Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers

Straight Talk about Death for Teenagers

by Earl A. Grollman
     
 
"I thank God for Earl Grollman, and I thank Earl Grollman for this long-overdue book for grieving teenagers. Not only is it a treasure for kids, but it should be read by every school counselor and youth minister in America." —Janice Harris Lord, national director of Victim Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Overview

"I thank God for Earl Grollman, and I thank Earl Grollman for this long-overdue book for grieving teenagers. Not only is it a treasure for kids, but it should be read by every school counselor and youth minister in America." —Janice Harris Lord, national director of Victim Services, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-- The major themes here are that unexpressed grief is damaging, and that the manner of grieving and its length are individual matters. There is also advice on directing rage constructively . In general, Grollman views the rituals established by organized religion as helpful. He writes from a universal perspective, for readers of any affiliation or none, presenting practical coping strategies for everyday life. He encourages teens to face the new reality, to seek out support groups, confide their thoughts to a journal, or go for counselling. Danger signals that indicate a need for professional help are listed. The one source given is the address of the ``National Directory of Children's Support Systems.'' The book contains much wisdom; unfortunately, its style and format impede the message. It is repetitive, making the same point in slightly different ways. Especially annoying is the interpolation of glib, sometimes banal aphorisms into sensitive passages of prose. On each page a few sentences are set against an expanse of white background, making the advice look more like free verse and giving an unfocused, run-on impression. The book concludes with self-help exercises that are entirely out-of-step with what has preceded them. More sophisticated and comprehensive than Elizabeth Richter's Losing Someone You Love (Putnam, 1986), but lacking the social history component of Margaret and Lawrence Hyde's Meeting Death (Walker, 1989), this title has potential, but sadly disappoints. --Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Stephanie Zvirin
A frequent contributor to "USA Today", Grollman is also a prolific author of books designed to help people cope with personal trauma. Here, he validates the painful feelings teenagers experience following the death of a loved one, conveying a sense of the grieving as well as the importance of getting on with life. Although he does approach his subject from an unusual angle now and again (for example, he touches briefly on how the circumstances of a person's death--accident, suicide, AIDS, etc.--color the survivors' feelings), Grollman generally steers clear of deep discussion and personal testimony. That's the strength of his book and also what sets it apart from books such as Krementz's "How It Feels When a Parent Dies" (1981) and Gravelle and Haskins' "Teenagers Face to Face with Bereavement" (1983). Grollman puts his message right up front, delivering it via short bursts of text set out on pages that are left partially blank. While the text itself occasionally verges on the melodramatic ("You feel a dull ache. You are so alone"), the author's sincerity still comes across, and the unusual format makes his supportive remarks very easy to absorb. Grieving kids who find intense explorations of death simply too painful to manage may find that this book, which concludes with an 11-page write-in section, delivers the comfort they seek in manageable terms.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780785719878
Publisher:
Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date:
01/28/1993
Pages:
146
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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