Separate Is Never Equal

Separate Is Never Equal

Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

Book - 2014
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"Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, [2014]
Branch Call Number: 379.263 T
Characteristics: 40 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
ISBN: 9781419710544


From Library Staff

In the 1940s, Sylvia Mendez and her family are not welcomed into their local school and community in Westminster, California, and, because of their Hispanic heritage, are forced to attend the under-resourced "Mexican" school. Along with four other families, the Mendezes file suit agains... Read More »

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Sep 07, 2020

I liked the book, but not the art. I got this book because a father was appalled that a teacher was using this book to teach students to feel guilty and hate themselves for being white. The book does not teach these things, although a teacher could try to spin that racist message. This book is the true story of a girl dealing with discrimination and segregation. People nowadays need to be careful not to go down that same racist path. I hear whites are not being allowed in some areas/businesses/gatherings. Rioters, looters, and arsonists are sparing black owned businesses but not others. Reverse racism is still racism.

JuliaO_KCMO Mar 31, 2017

Long before Brown v. Board of Education, there was a little Mexiccan-American girl in California who wondered why she and her brothers had to go to school in a far-away shack while other children -- including her own fairer-skinned cousins -- attended the nicer one in their own neighborhood. Tonatiuh's simple but powerful story shows how the Mendez family helped end desegregation in California schools.

JCLMichelleR Mar 03, 2017

I regret to say that I had no prior knowledge of this powerful fight for desegregation in California. Tonatiuh does a remarkable job making this case and story accessible to children. It is important to continually fight the lies of racial inferiority and work to embrace each other and lift each other up to our full potential.

Jan 17, 2017

Good coverage of an early desegregation case. Was not too keen on the artist's interpretation of people's mouths.

JCLBeckyC Jan 17, 2017

Kids of all backgrounds can relate to this story of young Sylvia and her family as they fight for fair treatment, leading to the 1947 ruling that desegregated California schools seven years before the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

Apr 07, 2016

"When you fight for justice, others will follow.", said Sylvia's mother. That's one of the important take-aways from this true story of the fight initiated by one family to integrate schools in California.

LMcShaneCLE Feb 13, 2016

This civil rights case predates Brown vs. the Board of Education and shows how segregation also affected Americans with heritage from Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Sylvia was told she had to go to the Mexican school, even though she and her parents were Americans and spoke English, and the Mexican school was farther from their home in Orange County. The lawsuit that her family brought—and won—helped pave the way for the Brown v. Board of Education. Picture book format.


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Sep 07, 2020

bell5133 thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over

Apr 07, 2016

DUVALL LIBRARY thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over


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