Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?: A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children

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"Am I black or white or am I American?" "Why don't my eyes look like yours?" "Why do people always call attention to my 'different' hair?" Helping a child understand his mixed racial background can be daunting, especially when, whether out of honest appreciation or mean-spiritedness, peers and strangers alike perceive his features to be "other."Drawing on psychological research and input from more than fifty multiracial families, Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? addresses the special questions and concerns facing ...

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Overview

"Am I black or white or am I American?" "Why don't my eyes look like yours?" "Why do people always call attention to my 'different' hair?" Helping a child understand his mixed racial background can be daunting, especially when, whether out of honest appreciation or mean-spiritedness, peers and strangers alike perceive his features to be "other."Drawing on psychological research and input from more than fifty multiracial families, Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? addresses the special questions and concerns facing such families, explaining how they can best prepare their multiracial children to make their way confidently in our color-conscious world. From the books and toys to use in play with young children, to simple scripts to help them gracefully react to insensitive comments at school, to advice on guiding older children toward an unflappable sense of self, Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? is the first book to outline for parents how, exactly, to deflect the objectifying and discomforting attention multiracial children are likely to receive. Full of powerful stories and expert counsel, it is sure to become the book that both adoptive and birth parents of different races will look to for understanding as they strive to raise their children in a changing world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The author, a freelance writer, is from a western European background, while her husband is Japanese American. Although Nakazawa initially hoped to raise her son and daughter to be "color blind," they couldn't ignore the many comments made by both adults and children concerning Christian and Claire's appearance. When Christian was a toddler he was asked if he spoke Chinese, and the author was assured that little Claire didn't "even look Asian." Nakazawa decided to develop strategies to ensure that her son and daughter would be proud of their heritage and confident about their multiracial identity. Finding no useful book on the subject, she decided to write her own. Based on personal experience and interviews conducted with 60 other multiracial families, Nakazawa has skillfully combined anecdotal research with a strong knowledge of childhood and educational development philosophy to provide this useful guide for raising multiracial children in a color- and race-conscious world. Nakazawa believes that, although most three-year-olds are not racially aware, it is important to deflect insensitive comments from strangers about appearance. As a child grows older, this early dialogue should deepen, so that children will feel safe and comfortable discussing their racial identity with parents and be able to bring up any racially charged experiences that have occurred at school or with friends. Included are suggestions for the special problems that may arise during adolescence. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Drawing on interviews, research, and her own experiences raising biracial children, Nakazawa offers sound advice to families of multiracial and multicultural backgrounds, whether headed by parents of different races or families who adopt children of race different from the parents. A distant relative of Stonewall Jackson married to a Japanese American, she advocates ways to help children identify all their racial heritages and grow confident and proud in their identities. Parents will also benefit from sample dialogs and scripts to answer children's questions at each stage of development. With the 900 percent increase in interracial marriages between 1960 and 1998, resulting in approximately 4.5 million biracial children, many readers will be eager for Nakazawa's book. Her solid research and grasp of the issue's complexity will certainly enhance parents' knowledge. Just two quibbles: at times readers will wish for more concrete ideas and a faster pace. Regardless, as the only parenting guide with this angle, Nakazawa's book is recommended for all public libraries.-Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738206059
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 6/17/2003
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna Jackson Nakazawa has been a regular contributor to AARP's My Generation, as well as to Working Mother, Modern Maturity, New Woman, and Baby Talk. She is married to a Japanese-American and has two children. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2003

    Finally

    Finally, some practical advice on how to parent multiracial children. I was so relieved to read this book. It helped me understand what struggles my children may face and how they might feel, without overemphasizing the issues (ie. race is just one aspect of parenting among many many others). I was worried it might try to overstate the issues and have me turning every corner looking for racial issues. However, it is based on true experience and testimony through stories from multiracial people. It convinced me, for example, of the vital importance and necessity of taking extra care to expose my kids to other cultures; and it detailed exactly why this is so vital. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is racing multiracial children or transracially adopted children. It helped me open my eyes to their experience.

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