VOYA - Patti Sylvester Spencer
Iraq, Afghanistan, global warming . . . the world broils with conflict and paradoxes, but often teenage worlds shake and shatter for reasons much closer to home. These two hardbound additions to a digital periodical series seek to address localized turmoil in adolescent lives. Adding to volumes on depression and competition come these two based on resilience and coping with divorce. Both slim books, Bouncing Back and Surviving Divorce, are visually engaging and realistic. Black-and-white photographs, pop-up-style graphics, and textual variety create reader friendliness. Voices of real teens coping in problematic circumstances, documented statistics, and a glossary add to the potential that young readers might actually understand situational complexities and learn ways to better cope. Non-condescending tips, emotion charts, checklists, and suggestions contribute effectiveness. Whether exploring the ways that goal setting, volunteering, and hobbies (physical and mental) can help people manage stress or examining how courts deal with custody issues, the volumes are straightforward and down-to-earth. Although neither breaks into new territory, common-sense approaches are packaged with young teens in mind. The divorce volume seems more substantive, if only because issues involved are more concrete. The series, especially useful in health and wellness courses, is a welcome path toward emotional maturity and self-reflection.
School Library Journal
The image of a bouncing ball is used effectively throughout this book to discuss the concept of resiliency in the context of adjusting to life's problems. Each chapter begins with a short vignette of a teen facing a stressful situation and ends by reminding readers of the story and hypothesizing solutions. There are many positives here: the advice given is psychologically sound, the writing is clear and easy to read, the pages are visually appealing, and photos show teens of both genders and various racial backgrounds. Even with all these pluses, though, there is little substance. The idea of becoming resilient and thus resisting and coping with stress is well explained. However, the solutions are incorporated into simplistic acronyms such as "ICAN," standing for Identifying problems, Coming up with solutions, Analyzing them, and Now picking one and going for it. The usefulness of this self-help book is limited to helping those who face small crises, or slightly disorganized lives and are motivated to change. For those with more serious issues, the solutions offered here are too pat.
Wendy Smith-D'ArezzoCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.