Native American Family Life

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This volume is part of the "Native American Life" series, which seeks to dispel common misrepresentations of Native Americans. The senior-consulting editor, Dr. Troy Johnson, describes the goals of the series in an introduction. The use of many inserts, sidebars, color photos and drawings mixed with a moderate amount of text helps give the book an appealing, reader-friendly appearance. After an introductory chapter, there are chapters on the northeast, the southeast and Caribbean, the southwest and Plains, the northwest and Far North, and Central and South America. Unfortunately, the book's very wide scope results in over-generalizations, confusion, and even errors. The author seems to confuse the Apaches with the Navajos, erroneously stating that the Apaches herd sheep. A Pueblo storyteller-figure from the southwest is pictured in the chapter on the northeast. Also, a good cultural map is essential, but there are no maps. This book seems too inaccurate and confusing to be useful. A chronology, glossary, index, bibliography, and Internet resources list are included. 2003, Mason Crest Publishers,
— Gisela Jernigan
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590841266
  • 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 9.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2003

    Native American Family Life Fine Sampler

    I love this book and this series! Perhaps "Parrots for Pets and Postball as a Pastime" doesn't appeal to some adult reviewers, but it appeals to many students. Many of my students who won't read other books are reading these. Are they encyclopedic? No. I agree, they are not. They are only 64 pages. They are great samplers of the Native American Culture. These are great additions to any classroom or school library. Should they be the only books on Native Americans on your shelf? Of course not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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