Sylvia never expected to be at the center of a landmark legal battle; all she wanted was to enroll in school.
Aki never expected to be relocated to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert; all she wanted was to stay on her family farm and finish the school year.
The two girls certainly never expected to know each other, until their lives intersected in Southern California during a time when their country changed forever.
Here is the remarkable story based on true events of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu, two ordinary girls living in extraordinary times. When Sylvia and her brothers are not allowed to register at the same school Aki attended and are instead sent to a "Mexican" school, the stage is set for Sylvia's father to challenge in court the separation of races in California's schools. Ultimately, Mendez vs. Westminster School District led to the desegregation of California schools and helped build the case that would end school segregation nationally.
Through extensive interviews with Sylvia and Aki--still good friends to this day--Winifred Conkling brings to life two stories of persistent courage in the face of tremendous odds.
About the Author
First and foremost, Winifred Conkling is the mother of two children, Hannah (who was conceived the first month of "trying") and Ella (who took considerably longer and ultimately inspired this book). Once the kids are asleep, Conkling transforms into a freelance writer with extensive experience writing about health and alternative medicine. She is the author of Stopping Time: Natural Remedies for Aging (Dell, 1997), Natural Remedies for Arthritis (Dell, 1997), Natural Remedies for Children (St. Martin's, 1996), Trade Secrets (Fireside, 1995), and Securing Your Child's Future (Ballantine, 1995), among other books. Her work has been published in a number of national magazines including American Health, Consumer Reports, Mademoiselle, McCall's, and Reader's Digest."