An informative, accessible guide that hits most of its marks

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HELLOFLO

THE GUIDE, PERIOD.

This guide for young women about puberty is written by the founder of HelloFlo.com, a subscription service that delivers customized selections of menstrual products by mail and offers women’s health information on its website.

Nine straightforward, concise chapters are embellished with appealing, colorful line drawings of ethnically diverse young women engaging in such activities as playing soccer and talking with friends, which lends a balancing, casual feel to the more pointed, drawn diagrams, such as one that labels the different parts of a vulva and vagina. Various issues are frankly addressed, including breast development, growing body and pubic hair, and menstruation, as well as some common physiological and emotional experiences, such as increased body odor and PMS. Helpful, clear advice about the mechanics of managing menstrual blood and the removal (or not) of body hair are framed in a nonjudgmental way, encouraging readers to make whatever decision feels right, and added historical context about trends and the shifts in society’s attitudes toward women’s bodies strike just the right tone. However, a confusing admonishment to “Don’t. Ever. Shave” unwanted facial hair remains unexplained beyond mentioning the sensitivity of the face, and some teen readers may find the didactic assurances about life getting not just better, but “to be the best” with age frustrating.

An informative, accessible guide that hits most of its marks . (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-18731-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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Unfortunately, a great example of a book that adults think young people should read instead of one they want to read.

HIGH

EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT DRUGS, ALCOHOL, AND ADDICTION

After various books on addiction for adults and teens, here the Sheffs attempt to cover “everything” an early adolescent wants to know on the topic.

It’s a bold promise that, sadly, is not fulfilled. The book is divided into four main sections. The first summarizes Nic’s addiction and journey to sobriety before delving into a brief, general examination of drug and alcohol abuse. The second section surveys popular drug choices, and the third examines the road from drug use to drug addiction. The last section is a dialogue between the co-authors. Overall, the book does many things right: It never assigns blame to users, and it discusses such topics as marijuana legalization and opioid addiction without bias. Nic also periodically offers personal insights in separate text boxes. These points may not be enough to save the book, however. The overall tone is dry. Examples of adolescent addicts are discussed, but their stories are too brief to allow readers to find emotional touchstones. And though graphs and charts offer visuals, the clip art–like illustrations give the book the off-putting feel of a textbook. An “addictionary” confusingly arranges drugs by type instead of name (do readers know/care that PCP is a “dissociative drug” and GHB is a “club drug”?) and omits some current street names. A list of resources for recovery and further reading is appended.

Unfortunately, a great example of a book that adults think young people should read instead of one they want to read. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-544-64434-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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Overall, a worthy contribution not only to the market, but also within the broader canon of resources on Western yoga and...

THIS MOMENT IS YOUR LIFE (AND SO IS THIS ONE)

A FUN AND EASY GUIDE TO MINDFULNESS, MEDITATION, AND YOGA

Life comes with challenges, but with mindfulness, young people can learn to ride life’s ups and downs with clarity and calm.

In an encouraging and conversational tone, Gates straightforwardly presents mindfulness to a young audience without oversimplifying the content. The first part of the book explains the science of mindfulness and presents breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation as practice methods. Interspersed are appealing graphics: quirky illustrations of people of diverse shapes, gender representations, and skin tones; memelike quotes that offer encouragement; and short statements from young people using the practices in their own lives. The book ends with several mindfulness “challenges”—practice sequences that build daily. The practices instructed are a blend of traditional mindfulness techniques (body scan, mindful walking, etc.) and new strategies particularly relevant for young people (listening mindfully to one’s favorite music). Gates never strays toward dogma; readers are constantly encouraged to try the practices and notice their experiences. She makes it clear throughout that mindfulness is not about changing one’s life but about being more present for life as it is, one breath at a time. One unfortunate drawback is that some of the examples of potential stressors do reveal an assumption of privilege (schools offering modern dance, going on a ski trip with friends).

Overall, a worthy contribution not only to the market, but also within the broader canon of resources on Western yoga and mindfulness. (Nonfiction. 11-16)

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-18662-2

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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