Children's Literature - Paula McMillenSelf-injury is usually defined as repetitive harmful behaviors, which can include everything from cutting to consuming poisonous substances. Chapters discuss triggers and co-existing problems, highlight and debunk common myths about self-injury, and offer specific strategies for those who want to stop the behaviors, and for those in whom self-injuring youth confide. Among the educational and support resources identified, there is one commercial website and hotline included, although it still provides good information. This volume is part of the "Straight Talk About..." series, which includes the titles Cutting and Self-Injury, Child Abuse, Date Rape, Racism and Prejudice, Suicide, and Teen Pregnancy. All the titles in this series share high quality production (e.g., photographs, reasonable chunks of informational text, interspersed quotes, colored blocks on focused topics, glossary terms in bold) and a common format (i.e., personal vignette followed by an introduction to the topic, content chapters which include coping and help seeking advice, Web-based and hotline resources, a glossary, and an index). The writing level is consistently targeted to the tween and early teen audience, although the topics seem more appropriate to older teens in some cases. The tone of the writing is uniformly non-judgmental, encourages appropriate help-seeking, and affirms individual worth and choice-making. Credibility of the books would have been enhanced by providing a note about the author qualifications (only the name of a consulting psychologist is noted in the tp verso); sources or references for data, statistics and other factual information; and more coherent choices for vocabulary definitions. Occasional typographical/editing errors are distracting. Overall, the accuracy of information and positive approach to dealing with these difficult issues outweigh these concerns, so that school counselors and librarians may want to add these to their collections. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
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