Monday, August 22, 2011
Sylvia & Aki by Winifred Conkling
Sylvia and Aki cannot attend the same school because Sylvia is Mexican. This story is based on a true court case and Sylvia and Aki are still friends after all these years...
Tricycle Press has published this book and sent me a copy for review (thank you). You can get a copy at your local bookstore.
Sylvia's father knows his daughter is as good as the other girls and the teaching is much better at the "forbidden" school, so he decides to fight them in court.
Growing up female, my father told me he would not pay for college for me because I was "just going to get married and have babies". So I know how Sylvia felt when the principal told her she wouldn't be going to school much longer anyway.
Throughout the fight to right this wrong, the two girls remained friends and continued their schooling. They are still friends, which is pretty remarkable.
Sylvia's father was successful in his quest to stop segregated schools for the Hispanics.
This isn't just a story about Hispanics, though. Aki was relocated to a Japanese internment camp in Arizona and had to adjust to living in the desert and leaving her crops on the farm behind before she came to California. I'm sure some people thought it odd that a Hispanic girl and a Japanese girl would become such good friends. It doesn't surprise me at all. They needed a good friend and they found one.
This is a good history lesson for the young ones that don't remember what it was like at that time in US history. It's poignant and heartwarming to see that good can overcome fear and distrust.