Arlene Hirschfelder's passion for writing nonfiction traces back to her childhood in Chicago. She grew up in a house surrounded by thousands of history books and a family where reading and writing seemed just about as important as breathing and eating!
Ever since she penned her Master's thesis (about the treatment of Native Americans in high school history texts) at the University of Chicago, she has authored over 25 nonfiction books and numerous curricula dealing with American history and contemporary social issues.
She likes visiting upper elementary, middle, and high schools in the Northeast. In addition, she visits colleges, and also gives conference presentations, workshops for teachers and librarians, and consults with publishers, film makers, museums, and parent groups.
Hirschfelder (Rising Voices) and Chippewa Tribe member Molin (American Indian
Themes in YA Literature) compiled this book of data and recommended resources to
dispel lingering misconceptions about Native peoples. Divided into 24 chapters
and seven thematic segments, the book explores Native cultures via discussions
of history, tribal issues, creative expression, and sports. Chapters are made up
of time lines, statistical information, and recommended book and film titles,
ostensibly ranked by significance. Sidebars highlight important concepts,
defining quotations and providing other notable data. VERDICT For curious lay
readers and seasoned researchers, this book offers a valuable springboard to
additional reliable research leads. (Library Journal )
In 1977 the Book of Lists was published, spent more than half a year on the best-seller lists, and spawned countless spin-offs of the title. As a group, these are quirky and interesting compendiums of sometimes wildly disparate information. The content and the format just beg to be dipped into as well as to be used for substantive research. The Extraordinary Book of Native American Lists is the first to be devoted solely to Native American information and endeavors to give this style of coverage to its wide range of topics. The authors are well credentialed in this subject area and are appropriate for such a task. There are seven parts, somewhat divided by theme, that cover history, government, environment, military service, education, arts, and sports, each divided into several sections. The sections begin with a time line of the topic covered; lists of books, awards, and films appear in most of the sections; and each ends with a bibliography. The varied lists cover such topics as sacred sites, code talkers, films with Native American languages, foods, and Native traditional technologies. Scattered throughout are information boxes that further define specific items of interest, such as oral tradition, the Quileute Nation and the Twilight saga, and Sitting Bull in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. There is a general index at the end of the book....This is an essential purchase for libraries with a major interest in the subject area.(Booklist )
Building on the tradition launched in 1977 by The Book of Lists Hirschfelder and Molin provide information on tribal nations, histories, and cultures in the US. The lists are gathered in 24 chapters on such themes as stereotypes and myths, Native American religions, native languages, film, and urban life. A small sampling of the lists themselves turns up the chronology of the Washington Redskins 1992-2010, selected federal legislation affecting native lands 1887-2004, and organizations dealing with Native American foods.(Book News, Inc. )
Author/editor Hirschfelder, Chippewa tribe member/author Molin, and Yvonne Wakim Dennis (who contributed a chapter) describe this work as the first book of lists to focus on the histories and cultures of Native American peoples. This volume's many eclectic lists appear in 24 chapters with titles including "History," "State-Tribal Relations," "Visual Arts," "Native Lands and Environmental Issues," and "Native Hawaiians." In addition to lists, each chapter includes a chronology and numerous sidebars with interesting snippets of information....Despite its limitations, it does conveniently collect numerous pieces of information that would be impossible to locate in most other reference works on Native Americans. Summing Up: Recommended. (CHOICE )
This outstanding resource provides a powerful contradiction to the preponderance of published non-Native cultural voices that have reinforced stereotypes and eclipsed the truths about Native American peoples. The Extraordinary Book of Native American Lists demonstrates the tremendous scope of available resources for all educators and schools—and students—fully supporting Montana's constitutional mandate that our young people will learn historically accurate and culturally authentic information about Native Americans.
