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The Middle of Everywhere

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book does an excellent job of immersing the reader in the lives of the immigrants with whom we share this country. The culture shock experienced by Mary Pipher's interviewees is very eye-opening, as the American reader will see the simple luxuries they possess which are not available elsewhere. Emotions run high while reading The Middle of Everywhere. The stories are told with notable sincerity that contributes greatly to the book¿s overall value. Messages of both struggle and hope are intertwined throughout every account that this book offers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2006

    Good Book :-)

    The Middle of Everywhere is a book based on Pipher¿s personal experiences working to assimilate refugees to American ways of life. The book ranges from driving to cooking, to the college process or the obvious language barriers. In a way, this book is also a sort of ¿how-to¿ book for those who help refugees. Through stories of Pipher¿s own successes and, indeed, failures, she invites the reader to understand what works and what has proven unhelpful when assisting refugees which American skills are necessary and which are harmful. A major message of the book is that when dealing with refugees, assume nothing. The Middle of Everywhere is split up into three main sections and further divided into ¿chapters.¿ Each chapter consists, for the most part, of a single experience or story that is obviously carefully chosen to keep the reader¿s attention. Many stories are very comical, but each is still respectful and has a valuable lesson to be learned. Pipher does an excellent job in not being repetitive with her lessons and also presents them with a tremendous amount of humility. She pays close attention to small details that make the book easier (and more enjoyable) to read. However, sometimes the purpose of each story within the larger sections of the book was a bit unclear. The titles of the sections and even of the individual stories can be very misleading. Still, The Middle of Everywhere is a wonderful and very valuable book. It is respectful and personal and any American should read The Middle of Everywhere in order to better understand the plight of the many refugees who are becoming a part of our world more and more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2003

    More Refugee Stories, Less Pipher

    I assigned this text for a multicultural classroom where my students were working with Somali children in the community. There is a lot of helpful information in this book for those new to working with immigrants. However my students, particularly the immigrant students, found Pipher's tone to be extremely condescending. They hated the book. While she does talk at length about refugees' strengths many of her stories make them sound pitiful so that she must become their 'American mother'. At other points her culturally biased judgements are quite offensive. At one point she praises a Muslim man who is 'a good man' unlike most Muslim men who do not encourage education for their daughters. At another point she marvels at the 'good manners' of a Sudanese refugee who smiles and shakes hands and she wonders where he learned to be so polite. Basically Pipher would have done refugees a much better service by telling their stories at greater length and without comment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2010

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    Posted January 8, 2012

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    Posted February 13, 2012

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    Posted February 26, 2011

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