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
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About the Author
Mir Tamim Ansary is a Heinemann-Raintree author.