Meet community organizer Dolores Huerta, who travels from poverty to political victory, becoming only the second Mexican-American woman in history to be honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
A biography for the times, Brill’s narrative tells the story of a farm laborer’s daughter born during the Great Depression. Raised in Stockton, California, where her father, brother, and nearly everyone she knew picked vegetables and fruits for a living, Dolores lamented the poverty and the brutal conditions under which her community was forced to labor. Her sense of injustice only grew when the excellent work she did at school earned her an accusation of plagiarism. Spurred to action by her life experiences and a desire to help her people, Dolores joined forces with César Chávez to start the United Farm Workers Union. Borrowing Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent protest, they set out to change the way their people were treated with a successful grape strike that gained them nationwide sympathy. Weaving in quotes from Huerta and others, 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. A helpful timeline, glossary, and “Did You Know?” sections in each chapter serve as aids in this historic biography. 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. (Biography. 7-14)