(Dorothea M. Susag, author of Roots and Branches: A Resource of Native American Themes, Lessons, and Bibliographies; Curriculum Specialist for Montana's Office of Public Instruction Indian Education Department )
Hands-on activities, games, and crafts introduce children to the diversity of Native American cultures and teach them about the people, experiences, and events that have helped shape America, past and present. Nine geographical areas cover a variety of communities like the Mohawk in the Northeast, Ojibway in the Midwest, Shoshone in the Great Basin, Apache in the Southwest, Yupik in Alaska, and Native Hawaiians, among others. Lives of historical and contemporary notable individuals like Chief Joseph and Maria Tallchief are featured, and the book is packed with a variety of topics like first encounters with Europeans, Indian removal, Mohawk sky walkers, and Navajo code talkers. Readers travel Native America through activities that highlight the arts, games, food, clothing, and unique celebrations, language, and life ways of various nations. Kids can make Haudensaunee corn husk dolls, play Washoe stone jacks, design Inupiat sun goggles, or create a Hawaiian Ma’o-hauhele bag. A time line, glossary, and recommendations for Web sites, books, movies, and museums round out this multicultural guide.
"A top-notch resource for classrom use or independent study" -- School Library Journal
"A wealth of information and activities for classroom teachers or parents creating a home learning program." —Kirkus Reviews
Children of the U.S.A. celebrates the lives of children in 51 cities (one city in each state, together with the nation's capital). Vibrant photographs from hundreds of local communities showcase the kaleidoscope of ethnic, cultural, geographic, and religious backgrounds that shape the lives of kids. The photos and facts feature common activities and interests, as well as varied foods, languages, entertainment, sports, and other examples of daily life throughout the country. Find out how children of Clarksdale, Mississippi came down with the blues, and leam how to knuckle-hop from kids in Barrow, Alaska. In mile-high Denver, some kids leam to ski almost as soon as they can walk, and in Charleston, South Carolina, kids discover how to grow rice in marshes as they chow down on crayfish.
Children's Book Awards-Gold Medalist in Multicultural Non-Fiction
Bank Street College The Best Children’s Books of 2008
From Booklist Celebrating connections and differences in America today, this photo-essay, published with the cooperation of the Global Fund for Children, combines lots of color photos of smiling young people with a clear, informative text, boxed quotes, and quick facts about American children in 51 communities across the country. Arranged alphabetically by state, the text and pictures show locals having fun eating, attending festivals, playing sports, and much more. The kids range from Inupiat living in Barrow, Alaska, and Irish, Italians, and Portugese in Boston, Massachusetts, to Muslims in Louisville, Kentucky, and Hmong in Providence, Rhode Island. The bibliography includes a list of Web sites and resources for both children and adults who want more. Kids may not be able to find their own community, but they'll discover plenty that seems familiar.
From SWON Libraries- Engaging photographs from a variety of photographers highlight this photoessay which features one city or town in each of the fifty states. The narrative included with each state showcases the town's personality, emphasizing the multicultural aspects, however small, though sometimes it seems this may not be a fair characterization of the area. Not so savory past events are not shied away from, especially if they deal with civil rights and unfair treatment of minorities. Overall, it is a worthwhile title that students will pour over and may even leam something new about their state!
American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children: A Reader and Bibliography. by Arlene Hirschfelder, Paulette Fairbanks Molin, and Yvonne Wakim. Hardcover: 384 pages ; Publisher: Scarecrow Press; ; 2nd Edition edition (July 28, 1999) (First Edition: Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1982)
Wordcraft Circle Reference Book of 1999
VOYA's "Five Foot Bookshelf'. 2000
The second edition of "American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children" "has been put together to try and shock adults into realizing that the world of contemporary American infants and young children is saturated with inappropriate images of Indians." This packed edition incorporates new writings and recent developments, such as a chronology documenting changes associated with the mascot issue. The book includes an essay by Dr. Cornell Pewewardy on Disney's recent Pocahontas film along with information on state legislation.Other new material incorporates powerful commentary by Native American veterans, who speak to the issue of stereotyping against their people in the military. Also featured is a previously unpublished essay on Thanksgiving, authored by the late Kathy Kerner. Finally, the annotated bibliography is expanded with the entries.
