Wealthy, awesome kung fu skills, head of a company, Danny has it all.
Gary Soto is a man who writes from experience. He grew up in one of the many barrios poor Mexican American neighborhoods of Fresno, California, and since the mids he has borrowed from that community to create an astonishing number of works.
Soto, however, does not see himself as strictly a Chicano author. True, in his over twenty books of poetry and prose for adults and in over thirty books for younger readers, he focuses on the daily trials and tribulations of Spanish-speaking Americans.
But, through crisp, clear imagery and his true-to-life characters, Soto connects with readers of all ages and backgrounds.
As he explained in his Scholastic Booklist biography, "Even though I write a lot about life in the barrio, I am really writing about the feelings and experiences of most American kids.
Typical jobs included picking oranges, cotton, and grapes for very little pay, or working in the often dangerous packing houses of local businesses, such as the Sunmaid Raisin Company. When Soto was just five years old, his father was killed in an accident while working at Sunmaid.
Gary was hit particularly hard and spent years brooding over the accident. And Angie Soto was left with three small children to raise: As Gary and his siblings grew older they, too, worked in the fields and factories of Fresno.
Regardless, the family struggled. Working left little time for school, and when Soto did go, he made very poor marks. While attending Roosevelt High School, he maintained a D average, and spent more time chasing girls than doing his homework. Soto received little encouragement from home to do better.
As he explained in interviews, education was simply not part of their culture—the culture of poverty. I think like a poet, and behave like a poet. Through bargaining agreements, contract negotiations, and other tactics, its members work to improve the wages and working conditions for all agricultural workers in America.
This includes fighting for such basic rights as a living wage, access to clean drinking water and bathrooms, and safe working conditions. Following World War II —45there was a shortage of field laborers in California and Texas where agriculture was a key industry.
As a result, an agreement was made between Mexico and the United States, where U. Eventually, growers became dependent on these seasonal laborers, who were willing to take on back-breaking work for little pay, work that most Americans were not willing to do.
Because they were not citizens of the United States, because they usually spoke little English, and because they were not organized under a union, conditions for Mexican laborers were poor.
Their temporary housing often lacked indoor plumbing, and children were often forced to work in the fields in order to help their family survive. By the mids, there were hundreds of thousands of laborers living and working in such substandard conditions.
Their first combined effort involved organizing Chicano and Filipino workers in the California grape-picker strike of — After a bitter battle between growers and workers, the UFWOC secured contracts with two of the largest grape growers in California; the contracts included among other things, a promise to ban the use of harmful pesticides, access to washing facilities, and rest periods.
This was first successful bargaining agreement between farm laborers and growers in the United States. Since then the organization has continued to fight for the rights of workers in all types of agricultural industries, from grapes to lettuce, from strawberries to mushrooms. Today, according to the UFWA Web site, farm workers who are employed by companies that accept UFWA contracts enjoy decent pay, family medical care, pensions, and other similar benefits.
Unfortunately, the site also reports that the majority of farm laborers in California and the rest of the country still do not enjoy these basic protections.
This means that the battle continues, carried on by the next generation. Soto was especially inspired by one book in particular, To Sir with Love, a novel written by E.
Braithwaite — about a teacher who devotes himself to students at a school in the East End working-class district of London, England. Reading that novel prompted Soto to enroll at Fresno City College after graduation.
He was not sure exactly what he would study in college, perhaps geography or paleontology the study of fossils. Soto, however, was sure that he did not want to be a farm worker. And, although he loved to read, the thought of becoming a writer did not even cross his mind.Native American Conquest by Hernando de Soto for eReaders.
The Old Man and His Door (English and Spanish Edition) [Gary Soto, Joe Cepeda] on attheheels.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Who would bring the door, la puerta, to a picnic instead of the pig, el puerco? An old man who's great at gardening but lousy at listening to his wife!
In the universal tradition of the wise-fool story/5(8).
The Cat's Meow [Gary Soto] on attheheels.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Young Graciela spends time with her remarkable cat, Pip, who is able to speak in Spanish, in an animal fantasy tale that introduces basic Spanish vocabulary to young readers.
Reprint. Gary Soto is one of today's most celebrated Chicano writers. He has received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and his New & Selected Poems was a .
Oct 23, · The Old Man & Door by Gary Soto Illustrations by Joe Cepeda Only an old man who is great at gardening but bad at listening to his wife would bring the door.
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