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Arctic Peoples (Native Americans) Library Binding – September, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-4-These slim series entries provide broad overviews of two large groups of North American aboriginal people. The first title covers the Inuit and Aleut of Canada and Alaska; the second book lists the Chinook, Chehalis, Makah, Nootka, Kwakiutl, Haida, Bella Coola, and Tlingit as its subjects. Both volumes give brief historical overviews of these groups and mention contemporary life. Full-color and black-and-white photographs and maps illustrate the texts. However, there are several reasons to use caution in selecting these titles. First, Arctic Peoples includes a map that shows the Arctic circle running south of both Alaska's south-central coast and Iceland, when it actually runs through interior Alaska and just grazes Iceland's northernmost reaches. Indians consistently spells the coastal group "Tlinget," when the usual (U.S.) spelling is Tlingit. These attempts to encapsulate the lives of far-flung people also run the risk of oversimplifying. For example, Arctic does not mention that the Inuit of Alaska refer to themselves as Inupiat and Yu'pik. Readers deserve more focused materials on these subjects. Tricia Brown's Children of the Midnight Sun (Alaska Northwest, 1998), which highlights individual children in some of these groups, is a better introduction for students.-Sue Sherif, Fairbanks North Star Borough Public Library, AK

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Mir Tamim Ansary is a Heinemann-Raintree author.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Series: Native Americans
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann Library (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575729202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575729206
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,256,653 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By R. Tom on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I checked out the book "Arctic Peoples" from our library to go along with a study of the Inuit. Since I have read many books on the Inuit/Arctic already, I am fairly familiar with the subject matter. (Initially I liked the layout of the book and the photos, which is why I was hoping this series might be one we could purchase for homeschool.) Anyway, upon reading the book(s) I found several pieces of information that are completely incorrect. I don't mean just not complete, like missing some information, but literally incorrect 100%. Right now I am just going to point out about the "Arctic Peoples" book.

(1)On page 5 it states, "The ground turns to mud. A few plants sprout up, but not enough for people to eat." The ground is actually "boggy" on the tundra in the summer and millions of wildflowers sprout. Although they are not eaten, they are used for medicinal purposes. And there are loads of berries at the end of summer (cloudberries etc.) that are picked and dried to eat in the winter. So there is some sort of food available.

(2)On page 8 it states, "The Inuit and Aleuts ate no grains, vegetables, or plants of any kind." See explanation above.

(3)On page 10 it lists Kayaks and Dog Sleds as means of transportation. What about Umiaks? That is the only way families travel in water in the summer as a whole family cannot travel in a kayak nor could the Inuit hunt whales that way either.

(4)On page 14 it is talking about Parkas and how "Mothers carried their babies inside their shirts." I have never read this. I have only heard that they carried their babies in the HOODS of their parkas.

(5)Lastly, on page 26 it states, "By 1900, the Aleuts had all joined the Greek Orthodox Church." When were the Greeks ever in the Aleutian Islands???
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