jueves, 5 de mayo de 2016

MercatorNet: Children try to overcome prejudice [NEW SECTION OF "HUMANISMS"] once in a while

MercatorNet: Children try to overcome prejudice

Children try to overcome prejudice

Children try to overcome prejudice

A story about a unique cultural exchange.
Barb Szyszkiewicz | May 5 2016 | comment 
Blue-Eyed Dollby Deanna K. Klingel
written for ages 11-14 | recommended
published in 2016 | 4RV Young Adult | 180 pages
Did you think that the custom of classroom pen-pal letter exchanges and sending "Flat Stanley" on trips around the world made its educational debut in the 21st century? Deanna Klingel's novel Blue-Eyed Doll tells the story of a very unique cultural exchange that took place 90 years ago!
This fascinating historical novel transports the reader to 1920s California, where students collected dolls to exchange for dolls from students in Japan, and follows the collectible dolls into World War II and its aftermath. Don't miss Ruth Mary, the gutsy main character - she's terrific.
The novel begins with feisty Ruth Mary, an eight-year-old, bargaining with her father for the chance to participate in the classroom doll exchange. Her siblings find clever ways to help Ruth Mary succeed in her mission, and many surprises result after the choice of a unique doll wearing eyeglasses.
While I was well aware of the prejudice, imprisonment and other hardships faced by Japanese-Americans during World War II, I had no idea that Asian-Americans in the Western US experienced similar bigotry two decades before the war began. This is an aspect of American history of which I knew virtually nothing. Deanna Klingel, in this novel, explores the general mistrust of all things Japanese that was a hallmark of life in the western states at that time, and one missionary's attempt to foster friendship and peace.
Readers will be intrigued to learn how prevalent the religious influence was in the public schools and public life of our nation in the 1920s. The author leads the reader on a journey into a time period not so distant from our own, but a very different one.
Blue-Eyed Doll is appropriate for middle-school students and up, and would be a fine classroom read-aloud for students in third grade and up. Don't dismiss it as "just for kids," though! Grown-up readers will enjoy it as well; in fact, the author recently read the entire novel to the residents of a nursing home.
Barb Szyszkiewicz is the editor of franciscanmom.com and Cook and Count. This review first appeared on franciscanmom.com and is reproduced here with the author's permission.
- See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/bookreviews/view/children-try-to-overcome-prejudice/17989#sthash.0k6GlvIZ.dpuf


The word “demagogue” is often used to describe the presumptive Republican nominee. It was invented by the ancient Greeks, along with other useful words like “democracy” and “politics”. As Robert Garland suggests below, the most famous Athenian demagogue, Alcibiades, is a kind of gold standard for demagoguery.
The spell he cast over his fellow citizens ended in disaster. First he persuaded them to embark upon a reckless invasion of Sicily in 415BC. And then he deserted to the enemy. Thanks to intelligence and strategic advice the huge Athenian army was annihilated. The career and character of Alcibiades are enough to make one deeply suspicious of demagogues, ancient or modern.
What we know about Alcibiades comes mostly from the History of the Peloponnesian War, a book which I cannot recommend too highly. This imperishable classic tells you all that you will ever need to know about politics and warfare, including the lesson that a nation led by a demagogue marches to destruction. 

Michael Cook 

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Athenian scallywag Alcibiades would have given the presumptive Republican nominee a run for his money
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Children try to overcome prejudice
Barb Szyszkiewicz | READING MATTERS | 5 May 2016
A story about a unique cultural exchange.
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