Children's LiteraturePart of the series, "The Changing Face of North America: Immigration since 1965," from a publisher of school and library reference books, this entry includes three forewords: one from Senator Edward M. Kennedy, another from Marian L. Smith of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the third from Peter A. Hammerschmidt, First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Canada to the U.N. Chapter one offers a deft regional overview; chapter two provides a remarkably concise history of centuries of discord and significant events leading up to wars of the 1990s and Yugoslavia's eventual dissolution into six parts: Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia. The rise of Slobodan Milosevic and horrific episodes of ethnic cleansing are explained in language appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. Immigration to North America prior to the 1990s is discussed in the context of Balkan economic and political history. Less interesting is the chapter concerning current immigrant settlement patterns, and importation of traditions and crafts. Library-bound, with attractive, glossy pages and photo illustrations, the only visual element it lacks is a decent map. Maps can be controversial items these days, especially as regards the Balkans, which may have been the justification for leaving one out. But a lot would be added for students even by a map dating from the 1980s, showing the old borders and placing Yugoslavia in its regional context in Europe. 2004, Mason Crest Publishers, Ages 9 to 14.
J. H. Diehl