VOYA - Alice F. SternAccording to the publisher's Web site, this series "serves the dual purpose of providing students with personal guidance as well as material for research and reference." All series books contain background information about the topic, attempt to clear up myths and misconceptions, include personal narratives, and give advice for avoiding risks. Avian Flu gives context for today's concerns by discussing the nature of a pandemic, historic pandemics, and how a virus works. Similarly Obesity explains how society has viewed weight, the causes of obesity and the health problems faced by overweight people, and how to conquer obesity in one's own life. The further reading and bibliographies in this series will allow the more ambitious student to find primary and more scholarly sources. Assuming that these series entries are typical of the whole, the books are easy to understand and written clearly. They are well and logically organized. Given series' goals, these two titles do an adequate job of being a hybrid of an informative report book as well as a self-help book. The constraints of the format and length as well as the targeted audience leave room for only the most superficial of treatments, but they could serve as a starting point for the average teenage researcher. Other titles cover body piercing and tattooing, HIV and AIDS, and stress among other topics. Price per volume may be a factor in the purchase decision.
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