Amy Says Read This

Seriously, you should totally read this.

Harvesting Hope: the story of Cesar Chavez

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Krull, K., & Morales, Y (ill.). (2003). Harvesting Hope: the story of Cesar Chavez. Harcourt, San Diego. ISBN: 0-15-201437-3

Annotation: After working as a migrant worker from a young age, Cesar Chavez creates a movement seeking equal rights and fair wages for farm workers and peacefully negotiated many contracts for the workers.

Reaction: This is a book that would be very useful to teach 5th and 6th grade students history of migrant workers and their fight for equality, especially in California where Chavez’s protests and peace marches took place. This book is written in clear, straightforward language about migrants workers’ struggle to earn a living and the unfair and unsafe conditions in which they lived and worked. It explains Chavez’s nonviolent beliefs and how he managed to convince wealthy farm owners to pay their workers a fair wage.

The illustrations are done with acrylics, handmade stamps and computer-created cutouts on BFK Rives Paper. The art really sets the tone for the story: bright, vibrant colors in the beginning, before Chavez and his family were forced to sell their farm and become migrant workers, duller, earthy tones for his time laboring in fields, and more vibrant colors at the end when his protest march from Delano to Sacramento gains followers and is ultimately successful.

Among other honors, Harvesting Hope was an ALA Notable Children’s Book.

Author’s Website

Illustrator’s website and Harvesting Hope Teacher’s Guide

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