When a child comes of age, it means that he or she has taken an important step toward adulthood. Part of that step is learning to behave in a responsible way. In many parts of their world, there is a special ceremony to recognize this time of life. Sometimes it is religious event, such a First Holy Communion in Puerto Rico. In Mexico, a young girl's coming of age at fifteen is celebrated with a party that lasts for two days. In Brazil, a young man comes of age when he goes hunting with the adult males in his community. A glossary is included, along with reading suggestions and web sites for the ten countries whose coming of age ceremonies are discussed. Other books in this series include Birth, New Year, and Harvest.
Gr 2-5-Brief examinations of the customs and celebrations of people from the same 10 countries representing 6 continents. In Coming of Age, the rites of passage that lead to adulthood are outlined. In Birth, readers learn of the rituals and traditions surrounding the arrival of a newborn. Each title has a simple map and a few facts about each country. Both indigenous and urban people are represented. The clean layout and full-color photographs will appeal to those writing reports and a list of Web sites leads to supplemental information about tourism. Although international festivities have been documented before, few titles have outlined non-holiday celebrations in a way that allows for a comparison among different cultures. The "Life Times" series (Peter Bedrick) discusses how these events are celebrated by different religious groups.-Jennifer Oyama, Los Angeles Public Library, CA