The Arab Americans (Major American Immigration)

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9781422206041: The Arab Americans (Major American Immigration)

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Reviewed with Donna Lock's The Polish Americans.

Gr. 5-8. These books in the new We Came to America series have some good features, but are uneven. One of the best titles thus far is the Arab Americans, if only because it discusses post-September 11 issues as well as the history of Arab immigration to the U.S and Canada. There's a lengthy list of famous Arab Americans, among them artists, business people, and politicians. Polish Americans gives a good overview of mainstream European American experience as well as particulars about where the Poles first worked and settled in the U.S., and where they are now. The people are presented as mainly Catholic, and their church community is discussed in detail (strangely, the profile of Isaac Bashevis Singer doesn't even mention that he was Jewish). The series design, with color photos and occasional inserts, is attractive, but the writing style in both books is dull and awkward. There are also occasional errors (Maurice Sendak is listed as a famous writer, but in the past tense) and typos, including one in the otherwise excellent general introduction to the series. A useful bibliography, a glossary, a chronology, and Internet resources for tracing ancestors are appended. Flawed but still helpful. Hazel Rochman
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