From VOYA This volume presents a collection of challenging articles detailing uses and abuses of Native American symbols, images, ideas, and stories that are directed at youth in the mass media. Toys, cartoons, textbooks, general reading, media portrayals, sports logos, nicknames, and more are discussed in standalone articles. Continually faced with stereotypes and offensive portrayals, Native children have difficulties developing strong, positive self-images. Chilling accounts given by children show just how important this issue is, emphasizing that we is not possible to start teaching too early. Topics addressed include the use of offensive terms in alphabet books, the depiction of animals dressed in Native costumes, and poorly planned class assignments. In updating the earlier edition, this work adds information that is more recent as well as a wealth of article, book, and Web site bibliographical references. Every time librarians purchase materials for their collections that have negative or inaccurate representations of Native Americans, more youth are endangered. The recent debates about Rinaldi's My Heart Is on the Ground (Scholastic, 1999/VOYA October 1999) show how important these issues are for readers of all ages today. Through these articles, librarians and teachers can better understand what is offensive and how to avoid perpetuating hurtful stereotypes and images with all children. This important title should be required reading for librarians, especially those in collection development, as well as educators.
Encyclopedia of Native American Religions: An Introduction by Arlene B. Hirschfelder, Paulette Fairbanks Molin, Paperback: 400 pages ; Publisher: Checkmark Books; (September 2001)
New York Public Library Outstanding Reference Book (1992)
Pennsylvania School Librarians Not-Ready-for-Newbery
Recommended Reference Title (2000)
Quality Paperback Club and Book of the Month Club (2002)
Long regarded as quaint curiosities or exotic pagan rites, the religious practices of Native Americans make up a rich, enduring legacy deserving of a place among the great spiritual traditions. The volume features a foreword written by Walter R. Echo-Hawk, a senior staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, whose legal experience includes cases involving religious freedom and reburial rights. This volume is available in paperback for the first time. Featuring more than 1,200 cross-referenced entries, this encyclopedia is a fascinating guide to the spiritual traditions of Native Americans in the United States and Canada, including coverage of beliefs about the afterlife, symbolism, creation myths, and vision quests; important ceremonies and dances; prominent American Indian religious figures; and events, legislation, and tribal court cases that have shaped the development of Native American religions.
From Booklist In the foreword to this revised edition of a standard encyclopedia, Walter R. Echo-Hawk writes, "For Native peoples, cultural survival depends on the traditional religions that have been the glue holding Indian tribes and Native communities together in the face of great adversities over the centuries." According to the preface, the goal of the volume is to address "the lack of reliable information about Native American religion in conventional reference books about religion in North America."
Entries, which are easy to read and informative, cover spiritual traditions of Native peoples, consequences of contact with the Europeans, biographies of Native American religious practitioners, biographies of missionaries, descriptions of important ceremonies, and other topics. Arrangement is alphabetical, but content is indexed by various categories in the subject index; for example, "Ceremonies by Tribe and Religion," "Court Cases" (new to this revision), "Native American Religious Leaders by Tribe," and "Sacred Sites."
Although a number of books have been published in the last few years pertaining to various aspects of Native American religious traditions, including Encyclopedia of Native American Shamanism and Native American Religious Identity, none has this volume's broad usefulness. The revised version is similar to the 1992 edition in many respects; however, it gains in the coverage of the various court cases aimed at saving or reclaiming Native tribal lands and protection of Native sacred sites. In addition, the extensive bibliography has been updated.
