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Children's LiteratureLike other books in the "Kids Talk About" character education series, this one takes the format of an advice column. Frank B. Wize is a thirteen-year-old self-described "advice columnist for kids." He explains, "When I've got a problem, my friends and parents help me. I like to turn around and help out someone else—like you!" The book's format consists of kids' handwritten letters, on notebook paper, followed by Frank's typewritten responses. Each new subject is illustrated with simple, pleasing, bold-colored images resembling contemporary cartoons. Frank tackles questions about the travails of sharing a bedroom with a sibling, studying a foreign language, crabby neighbors, religious sensitivity when celebrating winter holidays, friends from other countries where there is civil strife, and friends who cook strange food when you visit their homes. Though Frank's advice about what to do if you are bored at school led this reader to think he might profit from a lesson in the value of differentiated learning and gifted education classes, the rest of his advice about tolerating others is sensible and gently stated in plain, reassuring language. The letters concern realistic situations kids might face. Elementary and middle school guidance counselors may find this book helpful as a source of supplemental reading for students. 2005, Picture Window Books, Ages 6 to 12.
—J. H. Diehl