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This six-book set tackles issues that are prevalent in today's society. Each book provides a history of the subject, in detail, before delving into specific controversial areas. The authors were very aware of bias and represented both sides of the subject with specific references to notable resources. There are also several side issues and concerns addressed in each book that directly tie in with the main topic. For instance, while Burlingame presented information regarding prisons versus rehabilitation centers, he also included information regarding centers that hold illegal immigrants. At the end of each book, a timeline is given, as well as notes from each chapter, further information sources, websites (accurate at the time of printing), a bibliography, and an index. This set is a great addition for any resource collection, especially where students debate or have writing assignments or projects dealing with current societal issues. Each book can be purchased individually, or the whole set can be purchased. With the abundance of resources that accompany the actual text, these books are invaluable. (Controversy! Group 3) Reviewer: Valerie Burleigh
- Elizabeth Leis-Newman
The intrinsic problem is publishing a series on controversial topics is they are become outdated quickly. That is largely the main problem here, as the book’s 2012 publication date makes it appear more dated with every passing month. However, for those that need a basic explanation of the controversy involved, as well as historical information, on same-sex marriage, the authors present unbiased and interesting information. Chapters tackle the history of marriage, each major religion’s position, the issue of children, the question of civil rights and the future of same-sex marriage. The authors strive to include different points of view, with Biblical quotes reflecting the views of the Catholic Church and a section on the “slippery slope” argument. An extensive bibliography reflects the research done by the author, and makes it stand out above many non-fiction books for young adults. This text would be helpful to a student writing a report or presentation on the topic of same-sex marriage. Overall, however, it is hard to know whether libraries would best be served by purchasing this book or by helping students find accurate, up-to-the-minute information on court battles. Despite the good intentions of a topic that likely comes up in households or schools, better investments for parents or schools would likely either be non-fiction that focuses on the history of marriage, or fiction books tackling this relevant topic. It is part of the “Controversy” series. Reviewer: Elizabeth Leis-Newman; Ages 13 up.