Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

Young Sylvia Mendez, an American citizen, was eager to attend the third grade in her local school. But in 1944, California public schools refused to open their doors to children of Mexican descent, forcing them to attend inferior segregated schools.

During a time when signs at public pools declared, “No dogs or Mexicans allowed,” Sylvia’s parents courageously chose to file a lawsuit. In a series of trials, the Mendez family won their case. On April 15, 1947, a judge ruled that “all children in California were allowed to go to school together, regardless of race, ethnicity, or language.”

Based on interviews with Sylvia Mendez and on court transcripts,this stirring children’s picture book portrays a family and community who refused to bow to injustice. Ages 6 and up. (Abrams Books)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.