A farm-working girl with big dreams meets activist Dolores Huerta and joins the 1965 protest for workers’ rights in this tender-hearted novel in verse, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Lula Viramontes aches to one day become someone whom no one can ignore: a daring ringleader in a Mexican traveling circus. But between working the grape harvest in Delano, California, with her older siblings under dangerous conditions; taking care of her younger siblings and Mamá, who has mysteriously fallen ill; and doing everything she can to avoid Papá’s volatile temper, it’s hard to hold on to those dreams.
Then she meets Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong, and other labor rights activists and realizes she may need to raise her voice sooner rather than later: Farmworkers are striking for better treatment and wages, and whether Lula’s family joins them or not will determine their future.
About the Author
Aida Salazar is an award-winning author and arts activist whose writings for adults and children explore issues of identity and social justice. She is the author of the critically acclaimed middle grade verse novels The Moon Within and Land of the Cranes, as well as the picture book anthology In the Spirit of a Dream: 13 Stories of American Immigrants of Color. Her forthcoming books include the middle grade anthology My New Gift: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors(September 2022), the middle grade historical fiction A Seed in the Sun (October 2022), and the picture book biography Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Mexican Freedom Fighter (March 2023). Aida is a founding member of LAS MUSAS—a Latinx kidlit debut author collective. Her story, "By the Light of the Moon," was adapted into a ballet production by the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance and is the first Xicana-themed ballet in history. She lives with her family of artists in a teal house in Oakland, CA.
Praise for A Seed in the Sun ★ “Poignantly told, the story of Lula and her family’s plight will tug young readers’ heartstrings; this is an important, and sometimes unspoken, part of the American past and present that needs to be brought to light.”—School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Salazar seamlessly combines historical events of the farmworkers’ rights movement and the 1965 Delano grape strike with a sensitive portrayal of a girl trying to make sense of the world. It’s a powerful coming-of-age story filled with evocative language, memorable characters, and apt nature imagery.”—Horn Book, starred review
★ “There is a special power in historical fiction’s ability to blend real issues and events with engaging characters, turning the past into a living, breathing thing. Salazar accomplishes this beautifully in her new novel in verse . . . Led by a memorable protagonist, this novel mixes themes of growth and change with historical details and powerful observations on the abuses that sparked the Farmworkers’ Movement and the strength of those demanding justice.”—Booklist, starred review
★ “[W]ell-researched . . . In two previous novels, Salazar established herself as an expert writer of middle grade verse narratives filled with beautiful metaphors and similes. Her skill is evident here . . . Salazar’s text is dynamic . . . Readers gravitate toward middle grade historical fiction because it makes complex history tangible. A Seed in the Sun deserves a space on the shelf alongside Brenda Woods’ When Winter Robeson Came…and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Pura Belpré Award-winning Esperanza Rising.”—BookPage, starred review
“Salazar’s lyrical poetry offers a sensitive depiction of Lula’s struggles and hopes, culminating in a personal arc that emphasizes developing one’s voice.”—PW
“[An] introspective novel with a well-developed sense of place . . . The character development is strong . . . Lula shows tenacity as her seeds of potential are nourished. Compelling and atmospheric.”—Kirkus Reviews
Accolades for Aida Salazar
The Moon Within Four starred reviews: Kirkus, SLJ, PW, BookPage Best Books of 2019: Kirkus, NPR’s Book Concierge, SLJ, NYPL, Center for Multicultural Children’s Literature • 2020 Indie Next List • ALA 2020 Rainbow Book List • Charlotte Huck Recommended Book • International Latino Book Award (MG fiction) winner • Golden Poppy Award winner • Américas Award honor • NCTE 2020 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels • Nerdy Book Award for Poetry • Lincoln Nebraska City Libraries Top 100 Novels for Youth Land of the Cranes Three starred reviews: Kirkus, PW, SLJ Best Books of 2020: Kirkus, SLJ, NYPL (Top 10), BookPage • Book Expo Buzz pick • John and Patricia Beatty Award winner • Charlotte Huck Award honor • Jane Addams Peace Association honor • Vermont Golden Dome Book List • ALA RISE: Feminist Book List