Children's LiteratureThis book explores and celebrates the heritage of the some ten million North Americans of Polish ancestry. Although a few Polish tradesmen came to Jamestown, Virginia as early as 1608, most Poles immigrated to North America between the 1870s and the beginning of World War I in 1914. Others arrived in the immediate aftermath of World War II and during the late 1980s. Immigrants often faced hardships and prejudice, but overcame adversity to work in factories and on farms. Today many Americans of Polish descent continue to celebrate and preserve their rich cultural traditions. Interspersed with eyewitness accounts of immigrants and appropriate photographs and illustrations, the book is an excellent introduction to the Polish-American experience. Other titles in the "We Came to North America" series include The Africans, The Italians, and The Japanese. 2001, Crabtree, $21.28 and $8.95. Ages 9 to 12. Reviewer: Valerie O. Patterson
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-5-Double-page spreads, lavishly illustrated with paintings, engravings, maps, and black-and-white and full-color period and contemporary photographs, describe the homelands, how and why the immigrants left, their reception and life in the United States and Canada, and their contributions to their new lands. Large boxes focus in on various topics, usually history but also culture and languages; full-page personal narratives are interspersed at appropriate points throughout. While these books are attractive and written for a younger audience than the "Immigrant Experience" series (Chelsea) and "Footsteps to America" series (Macmillan), they are seriously flawed by inattention to detail. The map of eastern North America in The Germans misplaces cities and even includes "Ohio" as a city. Irish lists John Barry's dates as 175-1803; the title of Mary McCarthy's book is incorrectly given as Memoirs (instead of Memories) of a Catholic Girlhood. Annie Moore is described as "the first of over a million Irish who arrived in New York during the famine." Is it the Great Famine (1845-1850) mentioned on the previous page? Annie Moore is actually commemorated in statue as the first person to pass through Ellis Island when it opened on Jan. 1, 1892. The Poles incorrectly spells the name of the city Bydgoszcz on its map; Polish settlers to Jamestown disembarked from just one ship, the Mary and Margaret, not Mary and Margaret. A strong editorial hand was lacking in these series titles.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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