Dallas Children's Theater Blog

Astonishing Kids And Families With The Fun of Broadway-Like Plays and A Lot More!

Who is Tomás Rivera?

Our upcoming production of TOMÁS AND THE LIBRARY LADY by José Cruz González follows the story of a migrant family who move constantly to find work. Despite this, a young Tomás is fortunate to discover the magic of books through a caring stranger.  This bilingual play shows how young Tomás goes on to improve his English through reading, and enrich his imagination through the stories introduced to him by his new friend, the “Library Lady.”

What might be surprising is that the book by Pat Mora is based on the true story of Tomás Rivera.The story becomes even more inspiring when we see how Tomás used his love of reading to become an author and educator. He also became the first Mexican-American to serve as chancellor at the University of California.

Tomás grew to appreciate the real value of learning thanks to sparks ignited in his brain by attentive and caring people who had a passion for education and knew of its benefits for a young boy.

Once inspired, Tomás was diligent in the pursuit of his own education, but he was still taking every opportunity to help his family during busy work seasons. This meant that Tomás had to work even harder to keep up with school. He wrote about these experiences and the difficulties faced by lower-class Mexican families, and today his legacy is that of a role model and a community advocate.

The play TOMÁS AND THE LIBRARY LADY focuses on his experience as a young bilingual student, and hopefully it will inspire all students to work hard and find the value in reading.

Even though you see the struggles of moving from place to place to find work, you also see the lighter moments such as when Papa Grande tells wild imaginative stories; proof positive that those family moments really do matter.

TOMÁS AND THE LIBRARY LADY runs March 24 – April 2 and is recommended for ages 7 and up, and is bilingual. All families are welcome! Please join us. Visit dct.org for more information.


by Pat Mora
Adapted for the stage by
José Cruz GonzálezMarch 24 – April 2, 2017
Recommended for ages 7 and up

An inspiring true tale of how reading and stories help us all escape. This beautiful bilingual play follows the life of young Tomás and his family, who are migrant workers who move constantly to find new work picking farmers’ crops. But one summer, Tomás visits a local public library and soon discovers worlds filled with dinosaurs and tigers — and a great new friend in the “Library Lady.” While helping Tomás improve his English by reading many new and exciting stories, the librarian fosters his newfound interest in learning and teaches him the importance of a good education.

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