This engaging presentation of solid and important information deserves a wide audience.

READ REVIEW

GROWING UP, INSIDE AND OUT

With refreshing directness and good humor, this handbook to puberty covers social and emotional as well as physical changes.

Reminding her readers that puberty is a gradual process, Vermond talks to them honestly about what to expect during these growing-up years. She encourages them to recognize and accept people’s differences, including their own. Bodily changes, self-esteem issues, emotional ups and downs, feelings and the mixed messages society sends are all addressed—even before she turns to crushes, gender identity and sexual orientation, and the process of moving from crush to relationship to love and sex. She doesn’t avoid difficult topics: bullying, depression, violence, pornography. The sex talk is explicit, but no diagrams are involved. Illustrations are limited to cartoon-style chapter openings; the last one shows a partially undressed couple looking at a condom package. There are sidebars, quotations from experts and questions for readers to ask themselves. Plenty of subheadings break up the text and encourage exploration of specific topics. The lively design is attractive but not overpowering. The text addresses both boys and girls, though a few pages speak directly to one sex or the other. The backmatter suggests a wide range of Web resources for further information and includes an extensive bibliography.

This engaging presentation of solid and important information deserves a wide audience. (Nonfiction. 9-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-926973-89-0

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Owlkids Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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Maybe it’s “awesome” to be average.

YOU ARE AWESOME

Champion table tennis player Syed begins this encouragement book by chronicling his own story of how he grew up believing he was average until he began to master the sport.

The goal of this book is to help kids realize that they needn’t necessarily be born with a certain gift or talent—that maybe success is a combination of hard work, the right mentors, and a strong support system. In the chapter “What’s Holding Me Back?” Syed offers a variety of ways a young person can begin to reflect on who they really are and define what their true passion may be. The following chapters stress the importance of practice, coping with pressure, and honoring mistakes as human rather than failure. Throughout the book, Syed highlights those he terms “Famous Failures,” including Steve Jobs, Jay-Z, and Jennifer Lawrence, while also providing a spotlight for those who mastered their talent by perseverance, such as Serena Williams, the Brontë sisters, and David Beckham. Though this self-help book has good intentions, however, it is a little heavy-handed on the perpetuation of an achievement-oriented life. Perhaps it is also good to acknowledge that not everybody need aspire to someone else’s definition of greatness.

Maybe it’s “awesome” to be average. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8753-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is...

EAT THIS!

HOW FAST FOOD MARKETING GETS YOU TO BUY JUNK (AND HOW TO FIGHT BACK)

A comprehensive compilation of fast-food marketing practices aimed at youth and ways kids can recognize and combat them.

In this slim, 15-chapter book, Curtis begins with the basics, clearly explaining what marketing is: “the art and science of persuasion.” The author’s upbeat, nonpatronizing tone is a selling point in itself as she explains how fast-food marketers place product brands in entertainment culture—movies, TV shows, and video games—to persuade kids to identify with or become loyal to a type of junk food; how they infiltrate schools by creating fundraisers and teaching resources that feature their product; and how they create kid-friendly spokescharacters such as Ronald McDonald, among many other manipulative practices. The good news is that the book’s target audience—kids—will feel empowered as they learn how they are being influenced and are educated in ways to fight back. Segments labeled “Do This!” suggest ways readers can participate in anti–fast-food advocacy and tell stories of real-life kids and parents who exposed junk-food marketing practices. Facts about the unhealthy results of eating fast food based on statistics from countries around the world are included as well as information on what real food is. Collins’ snappy designs depict youth of many ethnicities and share space with clear, well-chosen stock photographs.

Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is power. (sources, glossary, author interview) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-88995-532-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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