|It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts|
Nonfiction Monday is hosted by Wrapped in Foil
A longtime professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, Ronald Takaki was recognized as one of the foremost scholars of American ethnic history and diversity. When the first edition of A Different Mirror was published in 1993, Publisher’s Weekly called it “a brilliant revisionist history of America that is likely to become a classic of multicultural studies” and named it one of the ten best books of the year. Now Rebecca Stefoff, who adapted Howard Zinn’s best-selling A People’s History of the United States for younger readers, turns the updated 2008 edition of Takaki’s multicultural masterwork into A Different Mirror for Young People.
Drawing on Takaki’s vast array of primary sources, and staying true to his own words whenever possible, A Different Mirror for Young People brings ethnic history alive through the words of people, including teenagers, who recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and poems. Like Zinn’s A People’s History, Takaki’s A Different Mirror for Young People offers a rich and rewarding “people’s view” perspective on the American story.
Spanning the vast time frame from the very beginnings of America to today, this is an important book for our kids to be exposed to in bits and pieces – woven into our historical fiction book clubs or social studies lessons. There are first person accounts as well as informative narrative sections which tell the story of the immigrant groups who came to America in search of better lives. Through these stories we learn of challenges overcome and new trails blazed, and how each group struggled through the process of assimilation. I know that I will be sharing pertinent sections of this book when we launch our historical fiction book groups, when my students will research time periods and events for their book selections. And, this is also a wonderful book to share with my students who are new to America – from Japan, India, Germany, England, Korea to name just a few.
Finally, I read The Lonely Book, written by Kate Bernheimer and illustrated by Chris Sheban… because I had read so many wonderful reviews and knew I had to.