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Teaching Through Culture: Strategies for Reading and Responding to Young Adult Literature
     

Teaching Through Culture: Strategies for Reading and Responding to Young Adult Literature

by Joan Parker Webster
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This book's title is misleadingly broad for a work exclusively devoted to six Latino works of the 1990s: Anile Bernardo's Jumping Off to Freedom, Diane Gonzales Bertrand's Trino's Choice, Judith Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing, Ofelia Dumas Lachtman's Call Me Consuelo, Floyd Martinez's Spirits of the High Mesa and Tomas Rivera's ...y no se lo traga la tierra/And the Earth Did Not Devour Him. Despite good intentions (to promote "the use of quality children's and young adult literature... written by diverse authors, representing multi-cultures" in daily curricula), Webster's text is flat and unimaginatively delivered. Addressed to teachers, the book offers a set format: each work gets a synopsis, historical background, critical reading skills addressed, vocabulary building and more. While admirable, the sketchy historical background is meandering. Minor nuisances abound (e.g., Webster refers to Ortiz's memoir as a novel), and the book's biographical information is inconsistent (e.g., Martinez's and Bertrand's names never occur in the chapters devoted to their work). Granted, Arte P#blico is the pioneer press in this area of literature, but that five of the six works treated, as well as 38 of the 58 titles in the "Bibliography of Suggested Young Adult Literature," are published by the press seems a heavy-handed promotion. (Dec. 15) Forecast: High school English teachers hungry for Latino materials may find this useful, as it's one of the only books of its kind. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a wonderful resource for teachers of literature for young adults. A thorough resource, this slim volume introduces the importance of incorporating multi-cultural emphases (Latino is the focus here) representing all students enrolled in a class. Webster cites research to support her theories, and gives notes and bibliographies of both resources for teachers and other suggested young adult titles. Her focus is on comprehension of material read; when students have backgrounds that differ from the dominant culture of the literature taught, their ethnic experience could preclude true understanding. The body of the book, however, is made up of chapters devoted to summaries of specific works of literature and how they can be used to best advantage in the classroom. Illustrations of poetry and its creation, literary devices, and connections across the curriculum add to the value of the book. All this, in one very well written package earns a high recommendation for middle and high school teachers and for colleges where secondary education is taught. 2002, Arte Publico Press/University of Houston,
— Candace Deisley
VOYA
Webster advocates use of "quality children's and young adult literature that is written by diverse authors, representing multi-cultures as part of the curriculum being implemented every day in our classrooms." She discusses how to become a culturally responsive teacher and offers a myriad of teaming opportunities based on six Latino-authored books published by Arte Público: Silent Dancing by Judith Ortiz Cofer (1990); Call Me Consuelo by Ofelia Dumas Lachtman (1997); Jumping Off to Freedom by Anilú Bernardo (1996/VOYA June 1996); Trino's Choice by Diane Gonzales Bertrand (1999/VOYA April 2000); Spirits of the High Mesa by Floyd Martinez (1997); and Y no se lo tragó la tierra/And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1987). Webster explains clearly with examples and charts how teachers can use multicultural literature and that such teaching is necessary because "schools are places where cultures meet." Specific topics addressed by the author include storyteller's memories, mystery and subplot, fiction from today's headlines, the power of words, progress, and voices of the people. Also included are topics on history, immigration, sense of place, music, politics, acculturation, names, poster art, poetry, and much more. With today's emphasis on standardized testing, teachers should welcome this helpful guide that includes specific activities that will require higher-order thinking, critical comparisons, cross-curricular, and community-based activities. Middle and high school librarians need to add this book to their professional shelves. Other librarians need to read this book to understand the need for "multicultural literature that accurately and respectfully portrays the culture being presented"to provide "an undiminished view of our pluralistic society." Charts. Biblio. Further Reading. 2002, Arte Público, 224p,
— Sherry York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558853768
Publisher:
Arte Publico Press
Publication date:
03/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.56(d)

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