Children's Literature - Elizabeth Leis-NewmanLike many other books about drugs, marijuana is well intentioned, but ultimately unlikely to make a difference in the minds of its intended audience. Whether it’s listing some of the slang names for marijuanaweed, grass, wacky tobaccy, and so onor exploring marijuana in pop culture, the text feels dated. While Lindsay Lohan and the recent movie “Pineapple Express” are mentioned, so are the 1970s comedy duo Cheech and Chong, and Louis Armstrong, who was arrested for pot possession in 1930. The most helpful sections for teachers may be the section titled “Pothead,” which accurately explains how marijuana affects the brain, and why it impairs judgment. Also included is a brief section on different laws by state, but the book was published in 2012 so educators may want to flesh out the 2012 legalization of marijuana in Colorado or medical marijuana laws by state. Additionally, it’s worthwhile to explain the effects of drug withdrawal and that support is always available, which is covered in the chapters “Seeking Help” and “Treatment and Recovery.” In all, while librarians may choose to purchase the entire “Dealing with Drugs” series, this particular title from the series is not likely to provide much help to students who want to understand marijuana, or for teachers trying to steer kids away. Reviewer: Elizabeth Leis-Newman; Ages 9 to 12.
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