Gr 7 Up-Despite the overly ambitious titles, these two books offer solid, if general, overviews of difficult subjects. Positive, practical advice and encouragement characterize both the writing style and the information offered. Self-Confidence concentrates on the power of positive thinking, and interestingly serves as complementary companion to the second book, as many of the same principles appear in both. Ignoffo traces the thought patterns that contribute to low self-esteem and outlines a plan using deliberately positive self-talk to break through destructive cycles and develop confidence. Julie Tallard Johnson's Celebrate You! (Lerner, 1990) covers much of the same ground with greater depth and incorporates some side issues such as spirituality and trouble families. Living with Your Baby is aimed specifically at teenage parents, whether they are in couples or single fathers or mothers. The advice offered deals more with the interpersonal relationships and working out living arrangements than with infant care and toddler discipline per se. The tone is consistently nonjudgmental; the writing and layout are geared toward reluctant readers. Simpson tries to be positive to such an extent that her text becomes rather rose-colored; while she alludes to conflicts with the teen's parents, the more realistic portrayal only emerges with a jolt in the appended chapter of actual comments from the young parents regarding what they do and do not like about their situation. Herma Silverstein's Teen Guide to Single Parenting (Watts, 1989) presents a more realistic picture and offers a wealth of child-care advice.Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
With the Morning Glory multi-volume Teens Parenting series being really the only other YA targeted source of material about living in a three-generation household, this compact book should be welcome. Simpson does a fine job of identifying key issues for teen parents living "at home" and includes a chapter cautioning young adults to be responsible about their sexual lives. One of the best features of the book is its acknowledgment of teen dads: Simpson encourages them to be a part of their child's life but also to accept, if necessary, the role of a single parent, noting that babies can thrive with a single teen dad, especially one who has the right kind of support himself. Photos are just acceptable, and because Simpson addresses couples and single dads and moms all at once, there's occasionally some narrative awkwardness. There's no doom and gloom about being a parent here, though (even while it's made plain that parenting is no easy task), and Simpson's straightforward, practical suggestions are never compromised by an overabundance of personal stories, as is the case with many books in the Need to Know Library. A solid addition.