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Children's LiteratureCalled "Little England of the Caribbean," Barbados is a blend of African and British cultures. Claiming the island in 1625, the British brought almost 400,000 slaves from Africa between 1640 and 1807 to work on the sugarcane plantations. Today eighty percent of the population is black, four percent is white, and the other sixteen percent is made up of mixed race, East Indians, Middle Eastern, and Chinese. Tourism has now surpassed sugar exports to be the largest component of the economy. Barbados also boasts development as a center for information technology and banking. Although the economy remains modest, the nation's population is small and most "Bajans" (or Barbadians) are well off compared to people in other Caribbean countries. One of eleven texts in the "Discovering the Caribbean" series, this book provides chapters on the geography, history, economy, and people and culture of Barbados. A calendar of Barbadian festivals is included, as are recipes for local specialties, a glossary, chronology, index, and list of additional resources. A section on project and report ideas could easily be used in the classroom to augment geography studies. Box texts, photographs, and maps round out the text. 2004, Mason Crest Publishers, Ages 7 to 10.
— Valerie O. Patterson