Los Angeles (PRWEB) March 26, 2008
A ground-breaking new picture book for kids takes on the entrenched belief that minority children are incapable of competing on equal terms in the classroom and need special preferences. In "Joey Gonzalez, Great American" (WND Books, ISBN 978-0-976726-93-7, English/Spanish, ages 5+, March 25, 2008), a teacher named Mrs. Glass perpetuates the myth that black and Hispanic kids aren't good enough or smart enough to get by without a boost from the government's "helping" hand. By book's end, young Joey Gonzalez and his friends understand why they must push that hand away if they are to achieve their dreams.
"The message in 'Joey Gonzalez' runs counter to the affirmative action message that has flooded our schools," notes author Tony Robles. "Minority kids today are no less capable of learning than they ever were. What's changed is the attitude in the classroom. Today's teachers care more about pushing social agendas than they do about educating. Unfortunately those agendas have less to do with teaching reading and writing than they do with perpetuating dependency."
Tony Robles was inspired to bring "Joey Gonzalez, Great American" in English with a Spanish translation on each page because the "Joey Gonzalez" story of how to achieve the American Dream is important for kids of all backgrounds. Unfortunately, it seems that few of these children will have the benefit of the authors' own public school experience. Like many of his classmates, Robles came from a tough, poverty-ridden neighborhood, yet the teachers at his New York City high school were committed to helping him succeed. If he didn't know as a freshman that he could be competitive in the real world, he knew it by the time he graduated.
But are concepts such as affirmative action too brazen for the kiddie set? "Children are very perceptive," says the author. "They understand what is fair and what is not. When Joey and his friends discuss playing the race card in the straightforward language of children, the unfairness and the prejudice become obvious."
"Joey Gonzalez" is uplifting and inspiring. By following Joey's adventures, kids realize that they don't need to be dependent on government help or special quotas to make something of themselves - their own inner strength will get them through. Just as important, they learn that their ancestry is not a weakness but a blessing.
Here, at last, is a beautifully illustrated book for kids that encourages not just ethnic pride, but national and personal pride. By showing the virtues of self-reliance, this book helps kids reject the idea that certain people need special preferences because of their race. And that's a lesson that plenty of kids (not to mention teachers) need to hear.
About WND Books:
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To interview the author:
Contact Tim Bueler at (310) 855-3460.