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Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of Our Cultural Heritage from Children's Literature on November 1, 2002

The story of Polish immigrants, their reasons for coming to a new homeland, and the experiences they encountered once there is a fascinating one. Fleeing political oppression, warfare, and poverty, many Polish immigrants came to America with false hopes that life would be easier there than in their homeland. What many Polish immigrants experienced once in America was a nation that was rather intolerant of people who spoke a different language, worshipped a Catholic God, and seemed uneducated. As a result of these differences, Poles were laughed at and became the butt of ethnic slander and jokes that persist to the present day. Yet, despite these barriers, the Polish immigrants were able to adapt and thrive in a nation that eventually embraced them as members of the national culture. This up and down immigrant saga is the subject of this illustrated work. Lucia Raatma presents the Poles who came to America in a realistic and sympathetic manner. The author traces the history of Polish immigration, the problems encountered by Poles in their new nation, and some contributions Polish-Americans have made. This is a fine book and one that does justice to a people who sacrificed a great deal to establish themselves in America.

—Greg M. Romaneck

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