CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 2 . . . . September 16, 2005
Part of the six-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 with both 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.
Stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination are just a few of the terms defined in Racism. The purpose of the book is to help adolescents recognize, avoid and deal with racism and to understand that there is only one race- the human race- to which all people belong. Comic strips give examples of racism within the classroom, while a quiz asks readers to determine whether situations are racist or not. Disturbing statistics show that hate crimes and racist incidents are on the rise in Canada. Suggestions for protecting oneself against racism are included along with ideas for stopping racism, some examples being learning about the history of certain groups of people, questioning images seen in the media, and getting involved by cleaning up racist graffiti and forming a club at school that promotes harmony and respect.
Gossip shows readers the difference between sharing information and gossip and provides suggestions for stopping gossip and what to do if one is the subject of rumours. A page is devoted to the most frightening and increasingly used mode of sharing gossip- technology. Telephones, cell phones, and especially e-mail, text-messaging, chat rooms and web pages have the potential to cause great harm to the reputations of adolescents and are the newest forms of bullying and gossip-mongering.
Arguing explains the reasons why people argue, often about control, issues, friendships, jealousy or the inability to compromise. People can keep arguments going by bulldozing, bringing up the past, making personal attacks and making mountains out of molehills. Some arguments can even turn into violence. This book gives readers some suggestions for what to do when a disagreement threatens to turn into an argument and offers tips for young people who are willing to act as peacemakers.
Helpful, without being preachy, this series is very timely.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird’s Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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.