Children's Literature - Pat TrattlesIs mankind naturally violent? Do drugs and alcohol cause violence? Should we ban guns? Are violent video games and rap song lyrics responsible for an increase in violence? Can we end the violence? This book tackles these issues and many more as it examines violence around the world. Part of the "Voices" series from Smart Apple Media, it does not pretend to provide answers to the violence dilemma. Rather it presents all sides of the issue in order to stimulate debate and discussion. What makes it stand out from other books on the same topic is its heavy reliance on first person accounts from experts in the field as well as those directly affected by violence around the world; such as Terrell, a high school student from Massachusetts who is confined to a wheelchair after being shot by a gang member, or the boy from South Asia who was tied to a tree and beaten by his father. In addition to statistics, charts, graphs, photographs, and short, information packed text, it includes a timeline, glossary, comprehensive index, suggested books, and websites for further reading. Aimed at students in grade seven and above, this volume will be a welcome addition to school and library shelves everywhere. Reviewer: Pat Trattles
School Library JournalGr 7-9–The chapter spreads in these volumes each pose an open-ended question. For example, in Hunger, topics range from “Can We Feed the World?” to “Can Charities Make a Real Difference?” The sharing of first-person perspectives makes these volumes good choices for classroom supplements, and their many color photographs will draw in browsers. However, the books’ hyperkinetic design, in which multiple typefaces and little white space lead to a cluttered look, mutes their impact. Except where the quotes come from previously published sources, they are unattributed beyond the names of the speakers, their ages, and their locations. Still, this series is a worthwhile resource, especially for students seeking a more immediate sense of current-event topics.
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