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In a concise and outraged voice, Takaki (Journey to Gold Mountain, p. 637, etc.) uses plenty of quotations and specific instances—even poetry—to describe both the physical and emotional effects of the anti-Japanese sentiment that swept the US in the wake of Pearl Harbor. In Hawaii the hysteria was contained, but on the West Coast Americans of Filipino, Korean, and Chinese descent battled rabid prejudice, and over 100,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly removed to concentration camps—from which, ironically, many were subsequently drafted. All of these minorities formed units in the armed forces, and most saw heavy fighting overseas. Except for those sent to Europe, the author does not describe their exploits in much detail, preferring here to focus on the domestic scene. This is a condensation of Takaki's much longer Strangers From a Different Shore (1989), and the seams show; interviewees are named once or twice, then dropped (and not indexed), and except for Asian Indians, none of the smaller minority groups puts in an appearance. Still, readers will get a clear picture of how Asian- Americans contributed vigorously to the war effort even as their constitutional rights were being ignored. Sturdy, readable, disturbing. (Chronology; bibliography; index; b&w photos) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-7910-2184-X

Page Count: 128

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1994

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Can too much information give readers intellectual indigestion? When is it better to graze through a book rather than consuming it in one sitting? Is it possible to make good-for-you information as delicious as (guilty) pleasure reading? The adapted version of Hungry Planet: What the World Eats (2005) raises all of these questions. Intended to inform middle-schoolers of the wide variety of food traditions as well as discrepancies in access to adequate nutrition, this collection of photos, essays and statistics will require thoughtful concentration. Adapted and abridged text, a larger font size, the addition of small maps and basic facts about each country and the deletion of some photos that might have been judged inappropriate or disturbing help to make the wealth of information accessible to this audience. The plentiful photos are fascinating, offering both intimate glimpses of family life and panoramic views of other lands. Whether used for research or received as a gift from socially conscious adults, this version offers children plenty to chew over—but it’ll take them some time to truly digest. (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-58246-246-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2008

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A brief discussion of the development and persistence of gender roles acts as an introduction to this excellent overview of what it has meant to be a girl in this country, from pre-colonial times to the present. Colman (Rosie the Riveter, 1995, etc.) never resorts to a generic ideal or tells the story as if she is speaking of an “everygirl”; instead, she allows a narrative to emerge from the histories and words of real people, from every social, ethnic, and economic level in the US. Some of the subjects and speakers are well-known, others are not (although they probably ought to be), but all are interesting and inspiring. Alice Greenough, daughter of “Packsaddle Ben” Greenough, grew up in the turn-of-the- century Montana wilderness where she did all the things her brothers did; Mary Elizabeth Bowser, a young black woman, worked with Elizabeth Van Lew, a middle-aged white woman, as spies for the Union army; Lilac Chen, a former prostitute in 19th- century San Francisco, tells how her own father sold her into slavery in China when she was only 6; and Yvonne “Eve” Blue, an obviously anorexic 14-year-old, maintained her gaunt frame by limiting herself to 140 calories a day—in 1926. These and dozens of other fascinating people offer more insight into gender roles better than any history text or sociological treatise, in lively writing that is greatly enhanced by page after page of black-and-white photographs, an extensive list of further reading, and a good index. A must-have for most collections. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-590-37129-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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