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Reviews from School Library Journal

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An Integrated Life of Fitness

* Each title introduces readers to various styles of exercise and their benefits, providing historical and scientific background as well as practical exercise routines. * The photos show relatable teens, and though the graphics are dated, they're understated and don't interfere with the texts. * Explanations of how physical activity strengthens muscle groups and mental functioning will provide subtle motivation, and "Text Dependent Questions" will assist with closer reading and research activity. * The physiological information is detailed enough for a college course in exercise science. * Each book touches on safety and common injuries. * ...this excellent series demonstrates how a physical education class can be interdisciplinary and academically rigorous.

Art Today!

* Aspiring artists will find practical information and advice on how to get started in the arts in this series. * Each title begins with an overview of the profession and also provides some historical background. * Vocabulary, research-project suggestions, and review questions are included in every chapter... * Of note is the series' inclusive representation of diversity in the photos... * Acting, Writing, and Comedy are particularly noteworthy titles...

Causes & Effects of Emotions

* These books provide a multifaceted overview of common emotions, offering explanations that are always informative and never heavy-handed or obvious. * The books make effective use of fictional stories that give a human face to the emotions. * Readers also learn about the physical symptoms that can result from feelings and about what is happening in the brain. * A discussion of how even the most negative emotions can play a positive role will be enlightening. * Graphics help visual learners conceptualize abstract ideas. For instance, a "Stress meter" shows the levels of anxiety on a barometer from "coping" to "stressed" to "anxiety attack." * Activity suggestions, such as drawing a neuron, are as top-notch as the rest of the content. * Strong offerings.

Childhoods of the Presidents

"The easy-to-read texts and well-chosen, full-color, and black-and-white photographs make these volumes good starting points for readers interested in these men."

Daily Life In America In The 1800s

"...students will enjoy reading about the lives, occupations, and pastimes of "everyday" people, and will also find these books helpful for reports."

Downside of Drugs

* Written with a Harvard Medical School consultant, this series discusses drugs in a tone that is appropriately sober yet not alarmist or condescending. The authors demonstrate empathy toward teens and the pressures they face. * ...many diagrams convey useful content, including a diagram in Dangerous Depressants and Sedatives that shows parts of the body affected by depressants and another one demonstrating how the chemicals impact the brain. * Readers will absorb vast amounts of information through the text and the sidebars, which lend themselves to discussion and further research. * ...this series is mostly well written and expertly researched.

Earning $50,000 - $100,000 with a High School Diploma or Less

"Each volume begins with a section titled "Careers Without College," and follows with chapters explaining the nature of the job, training needed, expected pay scale, and future of the profession." "The books are written in a conversational tone with large font and nicely illustrated with captioned photographs."

Extraordinary Success with a High School Diploma or Less

"Each title begins with the same introduction explaining that it isn't necessary to have a college degree to be an achiever; motivation, hard work, and a dream are enough."

Feeding the World

"Colorfully and carefully designed, these slim volumes offer comprehensive introductions to food production." "Readers will gain a thorough understanding of where their food comes from and everything that happens to it before it reaches the dinner table." "Factual material is punctuated with amusing anecdotes, such as a theory of how cheese was discovered..." "The mixture of historical and contemporary photos complements the text." "...these books promote discussion, critical thinking, and further research." "Their main strength is their unbiased, evenhanded approach to divisive subjects such as vegetarianism and organic produce."

Gallup Guides for Youth Facing Persistent Prejudice

"Each volume opens with a chapter that defines prejudice, stereotypes, and racism with examples. The second chapters discuss the history of prejudice against the groups of people, followed by chapters containing first-person accounts from victims." "...sections tell readers how to combat prejudice in themselves and others."

Getting The Edge : Conditioning, Injuries and Legal & Illicit Drugs

"Not only does this series cover the history and the basic rules of each sport, but it also discusses tips on how to stay healthy and use protective equipment, and the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs." "...since books on softball, lacrosse, track and field events, volleyball, and weightlifting have been scarce in recent years, these titles might be useful in some collections."

Hip-Hop Hitmakers

"Each title is illustrated with color photos of popular musicians and chronicles the ups and downs of the often violent hip-hop music industry as well as the difficulties of building a business." "The pages are packed with text, colorful borders, and lots of "Fast Fact" boxes."

Hispanic Americans: Major Minority

"The purpose of this series is to celebrate the history and culture of Latino American and Hispanic American peoples."

How America Became America (ages 9+)

"This series connects the dots between the wobbly-kneed pre-Revolutionary colonies and the robust world power that America is today." "Text boxes contribute additional facts and ask readers to ponder questions such as "Who Owned America?""

Junior Library of Money

"These titles present solid information and have eye-catching and relevant illustrations." "All the books are clearly written, making understandable connections between daily life and financial concepts."

Kids and Obesity

"Where the material shines is in its holistic approach. Readers are encouraged to develop their inner lives as much as their physical selves and to take responsibility for their own health and eating habits." "The authors also include healthy self-esteem as a factor in obesity prevention: an entire volume is devoted to the link between food and emotions, a topic not often seen in health literature for children." "This brightly-colored, ego-boosting, responsibility-championing series is a winner."

