Tag Archives: health

The Survival Guide to Bullying Review

survival_guide_to_bullyingThe Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen by Aija Mayrock

Scholastic, 2015. 978-0545860536

Synopsis: The Survival Guide to Bullying covers everything from cyber bullying to how to deal with fear and how to create the life you dream of having. From inspiring “roems” (rap poems), survival tips, personal stories, and quick quizzes, this book will light the way to a brighter future.from Amazon.com

Why I picked it up: Because I remembered being bullied in school and not feeling like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it.

Why I finished it: Being a kid is hard. It’s even harder when there are people in your social circle at school or work that seem to be mean to you and maybe a few others for no reason at all. It could be that we don’t fit into the ‘pretty, skinny, perfect’ mold. It could be that we don’t like the same movies or books as other people. It could be that we like a different food than everyone else. It’s never easy to pinpoint why you or someone else is being picked on; mostly, there’s an overwhelming feeling of being defective or faulty, being made to believe that there’s something wrong with you, being made to believe that you’re a bad person. Mayrock addresses many of these thoughts and feelings as she walks the reader through her own middle school and high school experiences with bullying, both in person and online. It’s refreshing for me to see/read about someone who has experienced the same nonsensical emotional beating and the different techniques they used to be able to fight their way out of the hole. While the writing can be cliched at times and knowing that all of the methods won’t work for everyone in every situation, it’s a great resource for getting young people to be able to recognize the problem and getting the help they need to stop the bullying and bring a boost back to their self-esteem. It can be hard to recognize that you need help; it’s easy to convince yourself that if you don’t confront the issue it will resolve itself; it’s easy to get caught up in an endless cycle of feeling alternatively worthy and worthless. There is a helpful list of websites and hotlines at the back of the book that can aid the reader in taking the first step toward breaking the cycle for themselves or for someone else. It’s an inspiring little volume that can be read as a whole or just as individual relevant chapters.

Other related materials: Be Confident in Who You Are (Middle School Confidential, Book 1) by Annie Fox, M.Ed.; Real Friends vs. the Other Kind (Middle School Confidential, Book 2) by Annie Fox, M.Ed.; What’s Up With My Family? (Middle School Confidential, Book 3) by Annie Fox. M., Ed.; Confessions of a Former Bully by Trudy Ludwig; My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig; Stick Up For Yourself!: Every Kid’s Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self-Esteem by Gershen Kaufman, Ph.D, Lev Raphael, Ph.D, and Pamela Espeland; Speak Up and Get Along!: Learn the Mighty Might, Thought Chop, and More Tools to Make Friends, Stop Teasing, and Feel Good About Yourself by Scott Cooper; Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written By Teen Victims, Bullies, & Bystanders edited by Stephanie H. Meyer, John Meyer, Emily Sperber, and Heather Alexander; Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones; We Want You to Know by Deborah Ellis; The Weird! Series by Erin Frankel, illustrated by Paula Heaphy; The Drama Years: Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School – Bullies, Brands, Body Image, and More by Haley Kilpatrick with Whitney Joiner

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Listening Now: Brains On!

logo_taglineBrains On!: A Podcast for Kids & Curious Adults hosted by Molly Bloom, produced by Marc Sanchez, writing and reporting by Sanden Totten

http://www.brainson.org/; Available on iTunes, Apple Podcast, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Spotify, and NPR One

Synopsis: Brains On! is a podcast featuring science and kids produced by American Public Media. We ask questions and go wherever the answers take us. Sometimes that means talking to a food scientist or a snake handler, other times that means putting on a play about sound waves or writing songs about sleep. A different kid co-hosts each episode. We talk to them about the interesting stuff they’re doing and the things they think about. It’s a science lesson for your ears – so join us and turn your brains on! – from the website

This podcast is another one of many that has helped to support the STEM movement, helping kids and adults alike get in touch with hard science (psychology is considered a soft science). The hosts tackle things from farts to how airplanes fly to why mosquitoes are so annoying to how our brains read books – and so much more! I also think it is unique to have different kid co-hosts each show that come on and talk a little bit more about their experiences with the topic. One of the episodes even featured some kid inventors that have won national awards for helping to tackle issues that they notice in their everyday lives. It was inspiring to me because there was never anything quite this big when I was growing up and I’m always so excited to hear about how kids are going out and exploring and interacting with the world around them. I remember science fairs being a huge deal when I was in school and in some school districts around the country they still are a big deal. You can also sign up for a monthly newsletter that gives some extra special bonus content to go along with the episodes. It’s a great way to get inspired to get out there – here are so many things to do and explore and showcase their smarts – you just have to know where to look.

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The Teenage Body Book review

The Teenage Body Book: A New Edition for a New Generation by Kathy McCoy, Ph.D., & Charles Wibbelsman, M.D.

Hatherleigh, 2008. 978-1-57826-277-9

Synopsis: Growing up is scary and confusing – your body is changing, your emotions seem out of control, and everything from friendships to relationships are more complicated than ever. The Teenage Body Book covers everything teens need to know about sexuality, nutrition, health, emotions, fitness and more. This new revised edition also features a 15-teen panel dedicated to giving real world advice and answering commonly – and uncommonly – asked questions the reader might be too afraid to ask.

Why I picked it up: I was looking for a good book to learn more about changes that happen in puberty, and it fit the bill.

Why I finished it: It definitely won’t replace the awkward period talks with my mother or the grotesque videos they showed in health class about “Our Changing Bodies”, but for kids and teens not willing to talk to their parents or friends and brave enough to check it out at the library, this is a great resource. Masters and Johnson it is not, but the teen panelists and the questions that were submitted to the authors make it more accessible and friendly to a teen audience. Being a teenager is such an awkward stage that (thankfully) has a large number of publications that deal with the subject of puberty and growing up, but many of them are written by adults, for adults; frankly, that’s not the kind of thing I would want to read, and I don’t know that many others would either. What I liked about this book is that it covers everything from soup to nuts: commonly asked questions about first periods, body hair, drugs and drinking, mental health, special medical needs, sexuality, birth control and STDs, even a chapter about how to ask for help and where to get it. I almost wished I’d known about this book sooner.

Other related materials: Growing and Changing: A Guide for Preteens by Kathy McCoy, Ph.D. and Charles Wibbelsman, M.D.; The ‘What’s Happening to My Body?’ Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras; The ‘What’s Happening to My Body?’ Book for Girls by Lynda Madaras; Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships by Ruth Bell; S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College by Heather Corinna; The Teenage Guy’s Survival Guide: The Real Deal on Girls, Growing Up and Other Guy Stuff by Jeremy Daldry; What’s Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask by Karen Gravelle, Nick Castro, Chava Castro, and Robert Leighton; The Boy’s Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up YOU by Kelli Dunham and Steven Bjorkman; My Body, My Self for Girls by Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras; My Body, My Self for Boys by Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras; 100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents by Elisabeth Henderson and Nancy Armstrong; Ready, Set, Grow!: A What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Younger Girls by Lynda Madaras and Linda Davick; On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow!: A ‘What’s Happening to My Body?’ Book for Younger Boys by Lynda Madaras and Paul Gilligan; Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Meghan Carle, Jill Carle, and Judy Carle; It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie B. Harris and Michael Emberley

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