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An upbeat, reassuring tool kit for tweens and young teens.

A wide-ranging guide to harnessing the brain’s awesome powers on the journey through adolescence.

De-emphasizing bodily changes, the brain takes center stage as the key to understanding individual differences, identifying character strengths and personality traits that affect how we experience the world, maintaining a positive mindset, focusing on what we can control, and letting go of what we can’t change. Confidence-building quizzes, tips, and online resources aim to help readers manage setbacks through cultivating a growth mindset, managing stress, and improving sleep. Techniques for improving one’s learning offer useful, practical advice. The message that, at the fundamental level of brain structure, individuals are more alike than not is comforting. The book touches only lightly on topics of gender and sexuality. Many of the recommended activities are geared to middle-class readers with considerable autonomy and financial resources. The dietary guidelines reflect a Western diet, although there is mention of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. Exercise (including suggestions for those with disabilities), reading (and what to do if you don’t enjoy it), sensible social media use, and cultivating empathy are also covered. The text is broken up into manageable chunks utilizing a variety of fonts, and the chatty style is accessible. Despite some limitations, this presentation of growing up through the angle of brain development sends a positive message: Everyone’s different, but the upheavals of adolescence are universal.

An upbeat, reassuring tool kit for tweens and young teens. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-52888-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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In her first book for young readers, personal-finance expert Chatzky offers straight talk on all things related to money—where it came from, how it’s made, how to earn it and how to save it, everything from gross domestic product to gross viruses on paper money. Having spent three months traveling the country and talking with kids, the author presents questions and answers in a volume attractively designed in a kid-friendly manner, with plenty of illustrations, charts, lists and sidebars for fun facts and kids’ questions. One thing not learned on the trip, apparently, was not to take all middle-school students’ answers at face value, as readers will see wise-guy responses, illogical explanations and self-centered comments mixed in with the mostly thoughtful and sincere questions and statements. Still, the clear and conversational text, coupled with the inviting format, will appeal to young readers, who should enjoy learning about a subject important to them. (appendices, map, glossary, web resources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9472-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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From the ... Through the Lens series

As he did in Lincoln Through the Lens (2008), Sandler offers a fascinating photo-essay examining how images shaped public perceptions of John F. Kennedy. In Kennedy’s case, it was television and advances in color photography and photojournalism that were influential. One of America’s most photogenic presidents, Kennedy was an astute user of the media. Following the format of the other Through the Lens books, each spread is a self-contained “chapter,” with one page of text and a full-page photograph, many in color. The book begins with an overview of Kennedy’s life and the role that photography and television played in his career. Subsequent spreads are chronological, covering Kennedy’s life from childhood through assassination. The author notes the significance of the Kennedy presidency’s being the first to be photographed mostly in color, “perfect for capturing the glamour that came to be associated with the Kennedy years.” Kennedy’s life and administration were documented with a groundbreaking intimacy the public had never known before, making this an accessible, insightful perspective on one of America’s most famous presidents. (further reading and websites, source notes, index) (Biography. 10-14)


Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8027-2160-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: Dec. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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