CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 13 . . . . February 16, 2007
Part of the 12-volume “Deal With It” series, designed to help young adolescents cope with conflicts and situations in their daily lives, these titles provide kids both with an understanding of the concepts and the skills to deal with them. The books are identical in layout and will appeal to their intended audience, but in a limited setting- i.e. the books are more likely to be used by guidance counsellors working with individuals or specific groups of students rather than by the students themselves checking the books out of the library. The book’s contents 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 cartoon-like but not very imaginative.
There are several reasons for procrastination- being tired, lazy, or seeking to avoid a difficult or unpleasant task, to name just a few- and two types of procrastinators- those people who claim that they work best under pressure and those who fear failure. By means of a fun quiz, Procrastination attempts to get readers to self-identify- are they procrastinators, perfectionists, or do they fall somewhere in-between on the spectrum? The book offers organizational tips to help kids who tend to procrastinate and provides solutions for typical avoidance techniques. What procrastinators might not realize is that their habit of putting things off might have more serious consequences in the future and could also affect others. For instance, this is quite problematic when it comes to partner or group school projects where one person with a tendency to procrastinate can affect the outcome of the project and/or the grade received. It is interesting to note that, according to statistics, over 60% of college students procrastinate.
Of the two titles, Teasing is the one which would likely be more popular. Though teasing is described as a common way to share humour, it is not always humourous to the person being teased, causing hurt feelings and embarrassment. In fact, it can be a type of bullying in certain situations- name-calling, taunting, harassing or making fun of someone, for example. The author gives advice to those kids who are teased repeatedly, but sometimes the techniques described are more easily said than done. He also explains the term “political correctness” and provides examples of situations which might offend other people and tells readers how to know when, as joke tellers, they have “crossed the line.”
Generally, the books in this series are helpful without being preachy and would spark interesting discussions in classrooms.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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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.