This new series of exercise and wellness books for young women does provide an introduction to fitness topics that are of interest to many youth despite the failing of not always maintaining a tone or voice appropriate to the intended audience. Soo-Warr's book on self-defense for women provides a solid introduction to basic self defense techniques and methods, but misses the mark with some of the real-world application. For example, teens are probably more likely to need advice on dealing with aggressive peers in their classes than on fending off unwanted advances in the workplace. Despite the carefully arranged step-by-step photographs, it still seems to be a skill that is perhaps easier to learn in a classroom setting rather than via reading material. The books in this series, which also includes titles on pilates and yoga, are thoroughly illustrated with well-done instructional photographs and diagrams. The content is readable and clear, with indexes to guide readers to key concepts. Readers who have a strong preference for materials created with a teen audience in mind might find this otherwise unexceptional series useful despite the many other books that can supply the same substance on these topics. Reviewer: Catherine Gilmore-Clough
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–These experts, who are as adept at conveying the fundamentals as they are in their respective specializations, deliver the step-by-step instructions one would expect from a manual. The books have bindings that are practical for libraries but that will be potentially frustrating for readers when they try to keep the pages open to learn a particular movement or position. Some writers give overviews of different practices, schools of thought, and philosophical origins. Other times, a whole page will be used to demonstrate a move or topic. Since these are guides for young women, it is disconcerting that not all the featured participants are female, though the information is still sound and easy to follow. Empowering enough to instill confidence that readers could walk into their first class with a solid knowledge base, the guides are appropriate for both beginners and for aficionados who need reference sources.