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From the Set Our Cultural Heritage
Introduces readers to the Polish American culture, immigration aspects, customs, religion, foods, and holidays. Famous Polish Americans, as well as noted contributions and inventions by Polish Americans, are also presented.
- Life in Poland
- A New Land
- Making a Home
- The Polish-American Culture
- Time Line
- Glossary Terms
- For Further Information
A noteworthy review of Our Cultural Heritage from MultiCultural Review on September 1, 2003
This 12-volume series for students in the middle elementary grades (it is aimed at a fourth-grade reading level) describes the community and contributions of national groups of immigrants to the United States. Each volume contains four chapters: one on life in the country of origin, followed by chapters on the move to America, becoming established in a new country, and the cultural contributions the group has made. The large-type text is accompanied by numerous illustrations and drawings, most of which are fairly small and original to the period being discussed. Most chapters also include a one- or two-page sidebar on a particular American from that group or on a cultural topic. The volume on German Americans, for example, has sidebars on Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher, the history of Ellis Island, and the singing von Trapp family (a slight stretch here, as they were Austrian). Many of the page spreads include a ‘Fascinating Facts’; in the Swedish-American volume, we learn that Charles Lindbergh’s grandfather, Mans Olsson Lindbergh, was a Swedish immigrant who served in the Union Army in the American Civil War. Without going into great depth, this series does connect life in these countries of origin with the immigrant experience as well as with the place each group has in American culture. Students will probably find it interesting to learn of the sometimes unexpected ethnic backgrounds of well-known people, such as in the chapter in the Arab-American volume that includes football player Doug Flutie, disc jockey Casey Kasem, and recent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Each volume contain a time line, a glossary of the words bolded in the text, a short list of books and web sites for further reading, and an index.
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.
A noteworthy review of Our Cultural Heritage from Midwest Book Review on October 1, 2002
Each book explains the history of the immigration and how experiences and motivations differed between groups. This series provides young readers with important information suitable for either supplemental classroom reading or reports.
Author: Lucia Raatma
Lucia Raatma received her bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of South Carolina and her master's degree in cinema studies from New York University. She has written a wide range of books for young people. When she is not researching or writing, she enjoys going to movies, practicing yoga, and spending time with her family. She lives in New York.