Sylvia and Aki [2012 Co-Winner]

Written by Winifred Conkling

Book Synopsis:

The book Sylvia and Aki recounts the true story of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu. Told in alternating chapters from the girls’ points of view, the story about institutional racism enlightens readers to events in recent history of the US. Aki’s family was relocated from their family farm to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert. Meanwhile, Sylvia’s family has rented the Munemitsu farm and Sylvia and her brothers are not allowed to enroll in the nearby school. Instead, they are sent to the “Mexican school.” This sets the stage for Sylvia’s father to challenge in court the separation of races in California’s schools. The case, Mendez vs. Westminster School District is considered one of the precursors to Brown vs. Board of Education and helped build the case that would end school segregation nationally.

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Diego Rivera: His World and Ours [2012 Co-Winner

Written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Book Synopsis:

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, highlights the accomplishments of Mexican painter, activist, and muralist Diego Rivera. Tonatiuh’s stylized illustrations include elements of Mayan artwork and represent his interpretation of Rivera’s work. Tonatiuh prompts readers to think about the question: what would Diego Rivera paint if he were alive today? Through innovative digital collage, Tonatiuh juxtaposes contemporary Mexican life with the past.

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