This important yet little-known civil rights story focuses on Roberto Alvarez, a student whose 1931 court battle against racism and school segregation in Lemon Grove, CA, is considered the first time an immigrant community used the courts to successfully fight injustice.
Roberto Alvarez’s world changed the day he could no longer attend Lemon Grove Grammar School in the small, rural community where he lived near San Diego, California. He and the other Mexican American students were told they had to go to a new, separate school. A school just for them. A school where they would not hold back the other students. But Roberto and the other students and their families believed the new school’s real purpose was to segregate, to separate. They didn’t think that was right, or just, or legal. This historical fiction picture book by Sibert award-winning author Larry Dane Brimner and Pura Belpré award-winning illustrator Maya Gonzalez follows Roberto and the other immigrant families on their journey in 1931 as they battle against separation and prejudice in one of America’s landmark segregation cases.
Larry Dane Brimner is the award-winning author of a number of civil rights and social justice titles for Calkins Creek, including Finding a Way Home: Mildred and Richard Loving and the Fight for Marriage Equality; Accused! The Trials of the Scottsboro Boys: Lies, Prejudice, and the Fourteenth Amendment; and Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment. Visit brimner.com.
Maya Gonzalez is an artist, author and progressive educator whose work focuses on the use of art and story as powerful tools of reclamation and transformation. She has illustrated over 20 award-winning children’s books, several of which she also wrote. Her book My Colors, My World won the Pura Belpré Award Honor and her most recent picture book, Call Me Tree was listed in Kirkus’ Best Picture Books of 2014 that Celebrate Diversity.
Download the free educator guide HERE!
Watch the book trailer: