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¡Sí, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A.
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¡Sí, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A.

4.44 of 5 stars 4.44  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  20 reviews
¡Sí, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can! is a bilingual fictional story set against the backdrop of the successful janitors’ strike in Los Angeles in 2000. It tells about Carlitos, whose mother is a janitor. Every night, he sleeps while his mother cleans in one of the skyscrapers in downtown L.A. When she comes home, she waves Carlitos off to school before she goes to sleep. One nigh ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Cinco Puntos Press
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Community Reviews

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Jessica Martinez

¡Sí, Se Puede!is a historical fiction book because it is based on an actual janitor’s strike that occurred in Los Angeles in 2000. The book tells the story of a young Hispanic boy named Carlitos who lives with his mom and grandmother. Carlitos’s mom is a janitor who is frustrated that her low wages do not reflect the long hours and effort that her job demands. Consequently, she has decided to go on strike because her meager wages do not allow her to adequately support her family. To help the ja
Jessica Harden
¡Sí, Se Puede!, a historical fiction text based off of the 2000 Janitor Strike in LA, is a story about a young, Mexican boy's perspective on his mom's hardships as a janitor and her fight for fair pay. Not only does the young boy, Carlito, see his mother fight for equality, but he joins her and mobilizes his fellow classmates to fight for equality for their family members who are Latino American workers as well. It describes an experience that is not foreign to many Latin American immigrants. I ...more
Kelly Grimes
personal reaction- Growing up, I would go to Mexico all the time with my family, for my grandpa owned a house in Acapulco. By reading this book, i was able to reflect on my childhood and think of all the fun times my family and I shared. This book helped me think of these memories because of the translation of English to Spanish in the book. Walking through the town of Acapulco, i would listen into the fast pace language spoken by the people. This book provides an english and Spanish translation ...more
Annie Suliga
Jun 25, 2014 Annie Suliga marked it as to-read
!Si, Se Puede!/Yes, We Can! tells a story through the perspective of a young boy who's mom works as a janitor who has to go on strike in order to make enough money to support their family. I would use this book as a read-aloud to highlight that poverty exists all over the country not just in New York and that there are ways in which to rise above or fight against poverty
LOVE this book (and so does my preschooler!). The story of janitors fighting for justice is seen through the eyes of Carlos, a child whose mama is one of the janitors organizing a strike. His mama explains to him why they are striking; then he talks about the strike with his class and learns that some other kids have parents who are on strike as well. He and his teacher and classmates end up making signs and marching with the workers. After the janitors' successful struggle, the book ends with C ...more
This book addresses very important social issues and demonstrates that children can also be involved in them. I recommend this book to every children of every age, and I recommend having a discussion about words that appear in the story but the children might not have heard, like strike, union, etc. I think it is very important that the story is bilingual so it can be more accessible to Spanish speakers all over this country, and hopefully it reaches other countries.
Sarah Benson
This book would be a excellent introduction to issues of protest and social justice for children. It could also be used to introduce the struggles and triumphs of Cesar Chavez as it puts his ideas into a modern context and shows that we are still working for justice and recognition for many. I love the support the characters show for one another and that the story is written in both English and Spanish.
Jan 23, 2011 Jenna added it
In this story a little boy Carlitos is faced with a difficult situation when he learns his mom is not making enough money to take care of him and get the medicine his grandmother needs. They have a protest to change their working conditions and it works! This is a relavant story b/c it's ture and many families still struggle with finances and similar issues.
May 15, 2015 H rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: children
I was choking back sobs while I read this out loud to my son. Solidarity!
Becca Holcomb
In this story a little boy watches his mom go through a diffifcult time with her job as a janitor. The boy's mom leads her co-workers in a strike and want a raise. This is a book that could be used in social studies to explain how workers will go on strike against their jobs or government at times to stress a point or make a demand.
Helen Kumpel
This book talks about the current problems facing low wage jobs from immigrants workers and how one child wanted to make things better for his mother. The book was inspired by the actions of Cesar Chavez and his struggles for better pay and conditions for farm workers.
Dec 16, 2012 Robert added it
Shelves: picture-books
Elementary. I really wish I had this book during the strike. Even middle school students trouble with the idea of social struggle. I would put this book aside for large "social issue" marches such as the immigration marches of several years ago.
Alexis Collins
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story about a boy who learned from his surroundings to stand up for what he believes in. It was inspirational to how a young mind can be influenced to do the right thing, regardless of the outcome.
It's a children's book, written from the point of view of a boy whose mother joins the janitors' strike in Los Angeles. A wonderful little tale of solidarity, dignity, struggle and justice.
N_maryellen Rosenblum
I loved the story and its simplicity. I also loved the fact that it was written in both English and Spanish.
A dual-language book. This can be used to talk about jobs and difficult situations in families
Nancy Cross
Good story for kids to get a basic understanding about collective organizing.
Historical fiction picture books about people going on strike.
Sep 06, 2007 Landismom rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: social justice activists, thinking parents
I try not to cry when I read this book, but it's difficult.
Feb 29, 2012 Q marked it as to-read
recommended by Sojourners' article
Laura added it
Apr 07, 2015
Wanda marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2015
Fjóla added it
Mar 03, 2015
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