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North Vancouver, Curriculum Services Centre, North Vancouver School District, c1985. 46pp, paper, mimeographed. $4.00. Distributed by North Vancouver School District. 721 Chesterfield Ave.. North Vancouver, B.C.,V7M 2M5.

Reviewed by P.J. Hammel

Volume 14 Number 3
1986 May

The stated objective of this work is "to encourage and support the selection and/or development of all types of learning resources which reflect cultural and ethnic diversity and which present an accurate view of racial/ethnic groups." It is to be a "comprehensive" bibliography of Canadian materials; "the basis for inclusion of materials was historical background, reasons for emigration, description of traditions and values, and the cultural evolution of the group within Canadian society, including integration problems. For the native peoples. . .only materials dealing with the group's adaptation and its integration into modern Canadian society (were included). A second criterion for inclusion was that the materials be Canadian. Materials from British Columbia were a major focus. . .student oriented materials from kindergarten to grade 12 were of primary consideration." Included are both fiction and non-fiction, and "small format" media, primarily slides and audio tapes.

Of the approximately two hundred items, a major portion (some fifty-six items) are general works dealing with the broad subjects of multiculturalism, immigration, and discrimination, and with a number of specific minority groups. The specific groups most frequently represented are: native peoples (32), Ukranian (11), Japanese (10), Chinese (8), Jews (7), Blacks (6), English (5), Italian (4). Some twenty-five other groups are represented by three or fewer items. In addition, the following related subjects are included: foods (9). genealogy (2), costumes (I), and religions(1). It is interesting to note that in three instances neither the title nor the annotation reveal the specific content of the listed work.

The most appealing aspect of this bibliography is also the most disappointing. It is most appropriate that reading levels be included when dealing with materials for school purposes. One must, however, be concerned with the great number of reading level designations used here. Some forty are used, and the finite nature of these categories is confusing rather than clarifying. For example, one sequence consists of: grades 8, 8-9, 8-10, 8-12, 8 and up. Is it really possible to distinguish between 8 and 8-9, and is there a significant difference between 8-12 and 8 and up. Obviously, some type of standardized designations should have been imposed on the contributors. Ineffective editing must be blamed for the omission of any reading level designation in three instances and the use of the word, "intermediate," also used three times, which, among the great range of numerical categories, becomes totally meaningless.

Arrangement of items is by author, or by title when no author statement is available. Users would certainly have preferred a subject or grade level arrangement.

Another important aspect that (negatively) affects the value of the work is the exclusion of prices. Again, the user of the bibliography who is pressed for funds will find it difficult to decide on choices without further research. To its credit, this work does include some annotations that state that items be considered as first, second, or third choices.

The labour undertaken to prepare this bibliography is as important as the work is timely. It is unfortunate that, for whatever reason, this work was not subjected to thorough editing and proofreading before publication. Inconsistencies in format, inconsistencies in the treatment of series, inconsistencies between reading levels and annotations, and inconsistencies in cross referencing are most annoying. In addition, annotations are marred by fragmentary sentences, confusing statements, and even typographical errors. It is, perhaps, fortunate that teachers and librarians, who urgently need such materials, will welcome this bibliography in spite of its shortcomings.

P.J. Hammel, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Sask.
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