure: I picked up a copy of this book at my local library to read and review. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon
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