Booktalking "Side by Side/Lado a lado" by Monica Brown

  • by Miranda J. McDermott

    Dolores came from a privileged family, and she grew up to be a teacher. Cesar's family were migrant laborers and they worked under harsh conditions. One day, the two met, and they agreed to work together for better living and working conditions for farm employees. They organized the workers and urged them to fight for justice.

    Dolores and Cesar convinced people to boycott buying grapes from California because growers utilized pesticides that made the workers sick. This led to workers getting safer working conditions, and the grapes were also healthier for people to consume. They also were involved with a 340-mile march to demand better living wages for workers. On April 10, Dolores' birthday, the workers won their battle! Their pay increased due to their perseverance and passion.

    Dolores and Cesar did not have much money, and they both had many mouths to feed, but they believed in their cause. They wanted to make the lives of workers better. Cesar even went on a hunger strike for 36 days to demand better working conditions for the people. Dolores galvanized the workers to believe that change was possible.

    For thirty years, Dolores and Cesar worked together. They supported the passing of the Immigration Act of 1986 to help immigrants become US citizens. Unfortunately, Cesar died in 1993, but Dolores continued working for the betterment of the people.

    Side by Side: the Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/Lado a lado: la historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez by Monica Brown, 2010

    I loved the fact that the book was bilingual. We have many customers coming into the library requesting English/Spanish bilingual books. I also liked the way that the book alternately talked about Cesar Chavez's and Dolores Huerta's accomplishments. The picture book was beautifully illustrated, and it was inspiring.