Warren’s debut provides a much-needed biography of a heroine in the struggle for migrant farmworkers’ rights.
Dolores Huerta, often relegated to a secondary character in books about César Chávez, takes center stage in this accessible story. Huerta’s story begins with her realization that migrant farmworkers’ conditions and pay are the root causes for her own students’ poor health, hunger and lack of shoes. The author chronicles Huerta’s journey by emphasizing her various roles: teacher, friend, warrior, organizer, storyteller, peacemaker, mother and woman. After Huerta fails to get the workers’ bosses to improve conditions and raise wages, she organizes a strike. Eventually, her efforts help change working conditions. In watercolor with pastels, Casilla captures Huerta’s strength and the resilience of Latino migrant farm works. With the notable exception of a single, stark-white offset, the text blends beautifully with the illustrations in form and substance. A detailed chronology (in which Chávez appears) and a list of books, articles and websites enrich the simple text. While the book alone will work with younger children, the backmatter makes this title an exceptional resource for both Hispanic Heritage and Woman’s History months.
A welcome title for children and educators alike. (Picture book/biography. 6-10)