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Homes of the Native Americans

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-These books attempt to cover too much in 55 pages, resulting in generalities and omissions. Family Life provides five 10-page chapters on the peoples of the Americas, from Alaska to the Caribbean. It is impossible to cover these nations even superficially in the allotted space. As a result, readers encounter the words Taino, Timucua, Cheyenne, Carib, and Seminole in a section titled "Parrots for Pets and Postball as a Pastime." Are these the only nations worthy of study? Why were they selected for mention? Also, there is no indication if this is strictly historical or a contemporary approach to the topic. The other two books are equally general. None have maps so readers will not understand how many nations have been overlooked. As it stands, these volumes give students a few tribal names, a few concepts, and not a very orderly approach to the topics. Color illustrations, photographs, and line drawings of varying quality appear in each book, along with a slight glossary (with no pronunciations) and a short list of titles for further reading/research. Students would be better served by a book on a "representative nation" from the main geographic areas, such as Danielle Corriveau's The Inuit of Canada (Lerner, 2001) or Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve's The Iroquois (Holiday, 1995). For topical information, select books like Bonnie Shemie's Houses of Wood: The Northwest Coast (Tundra, 1992).-Dona J. Helmer, College Gate School Library, Anchorage, AK Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
Most who think about the homes constructed by Native Americans probably default to a teepee as the mental image that comes to mind. Yet, as Colleen Williams demonstrates in this volume in the illustrated “Native American Life” series, the teepee was only one of many homes used by the many tribal groups that encompass the Native Peoples of the Americas. Whether the Iroquois longhouse, Aleutian snow houses, or Navaho hogans, Native People had many ways in which they constructed shelter for themselves and their families. Author Colleen Williams goes to great depths in explaining the structural and cultural elements of many different types of First Nation Peoples’ domiciles. In some cases, these technical explanations help bring to life the very people described. In other instances, the author seems more technical than expressive in her writing, making this more of an encyclopedic rather than narrative look at the lives of Native Peoples. This shortcoming makes Homes of the Native Americans more of a resource book rather than an entertaining read. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck; Ages 10 to 14.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590841204
  • Publisher: Mason Crest Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Series: Native American Life Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2003

    Native American Family LIfe

    I read this book and liked it. I liked the art work and photographs. I also liked reading this book a lot. It is not very long, but it covers a lot of different Native American family customs and gave me enough information to want to know more about some tribes. I guess you could say it got me interested in learning more about Native Americans and their family life. I am also going to read some of the other books in this series. The first chapter explains that the book only looks at some groups of Native Americans and that students who want to study Native Americans in greater depth should "study the family structures, traditions, and customs of individual tribes." That's what I'm going to do. Now that this book has peaked my interest!

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