Through their focus on children who were successfully learning to read and write despite extraordinary economic hardship, this multiracial team presents new images of the strengths of the family as educator.
Educators and makers of social policy should attend to this study. Its findings refute the stereotype, fed by society and the educational system, of ``disadvantaged'' inner-city children as only marginally capable of mastering depersonalized reading and writing ``skills,'' and also the popular wisdom that makes the assumed failure of these youngsters too often a self-fulfilling prophecy. These children are growing up literate in spite of the odds. The ethnographic descriptions of these families' daily lives illustrate the children's learning experiences within a caring, literate family environment, which is up against an unsupportive outside world. Suzanne W. Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Alfred, N.Y.
Catherine Dorsey-Gaines is vice president for Academic Affairs at Kean College of New Jersey in Union. She holds professional rank in the Early childhood and Family studies department. She also worked as Director of Minority Enrollment and as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Dorsey-Gaines has been an educator for over thirty years and an administrator for approximately seven years; she has also taught both parents and children living in inner-city and suburban communities.
Denny Taylor has received international recognition for her research and writing. Her awards include the Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize from the Modern Language Association, the Elva Knight Award from the International Reading Association, and the Richard A. Meade Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. Her field research is the basis of all her books, including Many Families, Many Literacies: An International Declaration of Principles (Heinemann, 1997) and Toxic Literacies: Exposing the Injustice of Bureaucratic Texts (Heinemann, 1996).