Our Family, Our Friends, Our World: Annotated Guide to Significant Multicultural Books for Children and Teenagers Hardcover – 29 Feb 1992
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This guide aims to address the need for students to be aware of cultures, politics, geography, and the pressing issues that face people around the world. It is an annotated bibliography of the best fiction and non-fiction focusing on the life and character of ethnic and minority people living in the USA and Canada, as well as those living in their native cultures in Asia, Central America, Africa and elsewhere. Each chapter includes an introduction, a map of the region highlighted, and an annotated list of reading material. Special attention is paid to the age and reading level of the books discussed. Aimed at the 3-18 age group.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Approximately 1038 resources are listed. Resources are grouped first by ethnic group, then by grades: preschool through grade 3, grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and grades 10-12. Full citation information is included.
Annotated citations are detailed and provide substantial information about the resource. Content scope, organization and format are described. When the resource is fiction, the story and characters are summarized, yet provide enough detail so I could glean an understanding of the style and relevance of the resource.
This work also contains background and explanatory material that is useful for understanding the use and evaluation of multi-ethnic resources. For example, the Introduction section describes criteria for evaluation and the major concerns of evaluation (specifically, general accuracy, stereotypes, language, author's perspective, currency of facts and interpretation, audience, integration of cultural information, balance and multidimensionality, and illustrations). This material serves as a solid introduction to the need for and issues related to multi-ethnic bibliography.
Additional context and background is provided for the ethnic or national group covered in this work. For example, the opening piece to the chapter on United States Native Americans describes the history, type and availability of resources for children and teenagers.
I would include this resource in my collection. Its scope allows flexible use to answer questions about both ethnic groups located in the United States and other countries. The list of contributors indicates a solid diversity of individuals and professional backgrounds. However, I cannot directly ascertain the ethnicity or ethnic experiences of the contributors.
The overall quality, completeness, breadth and depth of the citations is impressive. Given that Bowker is the publisher, I view the contents with hopes of more accuracy and correctness than resources from other publishers. However, I would still care to "spot check" several citations by a careful read of the original works.
As stated in the preface, the resources are limited to those published 1985 through 1993 for individuals of preschool age through high school. Resources focus on the American experience, and do not include content or stories that occur in other locations. A total of 570 resources are listed in this title.
Resources were reviewed by an Advisory Board for suitability. Advisors are clearly identified and include librarians, professors and a teacher of various ethnic backgrounds. Resource annotations are listed by type (fiction, oral tradition, poetry) and ethnic group. Also, resources are indexed by title, writer, illustrator, grade level and subject.
Annotated citations are substantial and provide appropriate detail on the resource's content, quality, format, illustrations, interpretation of subject and suitability for intended audience. Through a quick reading of the citation, a teacher, librarian, parent or other user can easily determine whether the book might interest the reader, be topical for a lesson or plan, and serve well for individual reading, storytelling or other uses.
At first glance, I would include this item in my collection of multi-ethnic resources as it provides a relatively recent, comprehensive list of print materials with quality, objective and complete annotated citations. This book is limited only by its scope of ethnic groups. For example, I could not answer patron questions or provide resources about their European ethnic background.
Before making a final decision to buy this book, I would select and read a representative sampling of several listed resources. I could then compare and contrast the accuracy, completeness and objectivity of the resource's citation with my own independent read.