________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 2 . . . . September 17, 2004

cover The Inuit. (Indians of the Americas).

Suzanne M. Williams.
New York, NY: Franklin Watts (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2003.
64 pp., pbk., $11.95.
ISBN 0-531-16235-4.

Subject Heading:
Inuit-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

excerpt:

Inuit legend says some souls go to live in the sky when they die. The northern lights are paths the spirits make when they play ball. Their ball is a walrus head. If the lights get too close to people on Earth, the ball can knock their heads off! Whistle, and the lights move closer. If you are scared, rub your fingernails together, and the lights move away.

internal artSuzanne Williams introduces young readers to the lifestyle of the Inuit people in this book which is part of the seven-volume "Indians of the Americas" series. Six chapters provide general information about the challenges of living in the harsh Arctic environment. Topics include the climate, the flora and fauna, a brief history of Arctic settlement- with evidence of people living in the region between 8000 and 5000 B.C.- hunting methods, transportation, clothing, traditions, such as storytelling and drumming, and the creation of Nunavut. Williams compares life in the Arctic long ago to the present and describes the many changes, both positive and negative, to which the people have adapted as a result of European influence. Though the book is meant for young students, Williams, using simple explanations, gives an honest portrayal of some of the negative effects of European influence on the Inuit people, one example being residential schools.

     The large-sized text and fairly short sentences are just right for the book's intended audience. Ice- blue fact boxes provide interesting trivia related to each of the chapters. Plenty of excellent photographs, all suitably labeled, depict the Inuit lifestyle today. A time line, a glossary and an index are included along with a list of books, organizations and web sites for those readers who would like additional information.

     The Inuit would make a worthwhile purchase for any elementary school library.

Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, Manitoba.

 

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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