This reasonably priced volume is recommended for public-library, school, and undergraduate reference collections. Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved
From Book News, Inc. A reference for the general reader with some 1,200 alphabetical entries that describe traditional beliefs and practices, the consequences of contact with Europeans and other Americans, and the forms Native American religions take today. The encyclopedia's broad scope covers major religious systems, selected Native American religious leaders and missionaries, well-documented ceremonies, and legislation and court cases affecting Native American religious belief. Includes b&w illustrations. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Children of Native America Today by Yvonne Wakim Dennis, Arlene B. Hirschfelder Reading level: Ages 9-12 Edition: School & Library Binding 64 pages ; Publisher: Charlesbridge/Shakti for Children ; (March 2003)
CCBC Choices 2004
Notable Book for a Global Society/IRA
Children of Native America Today invites readers to explore Native nations, focusing on the children who live, learn, and play in tribal communities throughout the United States. Stunning photographs capture the rich variety of Native American cultures such as Choctaw, Cherokee, Lakota, Nez Perce, Pueblo, Lummi, and many more. Includes a map and list of resources for further study. With a foreword by singer/activist Buffy Sainte-Marie.
From Booklist March 1, 2003: This photo-essay features 25 of the more than 500 native cultures of the U.S. as well as a section on urban Indians. In this "book of few words and many pictures," the clear, captioned photographs speak eloquently of contemporary Native Americans young people. Some show Indian kids in traditional clothing while others picture them in T-shirts and sandals. Some shots feature lacrosse teams and canoeing; others show Indian children playing golf and videotaping. Each group is introduced in a two-page spread that includes pronunciation and a brief, but lively, narrative covering major businesses and interesting cultural tidbits. A quick facts section notes locations of reservations and communities, total population, prominent people "to learn about," and tribes. A map, an extensive list of resources, and a glossary add valuable information and access. This updates Arlene Hirschfelder's Happily May I Walk (1986) but is for younger students. An excellent resource for multicultural studies, this handsome album will also attract browsers - Linda Perkins"
From Kirkus Reviews. A well thought-out, neatly executed, and extremely attractive volume that strives to fulfill the promise of its title. There are more than 500 Native American cultures: on two-page profiles arranged geographically, the authors focus on about 26 groups from the Haudenosaunee (The Six Iroquois Nations) of New York to the Inupiat of Alaska. Striking color photos of children in both traditional and contemporary activities adorn each, along with a fact box giving population, communities, and people of note. A map of the US locates them across the country. The authors strive to give their young readers the sense of the struggle to preserve traditional cultures and values alongside a very contemporary life with activities every child will recognize. They do it in a lively style, too, full of rhetorical "did you know?" queries, a sprinkling of exclamation points, and bits about the code talkers and skywalkers. Information is sometimes fascinating, or even touching-state senator Bill Yellowtail asked for his Crow clan's counsel before he ran for office. Supai, in Arizona, can only get mail via pack-mule train. There's even a page for Native people living in cities; after all, New York City, has the largest Native American population in the country. An invaluable and attractive resource, particularly for younger children. (resources for further study, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-11)
Kick Butts!: A Kid's Action Guide to a Tobacco-Free America by Arlene B. Hirschfelder Textbook Binding: 160 pages ; Publisher: Scarecrow Press; ; (July 2001) (Julian Messner, 1998)
VOYA Nonfiction Honor List 1999
Every day, more than 3,000 young people smoke their first cigarette. Of those young people, 23 will be murdered, 30 will die in traffic-related accidents, and 750 will die from tobacco-related diseases. These are the grim facts that Hirschfelder lays out in this hard-hitting book. Since the original publisher ceased business a year ago, this important anti-tobacco resource has been lost in a cloud of smoke, but Scarecrow Press is pleased to announce that this immensely popular guide is available again, so that every school, every library, every guidance office--anywhere teens will be able to find it--can obtain a copy. Reasonably priced, heavily illustrated, and packed with information, this award-winning guide covers the history of tobacco use in America from the 1870s to the present, so that young people can understand how such a dangerous habit became so popular. The second half of the book focuses on how individuals can remain tobacco-free and how they can join the larger fight against smoking. Important supplemental stories provide accounts of ways young people have made a difference on local and national levels. An intelligent, well-written and high-impact book, recommended for all libraries, schools or agencies serving young people.
