The way humans use nonverbal cues—sometimes willingly, sometimes accidentally—is explored in a lively presentation for young readers.
“Scientists say more than half our communication is conveyed nonverbally through body language. From head to toe, our bodies say volumes about our thoughts, attitudes, and feelings—whether we want them to or not,” the book opens. Often, spoken messages are undermined by physical posture and gestures that convey opposite information. Practically every part of the human body contributes meaning, sometimes without the individual’s awareness. Eye contact, body position, facial expressions, touch, foot movement and even the way voices are used transmit as much as spoken words. Observing nonverbal cues increases understanding in communication and provides strategies for handling tense situations. Jackson joins with body-language expert Goman to explain the subject, demonstrating its importance as young people grow and develop. Using examples teens will recognize—young people struggling with stage fright, a teen twisting her hair nervously, young athletes avoiding the gaze of the coach—makes the narrative particularly accessible. The chapter on the cultural roots of body language, including differences in personal space, is especially compelling. The bright, open design with its use of sidebars and smart selection of supporting photographs goes well with the conversational style.
A smart, accessible introduction to an important and interesting topic. (source notes, glossary, further reading and viewing, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)