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Cesar: Si, Se Puede! Yes, We Can! (Pura Belpre Honor Book. Illustrator (Awards))

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  104 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Born in 1927 in Yuma, Arizona, César Chavez lived the hard-scrabble life of a migrant worker during the depression. He grew to be a charismatic leader and founded the National Farm Workers Association, an organization that fought for basic rights for his fellow farm workers. In powerful poems and dramatic stylized illustrations, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and David Díaz pay t ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Two Lions
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Morgan DiFruscio
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wow-books
I love this book! Not only is in verse--which is a difficult genre to find an engaging book for all students in--it is about an unsung hero, Cesar Chavez, and his life and parts of it are in Spanish! I fear having ESL students in my class for the simple fact of not knowing how to reach them and engage them in what we are doing in class. But if I have a book like this that highlights an important figure providing that historical aspect to a lesson, along with the bilingual element, it creates a q ...more
Mariela Berrocal
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-books
I enjoyed reading this book very much! Cesar: Si se Puede! Yes, We Can! tells the story of the American labor leader and civil rights activist. It unfolds Cesar's story life when he and his family, during, the 1930's (the great depression) had to move from Arizona, where Cesar was born, to the California fields for work. His mom wanted him to continue his education but Chavez decided to quit school to help financially and went to work in the fields as well.
His religion taught him much about the
Q_Jill Burke
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: latino-a_bio
This book was written by the same author as "Diego, Bigger Than Life". and is also a collection of poems written in free verse. This is an inspirational story about Cesar and how he inspired field workers to fight for better work conditions. Cesar's life was never easy. His family lost everything during the depression and began working the fields. The conditions were terrible. Some nights they had to sleep outdoors and they drank and bathed in water filled ditches. While working, they had to use ...more
May 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle School Students
This book of poetry tells about the life of Cesar Chavez, a migrant farmworker who peacefully fought for workers' rights. The poetry puts a nice spin on a traditional biography, and tells about Cesar's family in a simple,relatable way rather than following the monotony of a typical biography. Another nice thing about the text is that it is not over-informative; There is the perfect amount of information to absorb for younger readers. I enjoyed the use of direct quotes from Cesar and the occasion ...more
Q_michelene Haggard
Another biography by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand told in short, free verse poetry. This is about the life of Cesar Chavez, one of America's non-violent civil rights leaders. He was born in Arizona and had a relatively comfortable and happy childhood until his family lost their land in the depression. When he was ten, his family moved to California and became migrant workers. He dedicated his life to improving conditions of migrant workers. As with her other books, the back includes a glossary of Spa ...more
A poetry-biography of Cesar Chavez and his fight for farm workers' rights. While the poetry is kind of sing-song and not particularly wonderful, the pictures and the simplified historical information make it worth taking a second look at this book. This could be a great text to use with older readers who have difficulty digesting large amounts of textbook text, instead the information is presented in simplified poetic verse. The poetry weaves Spanish words into the English lines to add a more pe ...more
Nicole Grote
The book follows the life of César Chávez, talking about who he was, his parents and his life throughout the years. His story of struggle, hard work and political protest to fight for what he believed in. At the end of the book, the author talks about the impact Chávez had on the farming and food industry for workers and in many ways the public as well. The illustrator David Diaz uses many blends of color and highlighting around his drawings. While the images are easy to make out he uses few int ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lyrical text. Beautiful art.

Through free verse, we get glimpses of Cesar Chavez's childhood and lifelong work to ensure farm workers were treated fairly. A more comprehensive biography is included in the back as well as a glossary of the Spanish words and phrases incorporated into the poems. Also, it includes a chronology and select quotes from Cesar Chavez. Anyone who wanted to know more about this man and his mission- or to teach kids about him- would do well to add this book in their library!
Shannon Lionheart
I love this book!

Beautiful Poetry.

Diana V.
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Main Characters: Cesar Chavez
Point of View: Third Person Point of View
Setting: Varies depending on the poem. Examples: home, school, farm, and streets.
Lexile level: 824-875 Upper Elementary
Genre: Poetry

Organization: “César: Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We Can!” is a biographical book in free-verse style celebrating the life of the great leader: Cesar Chavez. From the first poem: “Who Could Tell?” to the last: “More Time Than Life” the core values of César Chávez, which lead the farm workers’ struggle
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Summary: This book is a series of poems that tell the story of the life of Cesar Chavez. There is also biographical and historical information at the end of the poems.

