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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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.