Children's Literature - Uma KrishnaswamiThe tone of this book is nicely set by the cartoon on the first page, of a Native American, stereotypically stoic and feathered, holding a sign that reads, "Deport Illegal Immigrants." Morrow explores the dilemma of immigration, from the time of the founding fathers to present day debates about whether the melting pot is turning into a pressure cooker. Readable chapters discuss the geographical origins of immigrants through the years; immigration policies and their evolution; cross-border tensions and boat people; immigrants and the United States economy; and more. Part of Lerner's "Pro/Con" series, (another title in the series is Affirmative Action: A Problem or a Remedy?) this book would make an excellent starting point for discussion in a middle grade social studies classroom or history club.
School Library JournalGr 6-10An update to older, reliable books on the subject, such as Tricia Andryszewski's Immigration (Millbrook, 1995) and Kelly Anderson's Immigration (Lucent, 1993). What Morrow states on the issue of immigrants and crime might well apply to the murky waters of immigration as a whole: "Statistics serve well as points of argument but offer little concrete evidence." Opening with a statement of the problem and a historical overview, the author then focuses on policy, particularly the immigration and reform bills of 1996. He discusses the heavily impacted state of California; the effect of immigrants on the U.S. economy (jobs, welfare, and crime); ethical, cultural, and moral considerations; and public opinion today. Statements made about present-day immigration are tied in nicely with comments from the past. Although the immigrants' case is well stated, the book is evenhanded in its treatment. There is an occasional inaccuracy or point needing further clarification. It is at times difficult to determine if legal or illegal immigrants are being discussed; but, as the author himself points out, the sources can be unclear. Average-quality, black-and-white and full-color photos and reproductions enliven the layout. There are extensive footnotes and a bibliography of mainly periodical sources; unfortunately, the index is two pages off for most entries.Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA
Kirkus ReviewsDesigned as a starting point for readers studying the shifting trends in the US's immigration patterns and policies, this book combines a survey of the social, economic, and political issues involved with the generally critical views of pundits, from Ben Franklin ("Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens?") to William F. Buckley, Jr. ("The melting pot brew is all but poisoned if the candidate for assimilation is not required to adjust to a common language"). Paying particular attention to the effects of, and responses to, illegal immigration, Morrow summarizes major legislation, and, although he uses statistics sparingly, introduces the occasional preconception-exploding number before finishing by reprinting an opinion poll widely distributed to students, and analyzing its sometimes-contradictory results. Replete with fact boxes, endnotes, and small photographs (many in full-color), backed by a large bibliography, this may not be the only source of information readers will need to form educated opinions on the subject, but it lays out a basic framework for further inquiry. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 12-14)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews