A valuable instructional resource for anyone invested in understanding and helping young people.

Equipping Quality Youth Development Professionals

IMPROVING CHILD AND YOUTH PROGRAM EXPERIENCES

Longtime child services professional Kearney provides concrete, practical strategies in this guide to working with children and young adults ages 6 to 18.

Few would argue that working in youth development, whether in a paid or volunteer capacity, is an easy job. The awareness of children’s needs and interests requires patience, compassion and, crucially, extensive training, which many in the field do not receive. Kearney’s resource fills that gap by offering clear instruction to anyone involved in youth programs, including tutors, counselors, youth ministers and group leaders. (The introduction provides an extensive list of intended readers.) The book’s unfussy organization—with sections arranged by age and broken down into physical, cognitive, social and emotional development—ensures quick access to relevant information. The topics covered range from a child’s self-evaluation to peer influence, gender relations, language skills, appearance and group dynamics. While there’s a consistent message of positivity, the advice and activities are far from monotonous. Instead, Kearney supplies specific tools applicable to distinctive age groups. For instance, whereas those working with children ages 6 to 8 are encouraged to help develop motor skills through appropriate computer games, individuals working with 15- to 18-year-olds will find tips pertaining to texting etiquette and cyberbullying. Elsewhere, the generality of advice such as “teach younger children how to resolve conflicts” and “offer nutrition and cooking activities” allows interpretation and creativity. Children “mature at different rates and possess different temperaments,” Kearney says, which means that those working with youth require flexibility for any sort of structured, activity-based program. Given the wide scope of the book, some of the advice is necessarily broad, but as Kearney notes before introducing a helpful selection of further resources, this “is a starting point, not an endpoint.”

A valuable instructional resource for anyone invested in understanding and helping young people.

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4917-1935-0

Page Count: 184

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises.

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PERIL

An account of the last gasps of the Trump administration, completing a trilogy begun with Fear (2018) and Rage (2020).

One of Woodward and fellow Washington Post reporter Costa’s most memorable revelations comes right away: Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling his counterpart in Beijing to assure him that even after Jan. 6 and what Milley saw as an unmistakable attempt at a coup d’état, he would keep Trump from picking a war with China. This depiction has earned much attention on the talking-heads news channels, but more significant is its follow-up: Milley did so because he was concerned that Trump “might still be looking for what Milley called a ‘Reichstag moment.’ ” Milley emerges as a stalwart protector of the Constitution who constantly courted Trump’s ire and yet somehow survived without being fired. No less concerned about Trump’s erratic behavior was Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House, who studied the psychiatric literature for a big takeaway: “Do not humiliate Trump in public. Humiliating a narcissist risked real danger, a frantic lashing out if he felt threatened or criticized.” Losing the 2020 election was one such humiliation, and Woodward and Costa closely track the trajectory of Trump’s reaction, from depression to howling rage to the stubborn belief that the election was rigged. There are a few other modest revelations in the book, including the fact that Trump loyalist William Barr warned him that the electorate didn’t like him. “They just think you’re a fucking asshole,” Barr told his boss. That was true enough, and the civil war that the authors recount among various offices in the White House and government reveals that Trump’s people were only ever tentatively his. All the same, the authors note, having drawn on scores of “deep background” interviews, Trump still has his base, still intends vengeance by way of a comeback, and still constitutes the peril of their title.

A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982182-91-5

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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A handful of pearls amid a pile of empty oyster shells.

THE COMFORT BOOK

Bestselling author Haig offers a book’s worth of apothegms to serve as guides to issues ranging from disquietude to self-acceptance.

Like many collections of this sort—terse snippets of advice, from the everyday to the cosmic—some parts will hit home with surprising insight, some will feel like old hat, and others will come across as disposable or incomprehensible. Years ago, Haig experienced an extended period of suicidal depression, so he comes at many of these topics—pain, hope, self-worth, contentment—from a hard-won perspective. This makes some of the material worthy of a second look, even when it feels runic or contrary to experience. The author’s words are instigations, hopeful first steps toward illumination. Most chapters are only a few sentences long, the longest running for three pages. Much is left unsaid and left up to readers to dissect. On being lost, Haig recounts an episode with his father when they got turned around in a forest in France. His father said to him, “If we keep going in a straight line we’ll get out of here.” He was correct, a bit of wisdom Haig turned to during his depression when he focused on moving forward: “It is important to remember the bottom of the valley never has the clearest view. And that sometimes all you need to do in order to rise up again is to keep moving forward.” Many aphorisms sound right, if hardly groundbreaking—e.g., a quick route to happiness is making someone else happy; “No is a good word. It keeps you sane. In an age of overload, no is really yes. It is yes to having space you need to live”; “External events are neutral. They only gain positive or negative value the moment they enter our mind.” Haig’s fans may enjoy this one, but others should take a pass.

A handful of pearls amid a pile of empty oyster shells.

Pub Date: July 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-14-313666-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Penguin Life

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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