Short and engaging biographies of 20 inspirational Hispanic-Americans from fields as varied as sports, arts, sciences, politics, and teaching.
In his introduction, Herrera—the current poet laureate of California—says, “In a land of immigrants, it is an irony that Latino lives have been largely ignored.” It is this gap that he has set out to fill with his book. He includes several well-known figures, such as community organizers César Chávez and Dolores Huerta; artists Desi Arnaz, Rita Moreno, and Joan Baez; baseball player Roberto Clemente; and Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor. He also makes plenty of room for the less-renowned but equally inspirational, such as teacher Jaime Alfonso Escalante, whose life story became the basis of the feature film Stand and Deliver; suffragist Adelina Otero-Warren, who fought for women and children; and astronaut Ellen Ochoa. The task the author has set out to accomplish is big, and the space allotted him is not big enough, but the very helpful recommended readings, bibliography, and source notes at the end of the book should help motivated readers seek out more information. Each profile is accompanied by a beautiful full-page portrait done in watercolor, colored pencils, and litho pencils, etched in Colón’s signature style to stunning effect.
A worthy introduction to some of the Hispanic-Americans who have left their marks on the country and culture through their commitment and dedication. (Biography. 8-12)