Persea Books Our Books ~  Jessie De La Cruz: A Profile of a United Farm Worker
Persea Books Newsletter
Sign up to receive emails about events, readings, and other news.
Educators Newsletter
Sign up to receive updates, exclusive information, and free classroom materials.


« Back to All Books

Jessie De La Cruz: A Profile of a United Farm Worker

Jessie De La Cruz: A Profile of a United Farm Worker Gary Soto

Here is the life story of a true American heroine. Born into a family of migrant workers, Jessie De La Cruz worked in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley from the age of 5, picking cotton, grapes, cantalopes, onion, and more.  She rose to become a member of the fledgling United Farm Workers union in 1966, and then, at the request of its leader Cesar Chavez, became its first woman organizer. Jessie fought injustice toward Mexican and all farm workers, seeking ways for workers to purchase their own farmland.  As an activist, she became a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, testified before the Senate, and met the Pope.

Jessie De La Cruz is a role model for all--an ordinary person who became extraordinary by making change happen, not only for herself but for others.

"It is a woman like Jessie who gives us hope." --Studs Terkel

Written by Gary Soto, one of America's most eloquent writers, himself once a worker in the fields, and enhanced by photographs, this powerful story is set against the background of the Depression and the civil rights and labor movements.

Praise for the Book

"Chicano writer Soto (who worked in the fields in high school and college) has written [De La Cruz's] biography, based on personal interviews...teens will be caught by the facts of her hardship and struggle." — Booklist

"The author effectively personalizes the struggle of farmworkers in a manner that will enable students to understand and care about their triumphs." — School Library Journal

About the Author
Gary Soto is a beloved and award-winning author of many novels, stories, memoirs, and collections of poetry.

Paperback / $9.95 (Can. $11.00) / ISBN 978-0-892-55285-6 / 128 pages / Young Adult Nonfiction (Ages 12+)

Persea Books