Without Separation: Prejudice, Segregation, and the Case of Roberto Alvarez

Larry Dane Brimner, illus. by Maya Gonzalez. Calkins Creek, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-68437-195-2
Dense paragraphs of small text outline the tale of Roberto Alvarez, a California-born student of Mexican heritage who, along with his Mexican and Mexican American peers, was instructed to attend a school separate from white students in 1930s California, resulting in the landmark case Roberto Alvarez v. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District, the first court decision successfully desegregating schools. Brimner outlines Alvarez and his community’s fight for equal education in accessible prose: “The new school was not meant to help their students learn the English language and American customs, as the school board and newspapers claimed. The only thing that determined which of Lemon Grove’s two schools a youngster was to attend was the color of the child’s skin.” Gonzalez’s acrylic paintings on archival paper, offering thickly outlined figures of varying age and skin tone rendered in a vivid mural-like style, set this biography apart. Back matter includes an author’s note with photographs, sources, source notes, acknowledgments, and picture credits. Ages 7–10. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 10/14/2021
Release date: 09/14/2021
Genre: Children's
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