The author's premise is that by learning how to reason properly, it is possible for teenagers to make healthy lifestyle choices. Teens must learn how to make decisions about such life-threatening behaviors as smoking, using drugs and having unprotected sex, as well as health-altering behaviors like choosing a proper diet and getting enough exercise. Reasoning skills include critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making. The skills fall under chapter headings like "Becoming Confident," "What's True: Looking at Health Products and Services," and "Advertising and Decision Making." The overall concept is interesting, but the execution is poor. While there is some sound advice offered, it can be difficult to find in the hodgepodge of each chapter, and each chapter is organized differently. In an attempt at a chatty writing style that will appeal to teens, the author makes grammatical errors and uses awkward phrases. It is questionable whether a teenager would even be tempted to open the book after seeing the cover photo that shows a nerdy-looking boy gazing at a cube he is holding aloft. The book is part of "Life Skills" series. 2001, LifeMatters/Capstone Press, $22.60. Ages 12 to 16. Reviewer: Ellen Butts
School Library Journal
Gr 8-10-Slim series titles that address skills teens need to develop to lead successful lives. Both books present a concept, provide definitions, and pose some questions. Short tests on such topics as "Am I a Critical Thinker?" and "How Ethical Am I?" are also included. Creative Problem Solving addresses making informed decisions about health products and services. In one example, a couple tries to decide on the best method of birth control using a chart to compare costs, effectiveness rates, etc. In the second book, ethical dilemmas, professional ethics, ethical courage, and decision making are considered. In both titles, full-color photos, colorfully framed tests, and sidebars shaded in purple aid in creating attractive layouts. However, the author has an annoying tendency to jump back and forth from a third- to second-person narration. While the books seem intended for older teens, the textbook format, preachy style, and simplistic language will not appeal to them, and some of the vignettes seem totally unrealistic.-Sheilah Kosco, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.