Monday, April 14, 2008

Book Review ~ Joey Gonzalez, Great American by Tony Robles

Title: Joey Gonzalez, Great American
Written by: Tony Robles
Illustrated by: Jim Pryor
Hardcover: 42 pages
Ages: 8-12
Publisher: Kids Ahead
ISBN-13: 978-0-976726-93-7
Publication: March 2008

Written in English and Spanish, Tony Robles approaches the subject matter of affirmative action in a thought provoking way for children to understand that their desire to do well in school and in the work force is what will bring them just rewards. And not to rely on the government’s affirmative action policy to get them ahead in society.

Third grader, Joey Gonzalez is excited to start the new school year until his teacher points out to him in her narrow-mindlessness that he is a minority and “a little bit different.” “How can it be that I’m not American?” Joey asks. “Don’t worry, Joey,” said Mrs. Glass. “There’s a special way to help minorities get ahead. It’s affirmative action. Soon, we’ll learn all about it right here in the classroom.”

Joey is confused by the revelations of his teacher and arrives home at the end of the school day visibly upset. He discusses what occurred in school with his mother. And armed with confidence, Joey explains his family heritage to his teacher and classmates the next day at school. Feeling good about themselves, Joey’s friends also take a stand with Mrs. Glass and they proudly tell about their heritages.

Accompanied with beautiful illustrations by Jim Pryor, “Joey Gonzalez, Great American,” is a wonderful story of determination and pride that will surely hold a place in many families’ bookshelves.


  1. Wonderful review, Donna! Thank you!

  2. Hey, Donna,

    I interviewed Tony Robles a few weeks ago for my talk show, Book Bites for Kids. He really put his heart and soul into this book, so I hope everyone will read it.

    Suzanne Lieurance
    The Working Writer's Coach
    "When Your Pen Won't Budge, Read The Morning Nudge"

  3. I'm in the process of reading this book with my children now. The pictures really add a lot to it.

    Good luck with the tour, Tony.



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