Guinness World Records 2010: The Book of The Decade, by Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records 2010: The Book of The Decade. By Guinness World Records.  Guinness World Records Limited, 2009.  280 pages. $28.95

Content: The most.  The largest.  The best.  The smallest.  The newest. The fastest.  The youngest.  The heaviest.  The strangest.  The longest.  The first.  The oldest.  The loudest.  The Guinness Book of World Records brings you world records from the year as well as from the first decade of the 2000’s.  From scientific discoveries and unique human bodies to sports records and cutting edge technology, this book covers a lot of ground.  This book is packed full of information, pages have very little blank space between the extensive text and many full-color photographs.  Just a quick flip through the book is exciting and entertaining, but it is also something that a reader could read from cover to cover.  Reluctant readers are likely to be inspired by this book, with appeal to both boys and girls.

Review: This book is fascinating, exciting, interesting, silly, and even educational.  There is some great science information as well as tons of facts about a huge diversity of things.  A great book for tweens to read together with a parent or a friend, there is something for everyone in this volume.  While there is a fairly extensive Table of Contents organized in page order, which is by category, there is no index, which detracts from the reader’s ability to pinpoint a particular world record.  The Guinness Book of World Records was the originator of this type of superlative information book in 1950’s.  This 2010 edition is a colorful, compelling, and exciting book, worthy of the Guinness name.

Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Reading/Interest Level: 8-14 years

Available in: Hardcover

ISBN: 978-1904994503

Similar Books: Time for Kids That’s Awesome!, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Enter if You Dare, Time for Kids Super Science Book, Guinness World Records 2011

Subjects: food, plants, animals, insects, electricity, world records, sports, the earth, celebrities, pets, music, movies, television, energy, buildings, transportation, vehicles, collections, stunts, human body, technology

Think for Yourself: A Kid’s Guide to Solving Life’s Dilemmas and Other Sticky Problems, by Cynthia MacGregor

Think for Yourself: A Kid’s Guide to Solving Life’s Dilemmas and Other Sticky Problems. By Cynthia MacGregor.  Illustrated by Paula Becker.  Lobster Press, 2008.  142 pages. $14.95

Content: Ethical dilemmas start when we’re young.  What to write in a thank you note to the aunt who sent you a sweater you hate?  What to say to a friend who wants to copy your math test?  What to do when you suspect a classmate might try to hurt himself?  These and many more dilemmas are included in Think for Yourself.  The introduction to this book begins with a step-by-step process for analyzing problems.  Then four chapters analyze dilemmas with friends, family, grown-up, and “everyday dilemmas.”  Each dilemma is presented in narrative form.  Then the following three questions are asked and answered by the author: Why is this a dilemma?  If you think of a solution, but it isn’t a good one, what is the problem with that solution? Is there a way around the problem?  The overall themes of the book include solving dilemmas while being truthful, without lying, without hurting anyone’s feelings, and while remaining true to oneself.  Over 50 realistic dilemmas are presented in this instructive and informative book, which a young person could easily use to figure out a solution to her/his own problem.

Review: This book is a great idea.  There are so many problems which tweens have to struggle with, it is a great option to have a book to consult and gain ideas and confidence from.  There are a few issues I have with the book.  Firstly, even though the title is, “Think for yourself,” there is a lot of advice and reference to what the right thing to do it.  I agree with the author in most cases, but it seems a little more instructive than the title implies.  Also, there were dilemmas for which the author recommended ways to skirt the truth in order to avoid hurting people’s feelings.  I agree that hurting people’s feelings is not ideal and avoiding hurting people’s feelings is a good thing to do, but basically she was advising readers to tell “white lies,” she says, “…technically you’re not lying,” and that made me uncomfortable.  I would have hoped for a better approach.  Otherwise, the book provides solid, sound information and could really help a confused, torn tween or teen.

Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Reading/Interest Level: 8-14 years

Available in: Paperback

ISBN: 978-1897073902

Similar Books: What Do You Stand For? For Kids: A Guide to Building Character; Speak Up and Get Along!: Learn the Mighty Might, Thought Chop, and More Tools to Make Friends, Stop Teasing, and Feel Good About Yourself; Stand Up for Yourself and your Friends: Dealing with Bullies and Bossiness and Finding a Better Way; A Smart Girl’s Guide to the Internet: How to Connect with friends, find what you need, and stay safe online

Subjects: problem solving, ethics, ethical dilemmas, friendship, families, honesty

The Care and Keeping of YOU: The Body Book for Girls, by Valorie Lee Schaefer

The Care and Keeping of YOU: The Body Book for Girls. By Valorie Lee Schaefer.  Illustrated by Norm Bendell.  American Girl Publishing, Inc., 1998.  104 pages. $9.95

Content: The Care and Keeping of You provides information to girls about caring for their bodies and keeping themselves healthy, from head to toe.  It also provides information about puberty and the physical changes girls can expect.  From teeth brushing and sports safety to bra buying and dealing with feelings, this book covers a lot of territory.  In a body-positive, nonjudgmental way, girls can learn about their health and hygiene through easy to read text, illustrations of many different types of girls, and special “Body Talk” pages sprinkled throughout the book, that include answers to some commonly asked questions.

Review: This is a great book, with important information, presented in an excellent form.  There is a lot of information in this book.  Information that parents may not have thought to talk to their tween daughters about.  Information that tween girls might be embarrassed to ask anyone about.  This book gives girls important facts and opens the door for more in-depth discussions with a trusted adult.  The illustrations portray a variety of ethnic groups as well as somewhat diverse body types.  There are rounder girls and skinnier girls, though, to be fully representative, the book should include images of overweight girls to be more accurate.  The text encourages girls to make their own decisions about their bodies, and supports them in figuring out what is most comfortable for themselves.  This is so important, for anyone, really, but particularly for young girls who are so prone to criticizing themselves and invalidating their own thoughts and feelings.  Schaefer addresses body image issues with sensitivity and support.  A common theme throughout the book is that girls should speak to a trusted adult whenever they have questions or need help.  But also, this book gives them a place to be independent and learn on their own.  Highly recommended to have in the house of 8-14 year old girls.  Just leave it laying around, they’ll pick it up when they’re ready. Note: does not address issues of sexuality.

Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Reading/Interest Level: 8 -14 years

Available in: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0613113830

Similar Books: The Care & Keeping of You Journal; Ready, Set, Grow!: A What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Younger Girls; The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions

Subjects: human bodies, girls’ bodies, growing up, puberty, hygiene, health