Houston Chronicle, May 10, 1998 Kick Butts! is a valuable tool in helping young readers sort through the issues that are literally matters of life and death for them....a hard-hitting volume firmly grounded in the history of how tobacco is inextricably linked to the key events of our country's evolution... In addition to introducing them to the history of the tobacco wars outlined here...the book provides factual information about tobacco and smoking, and perhaps most valuable of all, a catalog of action projects undertaken by young people to battle smoking through the arts, political action, conferences, and a dozen other approaches. An extensive bibliography and resource guide add to the book's usefulness for young readers and the adults who can support them in these efforts. The information in Kick Butts! is presented with a keen awareness of what is likely to attract young readers and hold the interest of its audience, right down to the catchy title. Many pages contain engaging sidebars highlighting facts and incidents that reinforce the main text.
Booklist 6/1/98 Without stooping to anger, sarcasm, or shrillness Hirschfelder delineates, decade by decade, the history of smoking in the U.S., following with examples of steps taken by young antismoking activists to achieve a smoke-free society. her lively account moves from the invention of the cigarette-rolling machine to the distribution of free cigarettes to soldiers in the two world wars to the increasing evidence of connections between smoking and disease, including information that has appeared as recently as 1996. Chemicals found in cigarettes are described in one of two appendixes, with the second containing a list of videos and a thorough list of organizations where further information can be obtained. With an eye-catching design, the book will be a good choice for both children's and young adult collections.
Native Americans: A History in Pictures by Arlene B. Hirschfelder, Beverly Wright Hardcover: 192 pages ; Publisher: DK Publishing; London, England: 1st edition (May 1, 2000)
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age (2001)
translated into five languages
The history of Native Americans, their conflicts and struggles, their spiritual life and adaptations to contemporary America, is presented through photography and written text. Incorporating a vast collection of archival photographs with deeply researched text, the traditions, history, and current lives of the American Indians are presented in Dorling Kindersley's unique style. The photographs are interwoven with chronological details, eyewitness accounts, and side-bar references to provide in-depth understanding of events. Wars of resistance and conquest are described, and maps are presented to show the forced marches of tribes.
From VOYA In a balanced and beautifully illustrated narrative, Hirschfelder, a specialist on the Native American, offers readers an account from prehistory to the present day. The story of the Native American is a bitter and tragic saga of treaties, promises, and broken dreams. Avoiding stereotypes and sensationalism, the author stresses the terrible impact of a conquering culture upon indigenous peoples. Pre-Columbian North Americans were a diverse collection of heterogeneous people who recognized cultural diversity and were generally peaceful. Initially native peoples welcomed Europeans as guests and trading partners, but their guests brought disease, weapons, alcohol, and an unceasing hunger for land. Epidemics, starvation, and war decimated the Native American population. Government treaties and policies of relocation further reduced and impoverished Native peoples. Not until the 1960s, through the "Red Power" movement and more enlightened government policies, did American Indians begin to achieve a degree of self-determination. The attractive design and layout of this volume are typical of this publisher's productions. With plenty of white space and well-chosen illustrations, the book will be especially appealing to browsers, but students will also find useful information for research projects. The further information section provides a list of recent print sources as well as Native American organizations and Web sites. Public and school libraries will want to add this reasonably priced volume to their collections. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Charts. Biblio. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). Reviewer: Jamie Hansen October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)
