BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Bea Reviews If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P. Roman & Mateya Arkova

Series: If You Were Me and Lived... 
Publisher: Carole P. Roman 
Source: the author in exchange for an honest review 
Release Date: December 13th, 2016 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Join Carole P. Roman as she travels back in time to visit the exciting Ancient Empire of Mali in Africa during the 1300s. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the past to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land and its rich history through the eyes of a youngster like you. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair time traveler. 

My Thoughts:

I have mixed thoughts on this book. It's much more in depth than other books in this series and gives a good, if glossy, overview of a particular time in Mali's history. But then, we have the author's handling of the topic of slavery, which is atrocious. Some authors would have ignored it entirely in a book aimed at children this young but then Roman totally screwed up in how she handled it. According to her, it was 'needed', 'sad' and 'unfortunate'. Needed? How about 'used' or even 'wanted', though that's problematic also.

Mali needed the slaves to work in the salt and gold mines...Lastly were the unfortunate slaves who were captured to work in the gold and salt mines...It was sad, but slaves were considered a valuable commodity rather than people.

Now I realize that it was likely an accepted practice at that time but seriously? That's the best the author could do? Parents and teachers will need to use this as a starting point for discussing slavery and could even discuss why the author handled it like she did.

So, the content overall was 3.5 to 4 stars but then I have to deduct stars for how she handled slavery, thus 2 stars at best.

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