Marijuana (Junior Drug Awareness Series)

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The sleek silver cars of the Amtrak train look like a smashed toy in the photo of the train's collision with a freight train. The engineer of the freight train had marijuana in his system and spent five years in jail for manslaughter. Actor John Belushi began using marijuana the summer after he graduated from high school. Several years later, he was found dead of an overdose of cocaine and heroin. The stories are dramatic and true—painting a grim picture of the potential consequences of using a drug many people think is relatively safe. The authors quote young users and readily acknowledge the appeal of marijuana—"colors were more vivid, music sounded better, food tasted incredible." They are quick to point out its hidden dangers, however—60% of kids who smoke pot before age fifteen move on to cocaine; a brain under the influence of marijuana may lose its ability to process new information and may lose some information forever. Although the typeface and the forward make the book look like a textbook, the main text is easily readable and full of both facts and language that relate to real adolescent questions and problems—"...everyone else seems to be doing it. You don't want them to think you're a nerd by refusing..." The authors discuss the medicinal uses of marijuana and the political controversy over legalizing it, but conclude with ideas and resources for helping readers who suspect they or a friend might have a drug problem. 2000, Chelsea House Publishers, Ages 9 to 15, $19.95. Reviewer: Karen Leggett
From The Critics
This informative, anti-drug-use book is directed at late elementary and middle school youths. The message is clear and easy to understand, particularly for youths of the age the book was intended to reach. The volume does a good job addressing the somewhat controversial question of the use of marijuana in certain medical treatments. Marijuana is identified as a gateway drug that often leads to more serious drug use in later life. The book is particularly well illustrated, which obviously increases its appeal to the intended audience. The poignancy of some of the examples of overuse of drugs, such as the death of John Belushi and the controversial music of Benny Goodman touting the use of marijuana will probably be lost on youths who were not born when these celebrities were alive. Most gratifying is the fact that, even though the message of the book is clear, the authors resist the temptation to exaggerate or invent facts about marijuana to help persuade youth to avoid the drug. I recommend this book highly as a resource for teachers, parents, and social organizations that would like to divert middle school youths from the use of marijuana. (from the Junior Drug Awareness Series.) Highly Recommended, Grades 5-8. REVIEWER: Dr. James A. Saunders (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791051764
  • Publisher: Chelsea House Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Series: Junior Drug Awareness Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.82 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 0.52 (d)

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