Sylvia and Aki

ISBN-10: 1582463379

ISBN-13: 9781582463377

Edition: 2011

List price: $16.99
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Description:

Sylvia never expected to be at the center of a landmark legal battle; all she wanted was to enroll in school. Aki never expected to be relocated to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert; all she wanted was to stay on her family farm and finish the school year. The two girls certainly never expected to know each other, until their lives intersected in Southern California during a time when their country changed forever. Here is the remarkable story based on true events of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu, two ordinary girls living in extraordinary times. When Sylvia and her brothers are not allowed to register at the same school Aki attended and are instead sent to a "Mexican" school, the stage is set for Sylviars"s father to challenge in court the separation of races in Californiars"s schools. Ultimately, Mendez vs. Westminster School District led to the desegregation of California schools and helped build the case that would end school segregation nationally. Through extensive interviews with Sylvia and Aki-still good friends to this day-Winifred Conkling brings to life two stories of persistent courage in the face of tremendous odds. From the Hardcover edition.
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Book details

List price: $16.99
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 7/12/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 160
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

Brock Clarke is the author of An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England, which was a national bestseller and has appeared in a dozen foreign editions, and three other books. He lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches creative writing at Bowdoin College. Find him online at www.brockclarke.com.William Alexander, the author of two critically acclaimed books, lives in New York's Hudson Valley. By day the IT director at a research institute, he made his professional writing debut at the age of fifty-three with a national bestseller about gardening, The $64 Tomato. His second book, 52 Loaves, chronicled his quest to bake the perfect loaf of bread, a journey that took him to such far-flung places as a communal oven in Morocco and an abbey in France, as well as into his own backyard to grow, thresh, and winnow wheat. The Boston Globe called Alexander "wildly entertaining," the New York Times raved that "his timing and his delivery are flawless," and the Minneapolis Star Tribune observed that "the world would be a less interesting place without the William Alexanders who walk among us." A 2006 Quill Book Awards finalist, Alexander won a Bert Greene Award from the IACP for his article on bread, published in Saveur magazine. A passion bordering on obsession unifies all his writing. He has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and at the National Book Festival in Washington DC and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times op-ed pages, where he has opined on such issues as the Christmas tree threatening to ignite his living room and the difficulties of being organic. Now, in Flirting with French, he turns his considerable writing talents to his perhaps less considerable skills: becoming fluent in the beautiful but maddeningly illogical French language.nbsp;Winifred Conkling learned about Emily and Mary Edmonson and their attempted escape on the Pearl when a statue of the sisters was erected in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2010, at the site of the building that once held the Bruin and Hill slave pen. (The building now houses commercial office space.) Curious, Conkling began to research the story of the girls' journey to freedom and was thrilled to find extensive primary source materials, including an account written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the bestselling nineteenth century novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the autobiography of Daniel Drayton, one of the captains of the Pearl. Conkling studied journalism at Northwestern University and received her master of arts in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has written more than thirty nonfiction books for adults, most involving health and consumer topics. Her first book for children, Sylvia & Aki, won the 2012 Jane Addams Children's Book Award for Older Readers and the 2012 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award.nbsp;She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three children.

Sylvia:
"Excuse me, ma'am," Aunt Soledad said to the secretary. "May I have several more forms? For my brother's children?"
The woman stopped typing again. She looked at Sylvia and her brothers as if noticing them for the first time. "Are these your children?"
"No," Aunt Soledad said. "These two are mine." She rested one hand on Alice's shoulder and the other on Virginia's. "They'll be entering third and fourth grade." Sylvia looked at her cousins. They had fair skin and wore their long wavy brown hair in tight curls tied back from their faces with navy ribbons.
"These are my brother's children," Aunt Soledad said, gesturing at Sylvia and her two brothers, all three alike with warm brown skin, dark hair, and dark eyes. Jerome and Gonzalo had broad, friendly smiles and neatly combed hair. Sylvia wore her own hair in two straight braids, with a red bow pinned above her right ear. She tried to smile, too, but something in the way the woman was looking at them made her uneasy.
"What are their names?" the secretary asked with a sigh.
"Mendez: Sylvia, Gonzalo junior, and Jerome."
The woman held up her hand to interrupt Sylvia's aunt. "The Mendez children will need to register at Hoover School, the Mexican school."
"What? No," Aunt Soledad objected. "I want all of the children in the same school. Both families live here in Westminster."
"Mexican children go to the Mexican school," the woman insisted.
"But we live here," Aunt Soledad repeated. "All of us. Together." Sylvia and her family lived in the main house on the farm, while Aunt Soledad and her family lived in one of the smaller caretakers' houses.
"I'm sorry, but there is nothing I can do about the rules," the woman said, noisily shutting the desk drawer.
Aki:
The trouble started on a Sunday afternoon. It was December 7, 1941. Aki sat at the dining room table with her math homework spread out before her. It was problems in long division: two-digit divisors into four-digit dividends, with remainders. From time to time Aki repeated her teacher's instructions: "Find the quotient; check your work." In the kitchen, her mother cleaned up the lunch dishes while the radio played a piano sonata. Aki's head was filled with numbers and music.
And then the music stopped.
"We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin," said a man's deep, serious voice. "The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by air."
Aki laid down her pencil and went to the kitchen. Her mother stood by the sink with her right hand over her mouth. They both stared at the radio, listening closely to every word. Together they learned that at 7:53 a.m. Hawaii time, Japanese airplanes had bombed the United States naval station at Pearl Harbor. No one knew how many Americans were dead or how many ships had been destroyed.
When the report ended, Aki asked, "What does this mean?"
"War," her mother said. "It means there will be war."
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