________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 8 . . . . December 9, 2005

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Misconduct: Deal With It Without Bending the Rules. (Deal With It).

Anne Marie Aikins. Illustrated by Steven Murray.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2005.
32 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 1-55028-871-7.

Subject Headings:
Etiquette for children and teenagers.
Conflict management-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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Rudeness: Deal With It If You Please. (Deal With It).

Catherine Rondina. Illustrated by Dan Workman.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2005.
32 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 1-55028-870-9.

Subject Headings:
Etiquette for children and teenagers.
Conflict management-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

   
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Authority: Deal With It Before It Deals With You. (Deal With It).

Anne Marie Aikins. Illustrated by Steven Murray.
Toronto, ON: James Lorimer, 2005.
32 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 1-55028-869-5.

Subject Headings:
Authority-Juvenile literature.
Conflict management-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

excerpt:

The best way to be a better co-operator is to accept authority when it makes things better for everyone, and to question it when it seems to be denying someone their rights or safety. Being a better co-operator will make you a better friend, team member, and leader. There are many things you can do to increase the amount of respect you sow and receive. (From Authority: Deal With It Before It Deals With You.)

Part of the nine-volume “Deal With It” series, designed to help young adolescents cope with conflicts and situations in their daily lives, these titles seek to promote peace and harmony in homes, schools and communities by providing kids both with an understanding of the concepts and the skills to deal with them. The books are identical in format and layout and will appeal to their intended audience. They consist of comic strips, quizzes, letters to a “Conflict Counsellor,” a double-page spread devoted to dispelling myths, do’s and don’ts, and tips on how to deal with the featured concepts. “Did You Know” bands, running across the bottom of several pages, offer trivia and statistics. At the back of each book, lists of helplines, web sites, books and videos for further information are provided. The text is written in the “current” kids’ language, including some slang. Illustrations are basic and cartoonlike, but not very imaginative.

     Misconduct explains to readers the need for rules and guidelines in society to keep people safe, to protect property and to respect the rights of others. Sometimes, however, the rules are unclear or unwritten, and this is when kids can often get into trouble. Examples of situations that can be considered “gray areas”- personal choices or guidelines rather than rules- will give readers much food for thought and will help them to examine their own actions or beliefs. The author explains the differences between assertiveness and aggression and between leaders and followers and offers suggestions to adolescents for managing their misconduct by taking responsibility, looking at the rules and consequences, and finding appropriate alternatives. She cautions that bending a rule is really breaking it, and the more it is done, the greater the chances are that this behaviour will become a habit. Throughout the book, there are timely examples of behaviours which could lead to trouble, one being the divulging of personal information on the Internet.

     Anyone whose enjoyment of a movie has ever been spoiled by the ringing of someone’s cell phone in the theater will understand what rudeness is all about. According to the author, rudeness goes beyond good manners. It is a respect issue that involves something one says or does (or doesn’t say or do) that makes others feel uncomfortable or inconvenienced, causing hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and even conflict. Rudeness provides plenty of examples of behaviours that people might not even realize are rude, such as taking too large a helping of food, being consistently late for events, cutting across the neighbour’s lawn on a bike, or parking in a stall reserved for a handicapped person. It is interesting to note that the author considers rudeness to be a form of bullying. By means of quizzes, Rondina offers readers many opportunities to analyze their chosen course of action in certain situations. She also provides suggestions to prevent readers from becoming both offenders and victims of rudeness.

     The volume entitled Authority explains that the concept of authority is based on mutual respect and is very different from exercising one’s power over others. People in authoritative positions earn them by virtue of their experience, trustworthiness and high degree of responsibility. Aikins discusses misconceptions about authority, why kids are rebellious, and what to do if one disagrees with the rules or the way in which a person in authority is treating them. She provides scenarios in which readers are asked to select a course of action from a list, and, by their choices, figure out whether they are “pushovers,” “future leaders” or “tyrants-in-training.”

     In general, these three titles are an improvement over the previous ones reviewed because they present more complex scenarios, forcing readers to “think outside the box” and do a little more creative problem-solving.

Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

 

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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