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School Library Journal11/01/2013
Gr 8 Up—These books are well written, well researched, and engaging. Reluctant readers will be drawn in by the snappy, funny sidebars and clear photos, which are gorgeous and, at times, gory. Some students will be intrigued and others will be repulsed by images of flesh-eating diseases. The authors take a largely nonjudgmental tone as they describe the reasons teens and adults permanently alter their bodies. This series is nothing if not surprising and refreshing, with each page packed with information that teens will want to repeat and share. For example, naval piercing became fashionable "as the bikini culture took root in the 1950s." Health discourages teens from body modification more than the others in the series, but it also makes an argument for the mental-health benefits some experience from body modification. Crammed with facts, anecdotes, and research studies, all of which are referenced, this set explores the complexity of a topic that might seem narrow at first glance.