Response: I had read "Harvesting Hope" (by Kathleen Krull)for last term, and I think the two books would work beautifully together to tell the story of Cesar Chavez. I can see reading "Harvesting Hope" first to tell his story in a more traditional biography format; it would provide a shared experience and background knowledge for t
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Title: César ¡Sí, se puede! (Yes, We Can!)
Author: Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, David Diaz (Illustrator)
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Inc, 48 pp, 2004
Audience: Children, ages 9 to 12
Format: Juvenile nonfiction (biography & poetry)

Description: César ¡Sí, se puede! (Yes, We Can!) is a juvenile nonfiction poetry book about the life of Cesario Estrada Chavez or better known around the world as Cesar Chavez. Each poem is about a critical stage in his life from birth to death.

Personal Review: I found
This is a book we already have in our library and I’m very glad we do. Not only is it a great poetry and picture book biography, but I think in California it’s especially important we have materials on Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers.

I absolutely love Harvesting Hope by Kathleen Krull and read it out loud to my second and third grade students this past year around Cesar Chavez day. None of them were aware of who Chavez was or what he had done. They were only vaguely aware of the migrant fa
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Illustrator: David Diaz
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Interest Level: 3-8
Reading Level: 3-4

This is a FANTASTIC poetry book. I can see why it earned a Pura Belpre honor. I have read other picture books about the life of César Chávez, which gave me a good background to understand these poems. However, I learned so much more information about him and his family. (He was born with the name Cesario Chávez! I didn't even know that basic fact.) The description create a more vivid picture in my mind of wh
This review is for the Spanish version of the book. A picture book biography of Cesar Chavez and he fight to gain rights for migrant workers. Born in Arizona, he is told by his teachers who make fun of him and other Latino students who speak Spanish. They are told to go back to Mexico even though they are American. The teachers don't allow Spanish even though it inhibits communication for the children in school. His parents feel they have to go along with it and tell him to speak Spanish at home ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Cesar Chavez's father lost his job and the ranch he inherited during the Depression of the 1930s, so Cesar grew up working as a migrant laborer with the rest of his family. Bernier-Grand's poems capture what life was like for them, living in poor, dirty housing, with not enough food to eat, doing backbreaking work for little pay, attending school but not allowed to speak Spanish, the victims of racism. What alarmed me the most was the workers' exposure to pesticides (p.18)--just a scarf covering ...more
Pierre Arnette
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cesar: Si, Se Puede! Yes, We Can! Is a poetry book and this book was written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and it was illustrated by David Diaz. This book got the Pura Belpre honor in 2008 and David Diaz won the Caldecott Award many of his other illustrations. This book told the life story of Cesar Chavez through the art of poetry and it does it in a very effective way. His life story is told from his early childhood up until his death in 19 different poems. The poems are given life by the illustra ...more
Carmen Medina
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a 2006 Pura Belpre Honor Book.

It is a biography of Cesar Chavez, the labor leader and advocate for farmworkers starting in the 1960’s till his death in 1993. His story is told in poetic verses. There is a poem on every page with colorful illustrations. One of the most poignant poems is titled,”Si, Se Puede! Yes , We Can!” The poem asks the question, how did Cesar do it?
A section of the poems follows:
Not eating at times.
To draw the attention of the world
to campesinos (farm worker)
Creating a series of poems, some of which use the subject's actual words, the author offers a glimpse of this advocate for social justice. Born in 1927 in Yuma, Arizona, Cesar Chavez watched as his father's generosity and concern about his extended family caused him to lose his store. After the family lost the family farm as well, they were forced to move from place to place, working in the fields. Even after Cesar served in the U.S. Navy, he came home to little job opportunities. Eventually, he ...more
May 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 5th graders looking for further info on Cesar Chavez
Recommended to Jennifer by: browse
Soothing, pastel computer pictures illustrate this often hard- to-follow, free verse account of the life and times of Cesar Chavez geared towards 4-7th graders. Students should have some prior knowledge of Cesar Chavez before picking up this book; it focuses less on his work with UFW and more on his life. As Booklist points out, libraries may, however, want to purchase it because teachers may be asking for literature about Cesar Chavez in reaction to Cesar Chavez Day (March 31).

