Sunday, March 04, 2012

Nonfiction Monday-- The Philippines

Nonfiction Monday was started by Anastasia Suen and is hosted this week at 100 Scope Notes. Make sure you hop over there to check out all of the links to nonfiction reviews!


Surly Teen Boy was accepted by Rotary International to be an exchange student and will spend the 2012-2013 school year in the Philippines! He is very excited and has been working on his Rotary research papers, so we've had several books about that country around. He also walked up to Half Price books one day and came home with a book on how to speak Tagalog. All on his own! That is, of course, a big part of what the year is about.

Sheen, Barbara. Foods of the Philippines.
Thomson Gale 2006
Surly Teen Boy is not much interested in food. He subsists mainly on peanut butter sandwiches and eight bananas a day, plus as many chocolate chip cookies as I can make. This book was very helpful in not only explaining what foods are commonly eaten in the Philippines, but in giving recipes that are adapted to cooking in the US. Luckily, STB will eat rice, so he may not starve while he is gone. His mission is to find out whether people actually eat something called "halo halo", which blends ice, macadamia nuts, sweet potato, coconut milk, and many other things into a kind of ice cream dessert. We did try a recipe for chicken adobo, which included, among other things 3/4 C of vinegar and 1/4 C or soy sauce. The fumes! STB bravely ingested a fair amount.


Tope, Lily Rose R. and Detch P. Nonan-Mercado. Cultures of the World: Philippines. Benchmark Books, 1990, 2002
I have weeded out most of my country books, because they become outdated so quickly. The other day, I had a girl whose family is from Ghana come looking for a book to show to a friend about that country. The one I had was from the early 1990s, and the girl said that Ghana didn't look anything like that. This title from the public library is also probably dated. I have an entire set of Gareth Stevens Festivals of the World books from the early 2000s that are probably not really accurate.

Philosophical Rant:
What is the answer to providing information about countries? For statistical data, of course, I tell students to check out the CIA World Factbook. But what about cultures, traditions, and pictures of the landscape? How many books do we need, and when do they become dated? I keep one about Greece from 1985 because it has a picture of the store in the Plaka where I brought my briefcase. It's so hard to tell if the information in these books has ever been accurate. Guess I'll just have to go visit all the countries!

7 comments:

Jody said...

Congratulations to STB! I was a Rotary Exchange student to Australia 25 years ago and it changed my life. He's in for a fantastic adventure.

Medea said...

How exciting! I love Chicken Adobo and Pansit noodles.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Miss Yingling! How awesome that Surly Teenage Boy is spending a year studying in the Philippines! It's good that you're preparing him for the experience by sharing with him all these lovely books. He should try the halo-halo in Chowking and yes, rice would always be a staple in the country. While my family and I now live here in Singapore for the past three years and a half, Philippines is my home country, so do feel free to drop me a line if you have questions about the school, culture, and such. Fats, another member of GatheringBooks has been staying in San Diego for over six years now, I think, but is also originally from the Philippines. :) So do ask away if you have any questions or concerns.

Yellow Brick Reads said...

Sounds like a good excuse for a holiday Ms. Yingling!

Tara said...

Oh I like these titles about other lands. Our library has a subscription to "Faces" magazine which is also a great source for learning about cultures around the world.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

I'm getting hungry just reading about this book! And, I enjoyed reading your post for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday -- I'm off to tell teacher friends about it (I'm a former 7th grade teacher).

Mrs. FB said...

Funny that nearly all your comments are about STB. Great opportunity for him!

I want to talk about the rant, though. I'm in the midst of trying to get these elementary and MS libraries weeded to within a modicum of relevancy, and the countries sections are a misery. Did I tell you I found a Let's Tour Czechoslovakia book in a library the other day??!!

But replacing them is also a misery. First of all, should I even replace? Will they be used? Then, where do I get good ones that won't go out of date right away? Do they need more than the CIA World Factbook info for what they're doing? Why are Culturegrams so expensive? Such a fab source, but out of my price point unless they'll be extensively used. They say throwing money at a problem won't fix it, but I'm telling you, it'll go some ways toward helping these libraries...

OK, off the soapbox now. I feel a little better. Thanks

 
Template: Blog Designs by Sheila | Artwork: 123RF Stock Photos