Children's Literature - Lilliam Oliva Collmann
Middle school, a new threshold, can be exhilarating and overwhelming for children. This book aims to prepare them. It considers middle school beginning day one: from what to wear and schedules, to whom do I sit with at lunch? Each chapter tackles concerns an entering middle schooler might be worried about. For example, Chapter 2 focuses on teachers and classes: so many teachers, so many subjects, so little time. It gives useful tips on teacher types and what to expect for each subject. Chapter 3 provides helpful information on technological issues such as computers, search engines, library databases, cell phones, and PDA (personal digital assistants). It alerts children to advantages and disadvantages, and most importantly, advices strongly to follow school policy, but it is not all about work. Chapter 4 addresses extracurricular activities and getting involved. In Chapter 5, the authors thoughtfully discuss the social scene in middle school and provide sensible advice on friends, cliques, crushes, and bullying. The authors dedicate the final chapter to developing a good relationship with one's parents and earning their trust. This book can be useful not only for the middle schooler but for parents and adults who work with children. It introduces many topics which could lead to meaningful discussions between children, parents, and other professionals. Its presentation is light-hearted and accessible, but serious and direct. Its unusual layout with varying fonts, background tones and formatting will be attractive to kids entering middle school. Reviewer: Lilliam Oliva Collmann
Remember what it was like to be a middle or high school student for the first time? The two helpful books reviewed here are designed to assist nervous middle school students and new high school freshmen preparing for the transitions to new school environments. Both include interesting text with clip art, jagged typefaces, various shades of purple and blue, and eye-catching illustrations. New middle school students are given advice about living through the first day of school, handling the changing classroom schedule after being in a single elementary classroom, the benefits of extracurricular activities, making and keeping friends, and how to get along with parents. The book also includes a few quizzes, such as "Discover Your Sports Style," "Do You Make Friends Easily?" and "Are You Ready to Rule at Middle School?" The high school book describes the differences between middle and high school, gives advice for surviving the first days, and responds to typical myths about high school, such as the one that upperclassmen hate freshmen. It also provides practical advice about studying and academics, extracurricular activities, and handling stress. In a section about high school social scenes, students are counseled about dealing with prejudice and harassment from other students. Both books are well organized, and the funky format will keep the interest of even the most reluctant reader. The quizzes are similar to those found in teen magazines. The high school book also will appeal to upperclassmen because it includes useful information about working, planning for after high school, and getting along with peers, teachers, and parents. Parents might appreciate these books if they have teensentering middle or high school. Librarians also can read them to learn about the middle school or high school scene today, and young adult librarians in particular might consult them for planning programs geared for helping future middle and high school students. Illus. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, HarperTrophy, 144p, $7.95 Trade pb. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Sheila B. Anderson SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
This is a fantastic, user-friendly manual for any student about to leave behind the safe walls of elementary school in exchange for the sometimes frightening ones of middle school. From clothing to classes to cliques to crushes, to new peer and parent relationships, the authors take readers on a tour of the issues that concern typical middle school students. The authors speak to the adjustments that students will have to make in their changing and challenging environment and offer to-the-point advice about how to assess situations, make smart decisions and respond to social and academic pressures in a manner that befits students' growing maturity. The authors' overall concern is with building self-esteem and encouraging readers to make choices that reflect their individuality and are self-respecting. The book itself respects its readers. The authors are conversational in tone and use jargon that will be familiar to teens. The design of the book, with its colorful pages, varied type, multiple quizzes and lists, and short sections also engages its readers. This guide should be on any teen's must-read list. 2001, HarperTrophy, $7.95. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer:Michele Gable
Read an Excerpt
Middle School: The Real Deal SNY
You've probably seen them at the mall or at the school carnival, locking so laid-back and cool. They're older...they're more confident...you can It wait for the school year to start so you can f inally be just like them. That's right. At long last you'll be a middle schocler!
Before you enter the hallowed halls of middle school, there's some stuffyou should know. You may think, I've already survived years of teachers and homew ork, so what'st he big deal? But take it from us, middle school is different from grade school. There are the obvious changesno recess, lockers (with locks!), crazy-loud bells, classes that have you running all over the building. And there are the less obvious changesteachers I expectations of you, your friendships, the w ay you deal with your parents, the way you your-self.
It may sound a little scary. But don't worry. This book is hereto help you sort it all out. Before ore you know it, you'll be walking those hose unf amiliar halls wit with ease and confidence.
So are you ready? Time to pack away that Pokemon lunch box and get going to middle school!Middle School: The Real Deal SNY. Copyright (c) by Juliana Farrell . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.