From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This series title focuses on the challenges people faced when adapting to American culture and their response to prejudice, both personal and institutional. Each religion receives three chapters in which the authors blend a history of the adherents in the U.S., a look at their beliefs and how those ideas and practices were challenged or altered as first-generation followers tried to pass their traditions on to succeeding generations, and biographical anecdotes. Little-known aspects of American life and jurisprudence are pointed out as well, such as the laws that prevented Asians from immigrating to the U.S. and others that prevented immigrants already here from becoming citizens or owning land. Ritual practices are detailed, often in the form of adherents' biographies, as are related architectural motifs and holiday celebrations. The dry writing is tempered somewhat by the anecdotal material and occasional sidebars. Numerous, captioned black-and-white photographs are scattered throughout. This title provides a succinct yet full introduction to these groups that are little understood in the U.S., and occasional references to American converts to Hinduism and Buddhism supply a link to the wider culture.
Coop Renner, Moreno Elementary School, El Paso, TX
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 6-12. This new entry in the Religion in American Life series looks at three traditions lesser known in the U.S. A history of early Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs in America is told in fascinating detail, focusing on the influx of Asian immigrants--many of them well-educated professionals--that began in 1965. Successive chapters explore how Americanization has changed each of the three traditions, and how, in turn, the traditions have altered American religious life. Prejudice is also discussed, with the authors noting continuing descrimination against Hindus and Sikhs even as the popularity of Buddhism increases among those of non-Asian background. Solid information, a large selection of historical and contemporary photographs, interesting readings from primary sources, and accounts from school-age Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs combine to make this is a valuable resource. John Green
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