From Library Journal In this profusely and creatively illustrated book, Hirschfelder, an award-winning author (Happily May I Walk: American Indians and Alaskan Natives Today) who was formerly with the Association for American Indian Affairs, responds to the insatiable demand for depictions of Indians and their ways of life. Text sections, arranged in a loose chronological order, include "A Conflict of Cultures," "Dispossession and Loss," "War Against Native Peoples," and "Resurgence and Renewal." Each section features vignettes from the history of Indian-white relations--the massacre at Sand Creek, for example--and illustrations and photographs that help tell the story. In "Native Voice" sections, readers are exposed to the thoughts of historical and contemporary Native American leaders as expressed in their speeches or writings. There is a great deal of information packed in these heavily illustrated pages, but not a lot of attention is paid to any single subject. An indifferent index fails to include much of the information found in picture captions. The book is best for browsers of Native American history. Recommended for general collections.--Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., Bronx, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Photo Odyssey: Solomon Carvalho's Remarkable Western Adventure 1853-54 by Arlene B. Hirschfelder (Author), Hardcover: 128 pages ; Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co; ; (June 2, 2000)
Assn. of Jewish Libraries Notable Children's Book of Jewish Content(2000)
CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2001
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age (2001 )
Pennsylvania School Librarians Not-Ready-for-Newbery Annual Young Adult
Top Forty Nonfiction Titles 2000
In 1853 explorer Colonel John Charles Frmont invited photographer and fine artist Solomon Nunes Carvalho to accompany his fifth, and final, western expedition. As the official photographer, Carvalho documented the trip from the Mississippi River to Utah with daguerreotypes--a unique and often unwieldy form of photography that produces images on large silver plates. Carvalho was a skilled photographer, but he was a novice on the trail and he battled with the hardships of the journey. He not only was challenged by the physical strain but, as an observant Jew, struggled to maintain his commitment to Judaism, even when observing strict dietary laws meant that he did not eat. Carvalho's own words, from the journal he kept and from letters he wrote home to his wife, provide a vivid firsthand view of his remarkable adventure. With many apt excerpts from his descriptions, author Arlene Hirschfelder has written a detailed account of the life of this little-known, yet widely accomplished, man. EXPEDITION ROSTER, MAP, INDEX.
Rising Voices: Writings of Young Native Americans by Arlene B. Hirschfelder, Beverly R. Singer (Editors), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992. Paperbacks: Ballantine Ivy Books, 1993; Silver Burdett & Ginn, 1995; Japanese translation 1997.Mass Market Paperback: ; Publisher: Ivy Books; Reprint edition (August 1993)
Anti-Defamation League/Barnes & Noble "Close the Book on Hate"
Boston Globe's Choices for the 25 Best in Children's Non fiction (1992)
International Reading Assn. "Children's Choice" and "Teachers' Choice" (1993)
NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in Field of Social Studies (1992)
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age (1992)
White Raven Book Award( 1993), international Youth Library, Munich
Translated into Japanese
An astonishing collection of poems and essays written by young contemporary Native Americans. Words of protest against prejudice and oppression, poems of estrangement and pain, cries for lost worlds and lost identities -- but also songs of celebration and joy for the future.
From Kirkus Reviews From Maine to the Aleutians but largely from the West and Southwest; from the 19th century to the present, with a preponderance from the 60's and 70's; from young people whose white schooling estranged them from their tribes to those who view their heritage with pride--these 62 poems and essays testify eloquently to the richness, sorrows, and deep ambivalence of being Native American. The editors (Singer grew up in Santa Clara Pueblo) provide informative introductions to sections on ``Identity,'' ``Family,'' ``Homelands,'' ``Ritual and Ceremony,'' ``Education,'' and ``Harsh Realities''--e.g., a succinct summary of the sorry history of obligatory white-run schools; information on each author and the circumstances of the writing are also included. Always honest and heartfelt; expressing a variety of strong emotions with subtlety, simplicity, or irony but always with intelligence and conviction: pieces that present a compelling image of young people undaunted by their bitter history. Notably memorable source material. (Nonfiction. 12+) -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
From Publishers Weekly A collection of poems and essays by young contemporary native American writers reflect their community's feelings of alienation, pain, joy, and celebration. Reprint. K. PW.
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