An ectoplasmic extravaganza, formulaic but (in this case literally) haunting.

GHOSTOLOGY

A TRUE REVELATION OF SPIRITS, GHOULS, AND HAUNTINGS

From the 'Ology series

A handbook for budding ghost hunters, compiled by hands both fleshly and spectral.

Per series formula, it’s tricked out with an abundant array of tabs, flaps, and special features, including inset booklets, an envelope of secret-message cards, and a red “gem” within which, in the right light, a ghostly face swims. Also according to established format, it presents itself as an antique manual for “scientific ghostologists” interested in distinguishing hoaxes from real haunts. For extra chills, not only are the galleries of ghostly types and ghost-hunting gear, visits to haunted locales worldwide, and exposés of techniques used by fake spiritualists all marked up by inserted spectral taunts and commentary, but a page has been “torn” out by a mysterious hand and an entire spread sealed with a tantalizing “open at your own risk” sticker. Some glow-in-the-dark elements give intrepid readers further reason to ignore the opening warning that this is “NOT TO BE READ BEFORE BED!” Aside from one image of a sadly stereotypical turbaned swami and nods to Japanese kodama and the “African” obambo, figures living or otherwise in the thick arrays of illustrations default to White. (Oddly, the dybbuk is not identified as from Judaic traditions.)

An ectoplasmic extravaganza, formulaic but (in this case literally) haunting. (Informational novelty. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0915-0

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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For a preteen who enjoys writing her thoughts and a mom whose relationship with her daughter is already good, this...

THE CARE & KEEPING OF US

A SHARING COLLECTION FOR GIRLS & THEIR MOMS

A “How-to-Say-It” package about preteen physical, emotional, and social concerns for mothers and their daughters.

The period between childhood and adulthood can be challenging to navigate. This boxed set includes two 48-page paperbacks, one for mom and one for her daughter, and a much longer blank journal with writing prompts for the two to share. They follow the pediatrician/author’s highly successful titles about girls’ changing bodies and feelings and a similar but preteen-directed journal some users have chosen to share with parents. Topics covered include personal concerns (hygiene, nutrition, exercise, sleep, safety, body changes, periods, beauty, clothing, eating disorders) and relations with the outside world of family, friends, the Internet, romance, and time management. Each double-page spread addresses a separate topic and includes “how to say it” prompts. There are conversation starters, talking tips, and sensible suggestions about negotiating the social-media world, including a sample family contract. Appealing cartoon illustrations show a range of girls and mother-daughter pairs who are clearly communicating. The “completely private” journal has color-coded pages to indicate mother, daughter, and joint entries, as well as similarly coded ribbons to mark pages. The pages labeled “TOP SECRET” seem to contradict the open approach.

For a preteen who enjoys writing her thoughts and a mom whose relationship with her daughter is already good, this well-meant offering might help ease the pair through a difficult time. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60958-978-3

Page Count: 92

Publisher: American Girl

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2015

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An excellent addition to the “growing-up” shelf.

WILL PUBERTY LAST MY WHOLE LIFE?

REAL ANSWERS TO REAL QUESTIONS FROM PRETEENS ABOUT BODY CHANGES, SEX, AND OTHER GROWING-UP STUFF

A medical doctor and a registered nurse answer questions about puberty collected over years of experience conducting classes for young people and their parents or trusted adults.

Questions about body changes; feelings; friendships and relationships; sex, sexuality, and gender identity; and babies reflect preteen concerns, are loosely organized by subject, and are answered honestly and informatively. The dos-à-dos format (girls’ queries on one side, boys’ on the other) has the advantage of allowing readers to concentrate on their own issues but also to explore the ways others think. The authors have specialized in adolescent health care for over 30 years; their understanding of and sympathy with the age group are evident. Often the answers include gentle reminders that families and cultures differ; the young readers should also be consulting parents or trusted adults—there are even helpful suggestions for how and when to approach sensitive subjects. This revision of a 2012 title includes many of the original questions and sensible answers but has been expanded to reflect today’s changing attitudes and understandings about gender fluidity. Young people with a range of hairstyles and skin tones are shown engaged in various activities—alone, with one another, and with adults. The design, helpful diagrams, and occasional appealing illustrations have not changed significantly, but the new information will make this a sensible purchase even for those who own the first edition.

An excellent addition to the “growing-up” shelf. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63217-179-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Little Bigfoot/Sasquatch

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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