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Unlike many other immigrant groups, southeast Asians have come to the US as refugees, surviving invasions, mass murder, dangerous journeys, bloodthirsty pirates, squalid campsnot to mention sudden separation from loved ones and loss of possessions. Enriching his narrative with quotes, brief comments, and poetry from dozens of interviews and published accounts, Takaki describes, in sometimes horrific detail, the harsh treatment these people fled and then often encountered again in their passages. As he shows, many are haunted by their experiences, and struggling to preserve their cultures and values in a strange new land. As with other volumes in the Asian American Experience series, this is an extract from Takaki's monumental Strangers From A Different Shore (1989), with new material added. It's a rough cut: Except for a visit with a Hmong who entered medical school in 1991, the interviews don't have dates, and few of the subjects were photographed. The old, black-and-white illustrations are mostly news photos. There is only random information about the informants and little about their traditions or daily lives. Still, the emphasis on original material will bring readers closer to the tragic history of these new Americans than books based on secondary sources, such as William McGuire's Southeast Asians (1991). (chronology, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-7910-2185-8

Page Count: 118

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1995

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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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After years of normal living, a teenager learns he has epilepsy and has to cope not just with the disease, but with the side effects, including the hostility of his peers. High schooler Lefty has an epileptic seizure while hanging out with his best friend, Reuben, and must subsequently learn to live with the disease, deal with medication, make lifestyle changes, overcome his own fear, as well as that of family and friends, and face his peers. What little action there is in this marathon talkfest concerns Lefty and his friends (including his 12-year-old brother) smoking and drinking. In his tough, working-class neighborhood this is considered perfectly normal, and the author never counters that. Most of readers’ efforts may be spent trying to keep track of the many characters: Lefty’s friends and brothers, his mother’s tough-as-nails girlfriends, neighbors, classmates, medical personnel, etc. When Lefty, a budding writer, pens an imaginary dialogue between two elderly neighbors and a would-be mugger, the story picks up; otherwise this is a flat and emotionally distant bull session that, though extended, leads nowhere. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2000

ISBN: 1-55143-166-1

Page Count: 215

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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