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Book Reviews and Other Media
March 2006

Child Abuse and Culture: Working With Diverse Families

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by Lisa Aronson Fontes, 239 pages, $30, ISBN, 1-59385-130-8, New York, NY, The Guilford Press, 2005.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(3):325. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.3.325

After finishing Lisa Aronson Fontes' Child Abuse and Culture: Working With Diverse Families, I found myself rereading The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down,1 Anne Fadiman's story of a Hmong family and the medical, social, and legal systems of central California caring for Lia, a young girl with a severe seizure disorder. The book alternates the perspective of Lia's well-meaning American pediatricians with the perspective of her well-meaning immigrant parents, pulling the reader along the tumbling downhill course of 1 child caught between 2 cultures. In the end, Lia does poorly, her parents are grieving, and her pediatricians are saddened and frustrated by the outcome.

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