South Africa the People


Breathtaking photos create intimate portraits of the daily lives and family traditions of the people who have lived in this land for thousands of years. South Africa's turbulent history is described in a section on apartheid and its legacy.

Text and photographs present the daily lives and family traditions of the people of South Africa, as well as their turbulent history and the legacy of apartheid.

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Breathtaking photos create intimate portraits of the daily lives and family traditions of the people who have lived in this land for thousands of years. South Africa's turbulent history is described in a section on apartheid and its legacy.

Text and photographs present the daily lives and family traditions of the people of South Africa, as well as their turbulent history and the legacy of apartheid.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The diversity that makes up the population of South Africa is described and depicted on the opening pages. A look back in time reveals that there were primates living in this part of the world more than 2 million years ago. The homo sapiens in the area were the San and Khoikhoi along with the Bantu speaking people who are more familiar to readers and who arrived about 1500 years ago. The Zulu, Sotho, and Xhosa are among the descendants of these early settlers. Things really changed with the arrival of the Europeans and the struggles between the Afrikaners (Dutch, German and French settlers) and the British. Migrations, battles and a system of apartheid became the way of life with black people ending up at the bottom of the totem pole. Struggles for equality continued for almost 50 years. Finally the laws were repealed, free elections were held and Nelson Mandela became the first black president. Life is still very difficult for many of the black people, but strides are being made to improve education, housing and healthcare. Few of the Zulu live in a traditional way, and those who do maintain it aim primarily for the tourist trade. There are several big cities that resemble those around the world. However, life in the townships is often cramped and without modern conveniences. Readers will glimpse a variety of homes, schoolchildren, sports and read about a day in the life of the Puso who live in the township of Soweto, which is a major suburb of Johannesburg. The final spread talks about the future and the battle against AIDS, which kills 1,000 South Africans a day. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6–Taken together, these books boast the usual categories of social, geographic, cultural, and historical information. Culture has sections on art, music, and language; Land includes a more extended examination of animals and plants than is common in single-volume works at this level; and People discusses apartheid and some of the heroes who opposed it. There is significant repetition of background information among the volumes. In addition, they have a number of minor inaccuracies and typographical errors. Also, much of the information is couched in generalities and skims the surface of the topic. For example, the section on religion gives some basic information on a few of the major religions of South Africa, but there is little on specific beliefs or practices. These books are collections of facts that lack an exploration of a vibrant and complex society. The clear and bright illustrations have captions that are occasionally inaccurate and frequently fail to supplement the text.–Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
From The Critics
"South Africa is a mix of peoples and cultures." This first sentence in South Africa: The Culture states the theme of the series. Photographs and explanations illustrate the traditional beliefs, art, food, music, and customs of the Bantuspeaking peoples of the country and how they contrast and mix with those of the Afrikaners and English who came to South Africa from the 1600s to the 1800s.

The pattern for these books is the same one found in all volumes of the Lands, Peoples, and Cultures series. Topics are presented in two or fourpage spreads made up of colored photos and informational paragraphs. Examples of the topics are "Art," which carries paragraphs titled "Rock Art," "Dolls," "Zulu Beadwork," and "Pottery and Weaving"; "Celebrations," which includes "Easter," "Diwali" (Hindu), "High Holidays" (Jewish), "New Year's Day," and "Heritage Day" (all ethnic groups). "Language and Literature" goes further, to explain how to make the clicking sounds found in the isiZulu and isiXhosa languages and has a chart showing common greeting words in 5 of the 11 official languages of South Africa. One paragraph each briefly explains Hinduism and Islam. The only mention of the Malays brought to South Africa to work on the farms is in the sentence, "Some Indians and Malays are Muslims." To understand the interplay of the ethnic groups, one must move to the companion volume, South Africa: The People. This book discusses the history of the Bantuspeaking people, the later European traders, and the arrival of the Afrikaners and the British colonialists. One section explains the wars with the Zulus and the Boer War, which ended with South Africa becoming a British colony. It was only after theindependence of South Africa in 1909 that apartheid was widely enforced. While other pages show Zulu life, cities and suburbs now, and changing life at school today, the strength of this series is in its detailed story of the years of apartheid and the struggles of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Steven Biko, and others. From studying this struggle, children can gain an understanding of the need for perseverance in the fight for human rights. (a Bobbie Kalman Book; from the Lands, Peoples, and Culture Series.) Recommended, Grades 58. REVIEWER: Dr. George Hennings (emeritus, Kean University) ISBN: 0865052360

Midwest Book Review
Two countries are explored in depth, each receiving three separate geography books covering the country's people, culture and land. South Africa: The People, South Africa: The Culture and South Africa: The Land and Egypt: The People, Egypt: The Culture and Egypt: The Land each feature 30 pages of information for grades 2-4, adding to a growing series offering contemporary, bright color photos paired with basic geography facts. The separation of each country into 3 books allows for a concentrated focus on each topic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778796596
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Series: The Lands, Peoples, and Cultures Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,386,993
  • Lexile: IG990L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Table of Contents

A diverse people     4
Struggles of the past     6
The years of apartheid     10
Heroes in a difficult time     13
Country life     16
The umuzi     18
The big city     20
Homes     22
Off to school     24
Go team!     26
Puso's day     28
The path ahead     30
Glossary and Index     32
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