An effective, compassionate guide to a subject that needs one.

UNDERSTANDING SUICIDE

A NATIONAL EPIDEMIC

Facts counteract stigma and ignorance in this guide.

Seemingly designed for adults and teenagers to read together, this work offers up dozens of facts and stories about the difficult-to-discuss topic of suicide. Goldsmith efficiently ushers readers through the facts. More than 41,000 Americans take their lives every year, and many more attempt suicide. Teenage girls attempt suicide nearly twice as often as boys, yet teenage boys are four times more likely to actually die due to the different methods used for their attempts. While there are multiple risk factors for suicide, such as depression and/or substance abuse, stressors such as isolation or bullying, and access to lethal means, there are also multiple options to help anyone contemplating suicide: counseling, medication, long-term treatment, and support from family and friends. These options can help anyone suffering from suicidal thoughts, whether teenager, adult, or veteran. While naturally not a page-turner, this work does present an array of important facts and figures, made intimate with personal stories of people who have attempted suicide or been affected by suicide. Frequent boxed inserts provide tangential material without distracting from the overall flow. The inclusion of quotes from several authors for teens is a welcome touch.

An effective, compassionate guide to a subject that needs one. (source notes, glossary, selected bibliography, further resources, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-8570-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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ENDANGERED

From the Ape Quartet series , Vol. 1

Congolese-American Sophie makes a harrowing trek through a war-torn jungle to protect a young bonobo.

On her way to spend the summer at the bonobo sanctuary her mother runs, 14-year-old Sophie rescues a sickly baby bonobo from a trafficker. Though her Congolese mother is not pleased Sophie paid for the ape, she is proud that Sophie works to bond with Otto, the baby. A week before Sophie's to return home to her father in Miami, her mother must take advantage
of a charter flight to relocate some apes, and she leaves Sophie with Otto and the sanctuary workers. War breaks out, and after missing a U.N. flight out, Sophie must hide herself and Otto from violent militants and starving villagers. Unable to take Otto out of the country, she decides finding her mother hundreds of miles to the north is her only choice. Schrefer jumps from his usual teen suspense to craft this well-researched tale of jungle survival set during a fictional conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Realistic characters (ape and human) deal with disturbing situations described in graphic, but never gratuitous detail. The lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers.

Even if some hairbreadth escapes test credulity, this is a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure. (map, author's note, author Q&A) (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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UNLOCKED

School violence revisited. In Todd Strasser’s Give a Boy a Gun (2000), the school-violence story was raw and powerful. Ron Koertge’s verse treatment, The Brimstone Journals (2001), kept the story innovative and fresh. Over 10 years later, Van Cleave’s debut novel in verse is a didactic rehashing with uninspiring poetry. Andy has already been bullied for the last six years, but his situation grows worse when he starts his freshman year at the same high school where his father works as a janitor. Noticing other losers, like “equal / opportunity / angry” Sue and bookworm Nicholas, the teen turns his attention to Blake, who has undergone a metamorphosis since losing his soldier dad in the Iraqi war. As rumors about STDs, alcohol and sexual orientation travel the corridors, nothing garners as much attention as the rumor that Blake is hiding a gun in his locker. To win favor with his crush, Becky Ann, Andy steals his father’s keys to open Blake’s locker and retrieve the gun. While he doesn’t find anything suspicious in the locker, he discovers that Blake does have a firearm and final plans for his classmates. At first, Andy’s knowledge and newfound friendship with Blake gives him “rebel courage,” but soon he realizes that he has a difficult decision to make as Blake’s date for destruction approaches. A concluding teacher’s guide confirms the intended use of this tired-feeling novel. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8027-2186-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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