Farmworker’s Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America

A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2005

When Rose Castillo Guilbault was five years old, she and her recently divorced mother crossed the border from Nogales, Sonora, to Nogales, Arizona, and boarded a Greyhound bus that would carry them to California’s Salinas Valley and a new life.

In this affectionate memoir, Guilbault invites us into her girlhood, revealing what it was like to grow up as a Mexican immigrant in a farming community during the turbulent 1960s. With openness, courage, and charm, she recalls her early struggles to learn English, to fit in with schoolmates with their Barbie dolls and cupcakes, to win approval, and to bridge the tensions between home life and the public world to which she was drawn.


“A memoir bursting with bright, crisp observations.”

San Francisco Chronicle


“It's an affectionate story and a compelling one, full of poignant, powerful description.”

Christian Science Monitor


“From its evocative its last heartfelt phrase, Guilbault is gentle but honest, giving us unaffected, direct prose....Inspiring and delightful, Guilbault's narrative shines a necessary light on a darker aspect of life in a western paradise.”



Farmworker's Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America knits familia y raza together into a deceptively simple, if unspoken, universal truth.”

Austin Chronicle



A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2005

About the Author

Rose Castillo GuilbaultRose Castillo Guilbault was born in Sonora, Mexico, and grew up in the Salinas Valley of California. She was a columnist for Pacific News Service and the San Francisco Chronicle, was editorial director for KGO-TV (ABC San Francisco) and creator of the television series "Profiles of Excellence." She is currently vice president of corporate affairs at AAA of Northern California, Nevada, and Utah, and is the chairwoman of the Board of Governors for the Commonwealth Club of California.