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Susan Notes:

Here is a book to help young children think about the choices we make. Take a look at these reviews.

Joelito's Big Decision/La Gran Decisión de Joelito
An English/Spanish bilingual story about a boy and a burger
Ages 6-12+

Joelito Sanchez is a happy-go-lucky fourth grader. The highlight of his week is a Friday-night family dinner at Smiling Sam MacMann's burger restaurant. One Friday things donât work out as expected. The invisible becomes visible as Joelito begins to see that his best friend's family cannot afford the basic things he takes for granted every day because of the low wages MacMann's pays their workers.

Joelito learns to connect the dots between people's private lives and troubles and the larger social forces that surround them. And he faces his first big decision: to give in to his desire for that juicy burger, or stand with his friend on the picket line.

Story by Ann Berlak, gorgeous illustrations by Daniel Camacho, and a wonderful translation by Jose´Antonio Galloso

Item: Cornell University Worker Institute has put the cover of Joelito's Big Decision (children's book about fast food workers and the Fight for $15) on the cover of their new steward's handbook.

Item: Teaching for Change has chosen Joelito's Big Decision for one of their Favorite Books of 2015.

Joelito relishes his family's tradition of Friday night burgers at McMann's, his favorite fast food restaurant. However, one Friday, on the way to dinner, his family runs into his best friend Brandonâs family, who are picketing outside the restaurant. In simple, concise language, with accompanying sketches by Daniel Camacho, Ann Berlak explains the current fight against income inequality using the plight of Brandon's family. With a burgeoning awareness of the relationship between McMann's and the economic difficulties of his friend's family, Joelito has to decide if it is more important to patronize his favorite restaurant or make a stand in the fight for living wages. Joelito's Big Decision brings the fight against Income Inequality to an elementary studentâs level. This picture book provides a powerful example of young people standing with their friends and neighbors for a cause that affects their community.--Zanso Dalili, Teaching for Change

Item: From School Library Journal
Gr 2â4âJoelito and his family love going to MacMann's every Friday for hamburgers, but this Friday is different. As his family near the restaurant, they see a large crowd gathered outside, cardboard signs in the air. Joelito's friend Brandon and his family are among the crowd, and soon the boy comes to understand their situation. Brandon's parents are asking for higher wages to be able to pay their bills, and although Joelito's parents do not have to worry about wages as much now, there was a time when his parents had to work hard picking grapes. Joelito realizes that it is important that he stand next to and support his friend so that others can have a better life. Illustrations depict a diverse neighborhood, and the memory Joelito's mother has of the demonstrations of her youth recall César Chávez and "Si Se Puede!" chants. A note at the end of the book briefly traces the demonstrations happening across the United States in recent years, calling for an increase in the minimum wage. An important story that introduces a current event and could be paired with books such as Duncan Tonatiuh's Separate Is Never Equal (Abrams, 2014) and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand's César (Two Lions, 2004). VERDICT Recommended for libraries looking to expand social justice and bilingual collections.âSelenia Paz, Helen Hall Library, League City, TX

Item: While world attention is focused on labor s monumental Fight for 15 struggle, Joelito's Big Decision/ La Gran Decisión de Joelito couldn t have been published at a better time. --Beverly Slapin, De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children

A children's book was written about the # FightFor15 . It's one of the best things we've seen. Check it out and support the author. Fight for $15 --Fight for $15, New York

Item: My current favorite book about activism is Joelito's Big Decisionâ¦. a story that is both explicitly about a particular action, but also about fairness, and a child's choices.-- Innosanto Nagara, author/illustrator of A is for Activist.

Item: This is a terrific read for kids, one that will teach them about fairness and responsibility in this era of growing inequality and injustice. I recommend it highly.--- Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, School of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Item: Progressive parents and educators should be excited to learn that the repertoire of social justice texts aimed at children has been growing over the last few years. Hard Ball Press recently published a new addition to this list in 2015, titled Joelito's Big Decision, authored by Ann Berlak and Daniel Camacho. This playfully illustrated and bilingual (English and Spanish) book follows the experience of a young boy, Joelito, who is pressed to learn about of the importance and meaning behind the growing living wage movement in the United States.--Andrew Stevens,Rank and File: Canadian news and analysis from a critical perspective.

— several reviewers
Book Reviews


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