Strike! The farm workers' fight for their rights

Larry Dane Brimner

Book - 2014

A history of Cesar Chavez and the farm workers movement.

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Subjects
Published
Honesdale, Pennsylvania : Calkins Creek Books, an imprint of Highlights 2014.
©2014
Language
English
Spanish
Main Author
Larry Dane Brimner (-)
Edition
First edition
Physical Description
172 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 26 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781590789971
  • Delano, Kern County, California, 1965
  • La tierra-soil
  • Los campesinos-peasants
  • Las uvas-grapes
  • Los pies-feet
  • Las tortugas- turtles
  • Huelga de hambre-hunger strike
  • La lucha-the fight
  • ¡Sí, se puede!-yes, it can be done!
Review by Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Although a number of books celebrating César Chávez are available for younger children, few titles provide more in-depth coverage for older readers. This informative volume offers a detailed, nuanced discussion of the man and the California agricultural workers' movement. The story begins in 1965, with Filipino farm workers leaving the vineyards to strike for better wages and living conditions. Next, Brimner follows Chávez as he grows up in a family of migrant workers, becomes an organizer, and leads the National Farm Workers of America for many years, using tactics such as strikes, boycotts, and fasting. The book's large format and spacious design offer plenty of room for text, many black-and-white photos, stylized illustrations, wide borders, sidebars, and quotes (in Spanish and English). Though portraying Chávez as hardworking, inspirational, and effective, the book also shows him as a controversial leader who, later in life, could be high-handed in directing what his union would do. Brimner also credits the contributions of Larry Itliong, from the Filipino movement, as well as Dolores Huerta and others within the NFWA while placing events within the political and social context of their turbulent times. Well researched, well sourced, and clearly written, this book is an excellent resource for young people.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-Brimner's comprehensive history of the United Farm Workers (UFW) begins not with Cesar Chavez but with the action of a group of Filipino farm workers who walked off the California fields in 1965. He combines the little-known story of the Filipino workers, a significant segment of migrant farm workers, with that of Chavez and the Hispanic workers, whose actions have received far more attention. Brimner is sympathetic to the plight of all the farm workers and emphasizes both their poverty and powerlessness and the dangers and bravery of their long struggle to win bargaining rights from their powerful employers. He is objective about Chavez, providing both praise and criticism of his role as union and civil rights leader. One of the book's strongest points is a discussion of how Hispanic organizers Chavez and Deloris Huerta and their Filipino counterpart Larry Itliong worked to overcome grower-exploited cultural differences between the two groups and persuade them to trust and work together. The text is supplemented with well-chosen primary source quotes, large period photos and political cartoons, and sidebars. Although many titles such as Barbara J. Davis's The National Grape Boycott: A Victory for Farmworkers (Compass Point, 2008) offer general background and well-written coverage of Chavez and Hispanic workers, Brimner's inclusion of information about the Filipino workers who began the movement, quotes and balanced discussion of Chavez's strengths and weaknesses provides a fresh perspective on the movement, making this book a first-purchase choice for middle-level researchers.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Public Schools, MO (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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

Brimner's comprehensive history recounts the movement for better wages and working conditions among migrant farm workers in the Southwest, from California's burgeoning need for farm workers in the twentieth century to the story of Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers of America, and the Delano grape workers' strike. The compelling narrative includes both textual and visual primary sources. Reading list, timeline, websites. Ind. (c) Copyright 2014. 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.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A skillful, compelling account of the complicated history of Csar Chvez and the farm workers movement, set in the context of the social and political tensions of the times. "We used to own our slaves. Now we just rent them," said a farmer in Harvest of Shame, a 1960 documentary about migrant workers. Union leader Chvez started picking produce as an adolescent and knew firsthand the brutal conditions farmworkers endured. Driven to change those conditions and raise wages, Chvez worked ceaselessly to organize California's migrant workers into a union, which became the United Farm Workers. It successfully pioneered the use of boycotts to support strikes and adopted techniques such as fasting and protest marches from Gandhi and the civil rights movement. But hard-won victories were followed by setbacks at the hands of powerful farm owners and their Teamster allies. The UFW also suffered from increasing tension between Chvez and Filipino-American union leaders, while others criticized Chvez's emphasis on Catholicism and his aversion to dissent. Brimner's evenhanded, well-researched narrative uses apt quotes to convey a sense of the people, their actions and their emotions. Appropriately enough, green and purple accent the pages. With an appealing design and many black-and-white photographs, this paints a vivid, detailed picture of an important labor movement and its controversial yet inspiring leader. (author's note, further reading, websites, places to visit, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.