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Books  >   Literature and Fiction : General : Classics : 

This Land Is Our Land

Helbig, Alethea K.
Perkins, Agnes Regan

Greenwood Press
Published:September 30, 1994

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Description: From Booklist
The fiction, poetry, and oral traditions of African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Americans are the focus of this annotated bibliography. Authors Helbig and Perkins, both of whom have published extensively in the field of children's literature, note that books were chosen on such literary values as plot, style, and nonstereotyped characterization. Representatives of the four ethnic groups served as consultants.

The books, 570 in all, were published from 1985 through 1993, with more than 60 percent published since 1990; they cover grades K-12, including some titles originally published for adults (e.g., Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club). Each cultural group is divided into sections for poetry, oral tradition, and fiction, under which entries are arranged alphabetically by writer. The number of entries for groups and sections varies, reflecting both publishing and cultural trends. For instance, there are more titles listed about African Americans, but the oral tradition section for Native Americans is the largest. Each entry includes ISBNs for hardcover and paperback editions, price, and age and grade levels. Annotations include a description of plot, characters, illustrations, and critical commentary. The titles of books on similar subjects or by the same author are often mentioned, with a cross-reference provided if appropriate. Five indexes--title, author, illustrator, grade level, and subject--provide further access. Abbreviations indicating ethnic groups are used in the grade-level and subject indexes.

Our Family, Our Friends, Our World: An Annotated Guide to Significant Multicultural Books for Children and Teenagers (Bowker, 1992) covers the same cultural groups, but its strength is in its worldwide coverage. It lists some earlier titles (back to 1970) but has fewer entries per U.S. ethnic group and, unlike This Land Is Our Land, includes very few poetry collections. Native Americans in Fiction [RBB De 15 94] lists many more titles under specific tribes, but the annotations are not as helpful. Libraries and curriculum resource centers will want to consider This Land is Our Land for its currency and comprehensive coverage of quality multicultural literature for children.

Product Description:
How do you select the best recent works of fiction, oral tradition, and poetry about African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American Indian experiences and traditions from the profusion of titles being published today? This annotated bibliography of titles for children and young adults published from 1985 through the end of 1993--with 60% published since 1990--provides a one-stop selection tool. The authors, who are recognized authorities in children's literature and have written six previous references, provide insightful critical appraisals of 559 books, as well as information about an additional 188 recent books and 90 earlier books of importance. An advisory board of librarians and teachers, each of whom specializes in the literature of a particular ethnic group, have provided expertise and guidance in the selection of titles.

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