Separate Is Never Equal

Separate Is Never Equal

Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

Book - 2014
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Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites only" school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.
Publisher: New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2014
ISBN: 9781419710544
Call Number: j 379.263 T663s 2014
Characteristics: 40 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm


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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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Apr 07, 2016

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


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