Friday, June 03, 2011


This morning a librarian in New Jersey wrote to ask about the Tribes of Native America series published n 2002 by Blackbirch Press.

I don't know the series, but did a bit of searching and found a review of the Zuni volume in the series. That review is on Amazon, and it was submitted by Codi Hooee, a library media assistant at Zuni High School. She writes that she was "very disappointed" with the book. The historical information is correct, she says, but many of the captions for photographs and drawings are incorrect. And, she wrote:
What I found most offensive was the use of a photograph of our very sacred Sha'la'ko ceremony. Overall this book was poorly written, an example from the Customs section on page 25, "Among these are the June Rain Dance, held in August,..." The editors needed to be more thorough in researching the topic. 
She doesn't recommend the book.

Here's the cover for the Cahuilla volume. It is the same cover used for all the books in the series. The only thing that changes is the name of the tribal nation, at the bottom. It is a one-size-fits-all cover that suggests to me that the publisher didn't want to take the time or invest much money in developing the series. Codi's review notes that the book lists "the June Rain Dance" that is "held in August." Oops! Didn't the series have an editor who'd catch that sort of error?!

If that is the care and attention given to the entire series, it is not one I'd spend any money on...  If you're considering it for your collection, pass it up.

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