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.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tim Tingle and Matt Dembicki at ALA

Tim Tingle, enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and author of some of my favorite picture books, and Matt Dembicki will be at ALA this year as part of a panel that will discuss Dembicki's graphic novel, Trickster.

According to the ALA press release, a third person on the panel will be Michael Thompson, a high school English teacher in New Mexico. Thompson is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Tribe. Forty percent of the students in his high school are Navajo.

The panel, "Trickster: Engaging Readers, Honoring Traditions" is scheduled for Sunday from 4 to 5:30 in room 284 o the Morial New Orleans Convention Center. It is sponsored by ALA's Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds, the American Indian Library Association (AILA), and, ALA's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).

I'm attending ALA this year and am really looking forward to hearing what they have to say!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Very happy personal news

Lack of posts to AICL are because I was at the Beinecke Rare Books Library at Yale for a week doing research, and after that...
I was at Yale for my daughter's graduation!

Yale's "Class Day" ceremony is for undergraduates. The keynote speaker this year was Tom Hanks. Twelve major prizes are announced at Class Day. Liz won the Nakanishi Prize, "awarded to two graduating seniors who, while maintaining high academic achievement, have provided exemplary leadership in enhancing race and/or ethnic relations at Yale College." On Class Day, students wear some kind of hat instead of the mortar board. Liz chose to wear a ball cap from Nambe Pueblo. The Native American Cultural Center at Yale gives Native grads a blue stole. Liz's degree is in Political Science, and she graduated "with distinction." 

My parents, a sister and her son, and a niece and her partner traveled to New Haven from New Mexico by train. It was a three-day/two-night journey on three different trains for them! My brother-in-law flew in from Sacramento. Here we all are (photo taken by woman who offered to do it for us):

What I've said in this post doesn't reflect the joyful emotions of the last ten days... I'm so proud of Liz and so happy that we were all there with her.