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Winnipeg, School Division #1, n.d.
Distributed by Winnipeg School Division #1, 1577 Wall St. E., Winnipeg, MB, R3E 2S5.
75pp, paper, free.

Grades 4 and up, ESL.
Reviewed by Arne Handley.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

A book like Common Threads is extremely difficult to review. The primary reason is that it is difficult to establish the standards by which one judges it. Do we criticize it as a book and all the standards that that implies or do we criticize it as an effort or class project?

If we judged it as a book, it would fall far short. It is not particularly attractive and is amateur in contents. If, however, we judge it as a class project to "show that broad similarities between cultural groups exist," it stands up well. In fact, it stands up very well.

The line the book follows, in a series of short stories and paragraphs, reflects the lives of the people that make up a common ESL class. It goes from birth, through childhood, adolescence, adult life, and finally ending in death. It tells of their experiences and in that way is extremely well done.

This book has definite uses in the study of different cultures, general English composition, and as a super example of what can be done by a school class if they want.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, as a motivator for others and as a compliment to the new and very welcome Canadians that produced it.

Arne Handley, Alexandra J. H. S., Medicine Hat, AB.
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