Todos Iguales All Equal: Un Corrido De Lemon Grove A Ballad of Lemon Grove

by Christy Hale

School Library Journal Gr 3–6—It is 1930, and young student Roberto Álvarez loves school in Lemon Grove, where Mexican and Anglo children learn and play together. When Roberto's family and neighbors discover the school board is planning to create a separate school for the children of Mexican families, they create the Lemon Grove Neighbors Committee, meet with the Mexican consul, and file a lawsuit against the school board. Roberto is chosen to show that the claims the school board is making—that the students were being sent to the second school to receive special attention because they needed additional help—are untrue. Roberto's concise and educated answers (shown to be spoken in complete English) help to convince the judge that separating the children is unjust. Beautiful, stylized illustrations depict the events and individuals' personalities clearly. Text in both English and Spanish accompanies the illustrations, making this a nonfiction book that will be widely accessible to readers of one or both languages. The book includes a corrido, or ballad, of the events of Lemon Grove, as well as pages with more information about the case and the participants, what happened after the case, and additional details about corridos. A source page brings these elements together to create a deeply knowledgeable text about an important time in our history. VERDICT Bilingual text and eye-catching illustrations join a treasure of additional resources to create this significant text. Highly recommended for nonfiction collections for young readers, and perfect for use alongside titles such as Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh.—Selenia Paz, Harris County Public Library, Houston

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book In the 1930s, the Mexican American community in Lemon Grove, California, organized to bring a lawsuit against the school board--’the first successful school desegregation case’--after the board secretly commissioned building an inferior school to segregate Mexican American children. The third-person text, in both Spanish and English, is told from the perspective of twelve-year-old Roberto. Hale skillfully uses such visual techniques as large halo shapes and split panels to depict the unfolding events while also highlighting aspects of everyday life in this small agricultural town. Bib. (c) Copyright 2021. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list In 1931, the Mexican American students of Lemon Grove School in California were told they could no longer attend and instead must move to an inferior, ill-equipped building. The community, including Anglo and Mexican American families, rallied and boycotted both schools, which led to a lawsuit: Roberto Álvarez v. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District. This engaging, bilingual informational text puts Roberto's fight for equality front and center. A corrido, or Spanish ballad, precedes the narrative, giving the book an epic feel. The captivating illustrations are rendered in gouache and relief printing inks in verdant and warm colors. This work sensitively and accurately depicts the racist repercussions of segregation and also shines a light on the power of unity and community in action. Extensive back matter, including photos, reproductions, source notes, and quotations, will encourage further study. This court case should be celebrated alongside Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. A must-have, illuminating gem.--Shelley M. Diaz Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly In the summer of 1930, the school board of Lemon Grove, Calif., made a radical decision: to build a separate school for the community’s Mexican-American students. The “two-room, barnlike building,” filled with “castoff school supplies,” galvanized Lemon Grove’s Mexican American community. Their organizing resulted in 12-year-old Roberto Álvarez becoming the plaintiff in the “first successful school desegregation case in United States history.” Opening with a corrido, a traditional Mexican story-song, the bilingual text in Spanish and English presents a lesser-known chapter of U.S. civil rights history in clear, compelling prose, centering the story in immigrant community action. Vivid illustrations, created with gouache and relief-printing inks, combine crisp edges and soft textures, conjuring the feeling of looking back into time. Concluding spreads delve further into the history and impact of the case, the major players involved in the action, and the structure of corridos. Essential and enlightening. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kirkus Twenty-three years before Brown v. Board of Education, the first successful desegregation case in the United States, Roberto lvarez v. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District, was decided in California in 1931.In 1930, Lemon Grove school board members secretly decided to provide a segregated education to U.S. citizens of Mexican descent who had, up to that time, enjoyed equal education with the "Anglo" children. Hale's bilingual text, Spanish printed above English, accompanies her illustrations and describes how the school's white principal disobeyed the board's orders and alerted the families. The Latino community boycotted the inferior school and sought legal recourse with the help of the Mexican consul. The board members argued that a separate education was necessary in order "to give special attention to students who spoke poor English and had other deficiencies.' " The plaintiff, 12-year-old Roberto lvarez, responded to the white judge's questions in perfect Englishand the judge ruled in favor of the 75 Mexican American students. Hale bases much of her account of this important but little-known case on primary sources and interviews with many of the principal participants. However, the backmatter regarding the history of Mexican immigration and the mass deportations of the 1930s is both inaccurate and oversimplified, so educators should seek out additional information when using this text. (A revision to this backmatter will appear in the book's second printing.)An essential springboard for further meaningful discussion of this relevant and divisive topic. (Informational picture book. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

214 Main Street Hanlontown, IA 50444  |  Phone: 641-896-2888
Powered by: YouSeeMore © The Library Corporation (TLC)