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School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up
Religions covers traditional African beliefs, plus the spread of Christianity and Islam, and how they are practiced today; Islam focuses solely on that religion. Each book has a chapter on recent religious conflicts. The volumes are attractive, with color maps and photos, glossaries (incomplete) and bibliographies; Islam also has a chronology. The information presented is adequate but, in texts of under 100 pages, is clearly superficial. There are some issues: the maps don't indicate the Sahara Desert, making repeated references to "sub-Saharan" Africa confusing (the term isn't explained in the texts, either). None of the quotes are thoroughly referenced (about a third aren't given any citation whatsoever). Religions overuses the passive voice and lacks a conclusion; the authors also attribute female genital mutilation solely to traditional African religions (Marcovitz has a lengthy section on it in Islam ). Finally, most of the material in Islam is covered in Religions , though not always in as much detail. Thus, for most libraries, Religions alone will suffice. Aloysius M. Lugira's African Religion (Facts On File, 2004) gives a thorough overview just of traditional African religions in 200 pages plus.
—Ann W. MooreCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.