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“BETWEEN TWO WORLDS – A Multicultural and Multilingual Anthology” by Alan Hidalgo


BOOK REVIEW:

The only path to the future is through our young people. If we want a future in which culture will be a unifying force of positive energy rather than a politically charged and divisive phenomenon, then logically, teaching young people today will bring a healthier and more civil tomorrow.  How, then, are they to be effectively reached when attempting to create a natural expertise in the increasingly complex global pluralistic and multicultural realities?

Young people seldom thrill at the prospect of a lecture. Workshops are an even greater eye-glazing yawn fest for the prisoners of the traditional classroom. Their reactions can range from foreheads on the desktop to head-back open-mouthed snoring in the school auditorium.

In sharp contrast, good storytelling can be compelling.  For children and young adults, good storytelling has been the basis for teaching life’s lessons for millenniums. How can instructors intelligently broach topics of bias, discrimination, privilege, diversity, inclusion, sexism, racism, bullying and more, but in a sensitive way that opens hearts and minds rather than intensifying defensiveness and conflict?

What better way than storytelling to package crucial dialog on multiculturalism, from managing the intricacies of one’s own culture(s), to the tumultuous tectonics of intercultural relations that permeate and our global society!

Enter Alan Hidalgo’s “Between Two Worlds,” an anthology that takes young people to where they live…or where they will live, in a dynamic environment brimming with discrete but interwoven and overlapping cultures, with a cast of infinitely unique people, personalities and perspectives. Skillful education professionals can use the accompanying workbook and teaching materials to draw students into the dialectic of diversity and create robust learning experiences by which students can navigate and deconstruct their own often confusing and sometimes frustrating intercultural experiences.

The collection of ten novels explores a gamut of realistic scenarios as it follows a rich array of fictional but well developed characters most students will be able to identify with, relate to or even recognize in their own life’s experience. The range of settings for the stories, from homes and schools to old neighborhoods to new countries, provides a platform for diagnosing both what goes marvelously right and horribly wrong in each of the ten highly readable novels.

Within the collection, a world of diversity comes to life, from Miranda Frondizi, a stunning bronze beauty born in Buenos Aires, tall blonde possessing an alluring figure and  a smile that gushed with confidence, to Mike Nathan, tagged by his peers as ‘the “Jolly White Giant,” intelligent, gifted, handsome, an upstart freshman with a gift of athleticism, to the stocky Coach More, a proud, heroic Marine who ran his practices like a boot camp, games as war battles, treating high school football as a metaphor for life, or Congressman Walter Cane, the son of racially dissimilar parents, a disabled veteran who owed his life to Coach More…and many, many more.

This work provides a culturally encompassing literary vehicle that brings to life a morphology and syntax of multicultural interaction in a way that young people can embrace and absorb. Not only that, the teaching methodology can provide a deeper learning experience by developing a familiarity with contextual meaning of terms they’ll eventually find in more advanced discussions of diversity and inclusiveness matters.

I highly recommend the book to parents, teachers and youth group/program operators seeking ways to teach and mentor young people to cultural competence in the challenging area of multiculturalism.

Teachers looking for classroom resources will find the abundant materials in thisunique anthology (along with the Student Workbook and Instructor Manual) thoughtfully designed for providing young people with profound insight into human behaviors that broadens their world views. Importantly, the material provides a cornucopia for meaningful classroom dialog, and aims to provide instructors with myriad ways to “openly and objectively perceive both the beauty and the ugliness found in all nationalities.”

 

“Each of the ten novels contains an intriguing plot that brings the reader face-to-face with a diverse collection of fictional characters as they search for identity, honesty, and courage amidst a world often characterized by confusion, deceit, and fear.”

Hidalgo BTW

QUICKLINK:  http://tinyurl.com/JonesReview-Hidalgo

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To obtain these materials or get more information about obtaining facilitated Hidalgo curriculum learning sessions for your professors, teachers, students or clients, CONTACT US.

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