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All For The Better: A Story of El Barrio
All For The Better: A Story of El Barrio
(Nicholasa Mohr, Alex Haley, Rudy Gutierrez)

All For The Better: A Story of El BarrioAll For The Better: A Story of El Barrio (1992)
All For The Better: A Story of El Barrio is about a young Puerto Rican girl, Evelina Lopez Antonetty, who showed herself over and over again to be a leader. She proved that one person could make a difference. It was her faith in humanity and her love of all people that helped her succeed. She is remembered by people in the South Bronx and throughout the larger Puerto Rican community.
During the dark days of the Great Depression, eleven-year-old Evelina Lopez Antonetty leaves Puerto Rico to live with an aunt in New York and encounters prejudice and hardships.
With patience and determination, Evelina Lopez Antonetty finds success and learns that one person can make a difference as she adjusts to life in her new home.
"All for the Better is one of two books in the Stories of America series completed after the death of Alex Haley in February 1992. Despite his involvement in a number of other projects, Mr. Haley. found the time to guide the formation of the Stories of America.
"As General Editor, he provided editorial direction through all stages of book development. And for each of the 26 books completed prior to his death, he wrote a special introduction.
"Alex Haley was an inspiration to all of us involved in the project. We did our best to carry on in his spirit. We hope that readers will find evidence of Alex Haley's influence on these pages, just as we felt his influence while completing them. The Stories of America series is Alex Haley's contribution to the education of America's young people. This book is respectfully dedicated to his memory." ~ The Editors.
Alex Haley, as General Editor, wrote the following introduction:
Introduction By Alex Haley, General Editor
Some people live to make a difference. However they find the world around them, they try to make it better. For them, nothing is so perfect it can't be improved, and no problem is so difficult it can't be faced.
This is a story about a young girl who in a small way made a difference to many people in her community. She had no special gift beyond caring, but you will see how much you can do when you care enough to make a difference. ~ Alex Haley.
(The above Foreword by Alex Haley is presented under the Creative Commons License. © 1993 Dialogue Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
All For The Better: A Story of El Barrio • Reviews
"An eleven-year-old Puerto Rican girl living in New York's Spanish Harlem in 1932 encounters prejudice and hardships. With determination and patience she finds success and makes a positive difference in her community." - Education Resource Center.
"Noted Puerto Rican writer, Nicholasa Mohr, inspires with the true story of a young girl, Evelina Lopez Antonetty (1984-1992), who gave her all to make a true difference in her community. Recommended for older readers." - Journal For Multicultural Studies.
"The touching story of a young girl sent to the mainland so her family in Puerto Rico won't be so financially burdened. Evelina Lopez is 11 years old when she is saying her good-byes to her mother and two sisters as she is leaving to live with her aunt and uncle in New York during the Depression Era. When she arrives, her aunt and uncle greet her and she is taken to their home and shown her room. The school year has begun and soon Evelina is enrolled and attending her first classes in English. She has run-ins with some girls but handles herself well and makes friends easily. As a doer, Evelina has a clear way of seeing things and acts on her beliefs. She figures out a way to get food for many neighbors who are too proud to accept charity. During this time of great hardship, Evelina is a symbol of hope. I would like to have met Evelina Lopez. Her life seems to have been an inspiration." - Providence, Rhode Island.
"All for the Better tells the story of how one caring person can make a difference. In 1933, the Great Depression had hit Puerto Rico as hard as it had hit the United States. Evelina Lopez, then 11, left her mother and sisters to live with an aunt in New York City. Her journey to Spanish Harlem, El Barrio, and the life that followed there make up this simple biography." - School Library Journal.

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