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School Library Journal
Gr 5-8- These titles address the benefits and challenges of growing up in rural North American communities (including Canada) while dispelling the misconception that "rural" equates with idyllic farm life. The first book includes chapters on alternative communities, the history of the Amish faith, different ordnungs (rules), and selecting an Amish lifestyle. Concluding chapters discuss other alternative communities including monasteries and kibbutzim, and demonstrating respect for others. The second title covers stereotypes about migrant workers, child-labor concerns and legislation, health and safety hazards, schooling, housing, and barriers to success for migrant youth. McIntosh provides information on living on the reservation and in First Nation communities, the arts, sports, traditions, education, and obstacles such as health problems and drug use. Sidebars in all three books present additional information on pertinent topics. Bright photographs and artwork, most with detailed captions, enliven the straightforward texts while portraying various ethnic and religious groups in a positive light. Some fictionalizing (e.g., in Migrant Youth , Julia goes shopping for picante sauce, green beans, and cilantro) does not detract from chapter content and may ease struggling readers into the material. These volumes help to fill a void in many collections by neatly tying together adolescent-specific concerns, current events, and issues unique to rural America.-Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PACopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.