Uncertain Roads: Searching for the Gypsies

3.33 avg rating
( 6 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780027885316: Uncertain Roads: Searching for the Gypsies

Includes interviews with several generations of gypsies living in Sweden, Hungary, Romania, and the Ukraine today.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5 Up-Gypsy (Rom) history and contemporary life styles are artfully conveyed in this engaging tapestry of historical summaries, interviews, and photographs. Populations in Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, and Sweden are described, and first-person narratives from a variety of Rom men, women, and children are included. Each chapter concludes with a musical score, with lyrics in Romani and English. Both urban and rural people, wearing modern and traditional clothing, present their diverse experiences and ways of life. Comments reflect their personal interests and concerns, from impassioned political discussions, to matter-of-fact explanations of clothing and trades, to adolescent curiosity about American culture. Yet common themes emerge: the importance of family, cultural pride, and concerns about racism. Strom's tone is respectful and admiring, yet he does not avoid pointing out weaknesses and intertribal prejudices. Author's notes occasionally appear in the margins; they add perspective, but are somewhat disjointed. In some instances, it is presumed that readers are familiar with recent European history. The layout is inviting, with plentiful white space and appealing, high-quality full-color and black-and-white photos. A glossary of Romani words and locations is helpful, but has no pronunciation guide. Maps show Europe today and probable ancient Rom migration routes. However, one of them does not explain that the black dots are the sites of the interviews, and the other is distractingly dissected by the gutter. These shortcomings are minor compared to the overall content and impact of this valuable resource. An important book.
Sandy Kirkpatrick, Benicia Public Library, CA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The author of A Tree Still Stands: Jewish Youth in Eastern Europe Today (1990) considers the Rom (gypsies) in similar format: their past, present status, and the lingering scars of the Holocaust (hundreds of thousands lost their lives to the Nazis); abundant candid photos, both b&w and in color; and extensive quotes from Rom of all ages in four countries: Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden. Meanwhile, in sidebars of smaller type, Strom describes his encounters with Rom who generously took him in, confided their aspirations and troubles, and shared meals and music (Strom, who's also a musician, travels with a violin). A suspect, outcast people for all of their hundreds of years in Europe, the Rom are (at the moment) most numerous in Romania, best treated in Sweden. The very strategies helping them survive persecution have often fed prejudices against them. Skillfully, Strom presents the rich diversity of their culture in their own thoughtful words (apparently he's multilingual, as are many of them; it would have been interesting to know in what languages his interviews were conducted); his portraits--in words and telling photos--are especially notable for the immediacy with which they portray the gypsies' individuality, warmth, and courage. Maps; six songs, with music; bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 10+) -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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