________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 19. . . .January 21, 2011


Dolores Huerta: Voice for the Working Poor. (Crabtree Groundbreaker Biographies).

Alex Van Tol.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2011.
112 pp., pbk. & hc., $14.95 (pbk.) $24.95 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-2545-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-2536-7 (RLB.).

Subject Headings:
Huerta, Delores, 1930- -Juvenile literature.
Mexican American labor leaders-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Women social reformers-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Labor leaders-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Sherry Faller.

*** /4



Dolores and her fellow CSO workers helped people register to vote who wouldn't have been able to themselves. She fought to have access to things like welfare and other assistance programs.


Part of the "Groundbreaker Biographies" series, Dolores Huerta: Voice for the Working Poor book is written for young people interested in the human rights movement. Born in New Mexico in the 1930s, Delores was mentored by her strong mother who ran her own rooming house and taught her children to treat everyone with empathy. Her father was a union leader who influenced Delores to fight for the rights of the working poor. She became an outspoken organizer and activist for migrant farm workers. Fighting the prevalent discrimination during the 30s, 40s and beyond, Delores was instrumental in not only spearheading the improvement of the working conditions of migrants in America, but she was also a vocal activist for women's rights. She founded the Community Service Organization (CSO) in her home town of Stockton, and together with Cesar Chaves, she created the National Farm Workers Association.

      This book is more than just a biography of Delores Huerta. Other articles are sprinkled throughout the book about such topics as health issues involving pesticides, the Great Depression, the Bracero Program which brought Mexican workers to the US, and Gandhi who influenced Cesar Chaves. Information on lobbying, collective bargaining, labor unions and the feminist movement are also included.

      While designed for middle school readers, the text is in simple, single-column format with a larger than usual font for that age group. The photos and posters are all in black and white, giving the book a more adult appearance. The book is equipped with the usual table of contents and index. The reader can pursue further information by looking up the books listed and by visiting the listed websites. A collection of topical words, which are unfortunately not bolded within the main text, causes the reader to be unaware they are found in the glossary. The Chronology timeline makes a useful preview or review of Huerta's life.

      The information in this book is well-researched and presented. The writing style is easy to read. Dolores Huerta: Voice for the Working Poor is recommended for middle years school libraries and would be a popular choice for a biography assignment.


Sherry Faller is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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