Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
This balanced and informative entry in the "Health Zone" series would be a useful addition to either a school or home library. Ideally this book can be a discussion starter between a parent, teacher or guardian and tweens or teenagers. The book covers a range of situations such as bullying in schools (by classmates or teachers), inappropriate touching by family members, internet solicitations and threats in public places (such as attempted abductions). Awareness and avoidance of potentially harmful situations is always the primary strategy, but clear, specific steps are presented for dealing with a number of difficult or dangerous situations. In addition to the obvious values of making readers aware of potential problems and coping strategies, conversations about the subject provide opportunities to expand the child's knowledge of local resources for getting help, or even of spurring pro-active efforts such as bullying awareness programs in school or a neighborhood effort to create a system of "safe houses." Sonya Green, M.D., serves as a consultant to this volume and the author is both a K-12 teacher and active in a self-defense group for women and girls. To its credit, the focus is not exclusively on girls. Pictures and graphics show children of both genders as well as varying ages and ethnicities. The slim book is designed to present information in manageable chunks with lots of visual interest, including photos and graphics, varied size, style and color of text, colored backgrounds for special topics, and numbered lists. Supplemental materials include a quiz, scenarios for discussion, a glossary, selected bibliography, index, photo credits and additional sources of information.Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
As the exclamation point in every title suggests, this series provides more enthusiastic advice than research guidance. Multi-colored pages, chapter headings in varied fonts, cartoons, and review quizzes give the books a look similar to that of magazines. The end result, while readable and relevant, is heavier on style than on content. The use of fictional characters in hypothetical situations paired with obviously posed pictures can at times belie the serious nature of some of the topics. Expect demand for these books to be spurred more by potential reader interest than homework use.