Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
A Common Core Exemplar Text by an award-winning author-illustrator team
Tomás is a son of migrant workers. Every summer he and his family follow the crops north from Texas to Iowa, spending long, arduous days in the fields. At night they gather around to hear Grandfather’s wonderful stories. But before long, Tomás knows all the stories by heart. “There are more stories in the library,”Papa Grande tells him. The very next day, Tomás meets the library lady and a whole new world opens up for him.
Based on the true story of the Mexican-American author and educator Tomás Rivera, a child of migrant workers who went on to become the first minority Chancellor in the University of California system, this inspirational story suggests what libraries–and education–can make possible. Raul Colón’s warm, expressive paintings perfectly interweave the harsh realities of Tomás’s life, the joyful imaginings he finds in books, and his special relationships with a wise grandfather and a caring librarian.
“A gentle text and innovative artwork. . . . While young readers and future librarians will find this an inspiring tale, the end note gives it a real kick: the story is based on an actual migrant worker [Tomás Rivera] who became chancellor of a university–where the library now bears his name.”–Publishers Weekly