Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Mexican Freedom Fighter (Hardcover)
The remarkable true story of Jovita Valdovinos, a Mexican revolutionary who disguised herself as a man to fight for her rights!
* “Graceful . . deft . . . mesmerizing. . . . Bravery and determination prevail in this inspiring tale.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “Gorgeous…hits the perfect balance of lively and lyrical...outstanding.” — School Library Journal, starred review
* “Exquisite prose. . . . stunning spreads.” — BookPage, starred review
Jovita dreamed of wearing pants! She hated the big skirts Abuela made her wear. She wanted to scale the tallest mesquite tree on her rancho, ride her horse, and feel the wind curl her face into a smile
When her father and brothers joined the Cristero War to fight for religious freedom, Jovita wanted to go, too. Forbidden, she defied her father’s rules – and society’s – and found a clever way to become a trailblazing revolutionary, wearing pants!
This remarkable true story about a little-known maverick Mexican heroine is brought vividly to life by her great-niece and Américas Award–winner Aida Salazar, and Eisner Award–honoree Molly Mendoza.
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 middle-grade verse novels The Moon Within (International Latino Book Award Winner), Land of the Cranes (Américas Award Winner), the picture book anthology, In the Spirit of a Dream, and the forthcoming picture book biography Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Mexican Freedom Fighter. She is a founding member of Las Musas, a Latinx kidlit debut author collective. Her short 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, California.
Molly Mendoza is an American illustrator and comics artist who has been captivated by the relationships that she has built with friends, family, and foes alike over the course of her life. Molly sets out to emulate those relationships through her chaotic yet rhythmic style to make some dang-good drawings. Alongside personal/observational narrative, Molly enjoys making images of space travel, plants, ladies, and small dogs. Frequently she can be found working on editorial projects, making comics/zines, and eating hot dogs. Molly is a BFA graduate from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. She has gone on to develop a rich personal art practice, self-publishing numerous comics, as well as working with clients such as The New York Times and The Atlantic. She wrote and illustrated the Ignatz and Eisner Honor-winning graphic novel Skip (Nobrow) and illustrated Freedom We Sing by Amyra León (Flying Eye Books). Molly currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her at mollymendoza.com.
Praise for Jovita Wore Pants:
* “A young Mexican freedom fighter proves that traditional gender roles aren’t important—heart is. Gracefully told, with deft use of figurative language, the story is mesmerizing . . . focusing on one incredibly relatable, resolute individual. The illustrations are replete with vivid hues and bold brushstrokes that convey energy and movement. Bravery and determination prevail in this inspiring tale of unconventional leadership.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “A gorgeous picture book about a groundbreaking woman who fought for gender equality and made a mark on Mexican history. . . . This telling hits the perfect balance of lively and lyrical, giving readers the sense that this larger-than-life legend is worthy of awe and celebration. The empowering message that young people should cast gender-limiting stereotypes and barriers aside to do what’s right will feel revelatory for readers. Mendoza’s magnificent artwork . . . perfectly match[es] Valdovinos’s sweeping story. Readers will be able to feel the wind on their faces as she gallops on her horse and accomplishes great feats.” — School Library Journal, starred review
* “Salazar’s exquisite prose shows how these clandestine escapades enriched and strengthened Valdovinos. . . . The book deftly captures Valdovinos’ dynamic metamorphosis into a warrior in a series of stunning spreads. . . . Mendoza’s illustrations are a whirlwind of color and energy.” — BookPage, starred review
“The illustrations are bold, dramatic, and dynamic, featuring fiery and colorful drawings which complement the text well. Young readers will be captivated by Jovita's actions and the story of her life. . . . This is an exciting adventure story and will make for a good read aloud for Women's History Month or a study of Mexican history.” — School Library Connection, recommended
“Painterly brushwork in Mendoza’s ink and digital illustrations emphasizes boldness and movement with strong colors that swirl and blend together, accompanying poetic text.” — Publishers Weekly
Distinctions and Praise for Land of the Cranes:
2020 Américas Award Winner
Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor Book
New York Public Library's Best Books of 2020
Northern California Book Award Finalist
California Library Association -- Beatty Award Winner
Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book
Rise: A Feminist Book Project List
* "Powerful... lyrical... soaring." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Some books are beautifully written. Others are vitally important. Land of the Cranes is both. Quite simply, a must-read." -- Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author of A Single Shard
"Aida Salazar is one of the most important new voices in children's literature. Land of the Cranes is a novel that uplifts, empowers, and soars. This book belongs in every classroom." -- Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Award-winning author of Hello, Universe
"In a time of chaos, Land of the Cranes rises above the clouds of confusion and sings a skillful, migratory song; its sorrowful lament, a tearful message—Awaken! Awaken! Let love lead to change." -- Guadalupe García McCall, Pura Belpré Award Winner of Under the Mesquite
"Aida Salazar takes heartache and despair and is able to weave a lyrical narrative that confronts one of the greatest human rights violations on U.S. soil in recent memory." -- Isabel Quintero, author of Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book My Papi Has a Motorcycle
Praise for The Moon Within:
* "A worthy successor to Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret set in present-day Oakland... Salazar's verse novel is sensitive and fresh... An authentically middle school voice and diverse Latinx cast make this book a standout." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "An excellent addition for upper middle grade and middle school readers, especially for maturing tweens in the midst of puberty." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"This story is told in beautiful poems... A lovely, relatable story... The words really use up the space on the pages in creative ways, and the author reveals cultural aspects of Latinx (especially Xicana) and Caribbean peoples in rich detail." -- Booklist
"Lyrical... The characters leap to life and eloquently evoke the passion and pain of a girl's coming-of-age. Absolutely beautiful, reverent, and intensely personal, the book would make a valued gift for pre-teen readers, especially a young Latina." -- School Library Connection
"This is a fascinating tale that blends ancestral traditions from two cultures, while portraying modern dilemmas. Salazar's poetry is as lovely and graceful as the dance scenes." -- Margarita Engle, National Young People's Poet Laureate and Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree
"With conga-pulsed lyrics, Aida Salazar pulls us into the coming of age of eleven year Celi. . . here is the liberation verse our youth and all have been waiting for-Brava-Bravo!" -- Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate and author of Jabberwalking
"Aida Salazar has reached deep into our indigenous past to explore in beautiful, poignant poetry what it means to become a woman at the intersection of community and self. Rooted in ancestral lore yet vibrantly modern, The Moon Within is a touching, powerful, and important novel in verse." -- David Bowles, Pura Belpré Honor-winning author of The Smoking Mirror
"In a vivid, magical debut, Aida Salazar's lyrical poetry deftly pulls you into Celi's vibrant world as she reluctantly dances towards womanhood, adjusting to the drumbeats of first love and true friendship while exploring her ancestral roots as she finds her role within family and community." - Naheed H. Senzai, award-winning author of Shooting Kabul and Escape from Aleppo
"Lovely and amazing... a heartbreaker, in every wonderful way. Poignant, funny, and deeply moving." -- Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of Eighth-Grade Superzero and coauthor of Naomis Too