CIP: Non-fiction
Amy Stipp
Oct 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I appreciate the creativity of Bernier-Grand. Taking main events of his life, writing poems about them, and putting them in chronological order. Her writing style sprinkles spanish words into the text! But don't let that deter you if you don't know Spanish! There is either an immediate translation of the phrase in English, or if you still don't understand from the context clues, there is a glossary in the back with a complete definitions. The pictures compliment the text with bright and sunny co ...more
Nov 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book tells the life of Cesar Chavez through poems. Each page-2 pages has a new poem on it, entitled with a specific time of his life. Describing the awful treatment of his family, the author arouses emotion and an understanding for another culture that is sometimes not seen. Not only does this book contain poetry that is absolutely beautifully written, it includes information that is interesting and that arouses emotion. The corresponding pictures are also delightful. This book is truly one ...more
I loved this lyrical account of Cesario's life. It was nice to refresh my memory about his work, but also to learn more about his childhood. I don't think I knew that his family lost their ranch in the Great Depression and ended up as farm workers. This would be a nice book to pair with Esperanza Rising. Also, at the end there is some information including the date when several states recognize him - March 31st. I read this just in time so we can acknowledge his contributions in our school annou ...more
Patricia Smith
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Pura Belpre Honor award book that tells the story of a man that fought for fair pay and treatment of farm workers. The book is very unique because it captures the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez through poetry. The cover of book depicts a strong hard working man. The colors the illustrator chose were perfect for the story. Each poem in the book gives the reader a deeper look into his difficult life. The intended audience is children grades 3-6. Children would like the book because it is not an ...more
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a student, I have always heard of Cesar Chavez, but I did not know exactly what he was about. When I read this book, I learned more about him than I would have imagined. The book is written in poems and it describes his life. I think this could be related to Social Studies to talk about how people have changed the world for the better. Even though he is not an American icon, talking to children about other icons in the world, is always a good thing. It will expand their horizon on what people ...more
I thought about using this book for my read aloud, but I chose Harvesting Hope instead because it had a more linear plot line. This book also tells about Cesar Chavez's life; however, it is written in short, free verse poems. I enjoyed the poems, and I felt I learned a lot about Chavez's life through them. To me, the author seemed to create snapshots of his life and experiences.
A noteworthy aspect of the book is the glossary at the back. I wish I had known it was there while I was reading throug
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ell-support
This book is a collection of poems that describe various aspects of the life of Cesar Chavez. Each poem has an illustration and many of the poems are filled with descriptive words, which help with gaining understanding. Many of the poems could be easily acted out. There is even a poem called "I Am a Clown," that discusses the experience Cesar Chavez had in school when he spoke Spanish. It would be interesting to discuss this with ELLs and might be a good opportunity to communicate your respect f ...more
L-Angelica Herrera-Vest
Mar 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand puts together a wonderful collection of poems that cover Cesar Chavez life and the struggles he faced when organizing the migrant workers of California. Beside learning about a variety of events that led to the formation of the union for farm workers we learn about his family and how they influenced him. I loved the poems. This would be a wonderful addition to a classroom library.
Raquel Bernal
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a non-fiction poetry book about Cesario Estrada Chavez, BKA Cesar Chavez. This book tell Cesar Chavez biography in poetry way. It is about his life and how he became a Civil Rights Activist. I feel like I learned a lot from this book. I also think that the book is very informative about Cesar Chavez life. Furthermore thanks to this picture book I think I would like to continue to read about Cesar Chavez life. I really liked the book and I loved the colorful pictures.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
For bi-lingual readers, this book supports literacy and acquisition of vocabulary. As a biography, this book is appropriate for children age 9 and up. The illustrations are reminiscent of Mexican folk art and are a fair artistic media representation of art more commonly associated with Latino culture. As a biography, the book is well written and captures the life of Cesar Chavez quite well.
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Trade Book #4 Kattie 1 1 Nov 09, 2015 04:25PM  
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand is a national award winning author of eleven books for children and young adults. She teaches writing at the Whidbey Island MFA, a program of Northwest Literary Arts, at Writers in the Schools, a program of Oregon Literary Arts, and at Wordstock.

In 2008, The Oregon Library Association's Children's Division gave her the Evelyn Lampman Award for her significant contribution t
More about Carmen T. Bernier-Grand