Joey Gonzalez is excited to start the third grade. He’s going to study hard and become a great American. But when Joey and his friends meet their new teacher, Mrs. Glass, Joey finds out he’s not an American at all; he’s a minority and they learn differently. Mrs. Glass assures Joey that he’ll be all right, because Affirmative Action will help him. When Joey returns to school the next day, it’s Mrs. Glass who gets a lesson about Affirmative Action.
Joey Gonzalez, Great American by Tony Robles, is a beautifully illustrated, well-written story of a child standing up for what he believes is right and true. The reader is almost as saddened as Joey when he is treated so cruelly by his teacher, but rejoices when Joey speaks the truth that he holds inside.
Written in English and Spanish, this book is an excellent way to teach young people of all ethnic backgrounds that what makes them who they are cannot be helped or improved by any government policy. As Joey and his friends stand up to Mrs. Glass, the reader will be inspired to achieve his dreams because he knows that hard work and determination will make all the difference.
As a lover of history, I enjoyed Robles sharing how the Spaniards and Africans came to America. And it was wonderful to see the strength and bravery of slaves and the Buffalo Soliders highlighted.
Amazon.com says this is targeted for ages 4 – 8, but my children, who are in this age group, had a hard time grasping the concept of Affirmative Action, and trying to explain a “race card” to them was almost impossible.
Joey Gonzalez, Great American is a powerful story that sheds light on the challenges of living with a controversial American government policy.
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