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That's Not Fair!: Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice / ¡No Es Justo!: La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia

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A vivid depiction of the early injustices encountered by a young Mexican-American girl in San Antonio in the 1920's, this book tells the true story of Emma Tenayuca. Emma learns to care deeply about poverty and hunger during a time when many Mexican Americans were starving to death and working unreasonably long hours at slave wages in the city's pecan-shelling factories. Through astute perception, caring, and personal action, Emma begins to get involved, and eventually, at the age of 21, leads 12,000 workers in the first significant historical action in the Mexican-American struggle for justice. Emma Tenayuca's story serves as a model for young and old alike about courage, compassion, and the role everyone can play in making the world more fair.

ISBN-13: 9780916727338

Media Type: Hardcover(Bilingual)

Publisher: Wings Press

Publication Date: 04-01-2008

Pages: 40

Product Dimensions: 12.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Age Range: 5 - 7 Years

Carmen Tafolla is one of the most anthologized of all Latina poets, with poems for both adults and children appearing in more than 200 anthologies. She is the author of the Bluebonnet Award-nominated Baby Coyote and the Old Woman. Sharyll Teneyuca is a social justice lawyer and the niece of Emma Tenayuca. Terry Ybáñez is the illustrator of Christmas Tree: El Árbol de Navidad and Hairs/Pelitos. They all live in San Antonio, Texas.

Read an Excerpt

That's Not Fair!/¡No Es Justo!

Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice/La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la Justicia

By Carmen Tafolla, Sharyll Teneyuca, Terry Ybáñez

Wings Press

Copyright © 2008 Wings Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60940-054-5


1925 ...

The little girl with the shining, black eyes walked eagerly to school. She passed a small shack that had no door. Inside, a baby was crying, as his mother tried to warm him with her thin arms and her thin shawl. The little girl knew they were cold, and her black eyes flashed.

She passed a boy, maybe four years old. In his hands were a few small pecans he was shelling and sharing with two younger brothers. They ate eagerly as if that was all they would have today. The little girl knew they were hungry, and again, her eyes flashed.

When she arrived at school, her teacher announced happily, "Emma, look! We have a new hook to read today."

Emma loved to read! She had read every book in the classroom! But even as she pored over the new book, she kept remembering the children she had seen that morning.

After school, she took the new book home. And read it again. And again. As she sat on the front porch reading. Maria, a neighbor about her age peeked over and asked, "What are you doing?"

"I'm reading a wonderful story! Would you like to read it, too?"

"Oh, I can't!" said Maria. "I don't know how to read. Last year, I was starting to learn the letters. But then, the weather began to warm, and the flowers began to bloom. And my family had to go far away, to pick onions."

"We picked onions, then strawberries. We picked cabbage, then cotton. We picked beets, then corn. By the time we came back, school had ended, summer had passed, and school had started again."

La muchachita de brillantes ojos negros caminaba entusiasmada hacia la escuela. Pasó una casucha sin puerta. Adentro, un bebe lloraba mientras su madre trataba de protegerlo del frió con sus brazos delgados y su rebozo muy gastado. La niña sabia que tenían frío, y sus ojos negros relampaguearon.

Ella pasó junto a un niño de quizi cuatro años, que en sus manos tenía unas nueces pequeñas que estaba pelando y compartiendo con sus hermanitos. Comían ansiosamente, como si fuera todo lo que tuvieran para ese día. La niña sabia que tenían hambre. Suspiró profundamente y otra vez destellaron sus ojos

Cuando llegó a la escuela, su maestra anunció: –¡Mira, Emma! ¡Tenemos un libro nuevo para leer hoy!

A Emma le encantaba leer. ¡Había leído todos los libros que había en el salón de clases! Pero aún mientras leía el nuevo libro, no podía dejar de pensar en los niños que había visto por la mañana.

Después de las clases, se llevó el libro nuevo a su casa. Y lo leyó otra vez. Y otra. Se encontraba sentada en la veranda de su casa, mando María, una vecinita de su edad se asomó y le preguntó: –¿Que haces?

–¡Estoy leyendo un cuento maravilloso! ¿Quieres leerlo?

–¡Oh, no puedo! –dijo Mana. –No sé leer. El año paxado estaba empezando a aprender las letras. Pero llegó el tiempo de calor y las plantas comenzaron a florecer y mi familia tuvo que irse lejos a piscar cebollas.

–Piscamos cebollas, y después fresas. Piscamos repollo, y después algodón. Piscamos betabel, y después helóte. Cuando regresamos, las clases ya habían terminado, el verano ya se había pasado y la escuela había comenzado otra vez.


Excerpted from That's Not Fair!/¡No Es Justo! by Carmen Tafolla, Sharyll Teneyuca, Terry Ybáñez. Copyright © 2008 Wings Press. Excerpted by permission of Wings Press.
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