Sí, Se Puede: The Latino Heroes Who Changed the United States

Ten Speed. Oct. 2023. 176p. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781984860910.
Gr 7 Up–Immigrants of Latinx descent and their families have left their mark on the United States from its earliest years to the present, from civil war heroes, activists, politicians, and judges to actors, singers, and sports personalities. Latino soldiers fought against the Confederacy; the activists César Chávez and Dolores Huerta advocated nonviolently for better wages for farm workers; and Sylvia Mendez, in Mendez v. Westminster, won a landmark case in which the courts found racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, laying down the foundation for Brown v. Board of Education. This book is replete with biographical information about admired celebrities such as the baseball star Roberto Clemente, and lesser-known personalities, such as the advocate for homeless queer youth and transgender rights, Sylvia Rivera. The book’s construct is that four adults of color participate in an immersive exhibition where they travel through history. Although at times, this book presents potentially anti-American sentiments, especially targeting U.S. foreign policies, its core celebrates “the Latino heroes who changed the United States.” The English informational narrative is accompanied by attentive digital illustrations that connect readers with the multifaceted story as it moves through time. While the writing could be for a middle-grade reading level, the art appears to be directed to an adult audience. This book could be used in a social studies unit for upper middle-grade students during National Hispanic Heritage Month. A foreword by Congressman Joaquin Castro and an index are included.
VERDICT An engaging journey through history celebrating the contributions of Latinx people who have made a difference.

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