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by Joan Sandin & illustrated by Joan Sandin

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8050-6558-X
Publisher: Henry Holt

There’s a delightful authenticity to this fictional account of the events of 1938 in a one-room school in the ranch country of southern Arizona. As explained in the author’s note, the story is based on an actual collection of newspapers from a similar school, and upon the reminiscences of the author’s good friend, Maria Amado. Sixteen brief chapters are accompanied by Sandin’s lovely watercolors and her yellowed “reproductions” of the purple-inked copies of the student-produced “Coyote News.” Bad roads, rattlesnakes, chile-picking, English, baseball, movies in Tucson, a Halloween party, a round-up, the Fiesta de los Vaqueros, and a competition for perfect attendance will keep readers turning the pages as they become engrossed in the lives of the 12 children and one teacher of Coyote School. Sandin’s love and knowledge of this land and its history are evident in both text and illustrations. “¡Muy Hermosa!” (glossary of Spanish words with pronunciations, maps, author’s note) (Picture book. 6-10)