Book Review: That's Not Fair!/¡No Es Justo!


Image: Published by WingsPress
Image: Published by WingsPress

That’s Not Fair!/¡No Es Justo!
by Carmen Tafolla, Sharyll Tenayuca and Terry Ybanez (illustrator)
Wings Press, 2008 (Bilingual edition)

That’s Not Fair is a picture book that takes place in San Antonio, Texas in the 1920s-1930s. It is a true story of Emma Tenayuca, a Mexican-American child who began to struggle against things she saw as unfair.

Emma sees a friend who cannot read, a farmer get kicked off his land and poor families. This inspires Emma to become an activist. She organized more than 12,000 pecan factory workers to go on strike when the factory lowered their wages from four cents an hour to three cents. At the young age of 15, Emma went to jail for what she believed in.

This wonderful story of resistance is retold by Emma Tenayuca’s niece, Sharyll Teneyuca, and her friend Carmen Tafolla. The illustrations could have been a little better. The illustrator could have used more details. The book is written in both English and Spanish so that readers like me can understand! I’ll remember that Emma “had given [the workers] a voice and given them hope.” This book is inspiring because Emma is so young and she wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she thought was fair.

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