Kids Have Troubles Too

"...volumes open with fictional vignettes followed by honest discussions of the facts in order to inform and reassure kids in tough situations, as well as help children not undergoing these troubles empathize with those who are." "This series will be well placed in a school media center, as well as in any institution that serves high-risk children."

Major Black Contributions from Emancipation to Civil Rights

"...these accounts are engaging and informative. "Did You Know?" text boxes and colorful photographs and fonts add appeal."

Major Competitive Reality Shows

"The rules and objectives of the shows are neatly explained."

Major Muslim Nations

"These books cover a wide range of topics, including the land, history, politics, economy, religion, peoples, and foreign relations. The texts contain colorful photos, illustrations, and maps. The inclusion of a wide range of material makes these titles useful resources for reports."

Major Women in Science

"...these volumes, in which the final chapters focus on career opportunities for women in the sciences, will encourage girls to embrace STEM."

Math 24/7

"These volumes contain some great math practice that can be used for differentiation in the classroom."

Mexico: Leading the Southern Hemisphere

* People, History, Cuisine and Sports are the best of the group, with clear prose and enough details to help readers understand their subjects. * Sidebars, glossaries, and reading comprehension questions and research suggestions supplement the texts.

New Careers For the 21st Century : Finding Your Role In The Global Renewal

"Additional attention is given to the role that living and working in an environmentally conscious world has on helping guide readers on a career path. Worthy additions."

North American Folklore for Youth

"Black Cats is the most successful of the volumes, with Arkham collecting regionally distinct folk customs across the U. S. and Canada."

On My Plate

* Created with help from a consultant who is a pediatrician and professor at Harvard Medical School, this series provides a thorough overview of different food groups: where they come from and what role they play in our overall health. * Suggested research projects are strong and engaging. Students can do research to find out the closest place where beans, nuts, and seeds are grown. * ...the charts are phenomenal; one shows how many ounces of protein people need at different ages, while another lists the iron, carbohydrates, sugar, potassium, and other nutrients found in 20 different fruits. * ...this is a very smart, readable series.

Patriotic Symbols of America

* Going beyond pat descriptions of symbols, this series digs to the roots of America's garden of emblems. For example, readers not only witness the evolution of the U.S. flag's design over the years, but learn, too, why flags matter in the first place. In addition, children discover that while the Pledge of Allegiance is a cornerstone of American symbolism, pledges to the flag are relatively rare in the rest of the world. * Throughout each title, "Vital Figure" sidebars feature key persons. In some instances, the person is well known, such as George Washington. Other times, the subject is less famous but no less important in his or her realm of influence (Alan Freed, unscrupulous but passionate promoter of rock 'n' roll). * The concise, engaging writing is aptly accented by symbols that alert readers to special vocabulary words, ideas for research projects, and sidebars brimming with supplemental insights. * ...the illustrations are colorful and appropriate. * A wide-ranging, appealing, and useful series.

STEM in Sports

These fascinating titles examine innovations in scientific fields that "are giving...athletes a wide array of tools to improve performance and success." The books cover engineering advances such as lightweight shirts and safer equipment as well as high-tech sports stadiums and scientific breakthroughs that include preventing and rehabilitating player injuries, designing prosthetics, and creating new guidelines for training and nutrition. Most innovations are cast in a favorable light, such as Math's description of Sabermetrics, the stats-based analysis pioneered by Bill James that's now used in many sports. However, the authors also highlight concerns: commercial interests drive many new developments and may tip the scale in favor of wealthy athletes or teams. Readers are encouraged to think through these issues through text-dependent questions and suggestions for research projects. Sidebars and color photos are an additional plus. VERDICT Great resources for report writers and fans alike.

Superstars in the World of Basketball

* These biographies offer admiring portraits of contemporary hoops stars. * The books limn childhoods and personal lives and highlight their college and pro careers. * Color photos, sidebars with ideas for further research, and appendixes are welcome... * Players and the Game Around the World differs from the rest in that it traces basketball's history and spread worldwide, noting that in the early 20th century, black athletes were not allowed to play alongside white players. The book goes on to detail the sport's popularity in Europe, Asia, and Latin America and concludes with thumbnail sketches of international superstars including Yao Ming and Hakeem Olajuwon. * ...Players and the Game Around the World is noteworthy for its coverage of integration within the sport and its attention to the international aspects of the game.

Superstars of Hip-Hop

"Chapters include a look at the artists' childhoods and how they shaped their lives. Subsequent sections cover their career development, lives today, and impacts on the music scene." "Each chapter begins with a helpful "Hip-Hop lingo" text box that defines industry terms and vocabulary..."

The Making of a Monster : Vampires & Werewolves

"The writing is engaging and accessible, and peppered easily with teen vernacular...First-rate entertainment."

Understanding Nutrition: A Gateway to Physical & Mental Health

"Rather than preach about good nutrition, these books offer visually appealing, conversational, and practical takes on healthy eating in a variety of settings." "They address smart choices in the school cafeteria, convenience stores, restaurants, and fast-food joints, as well as eating for optimum sports and academic performance." "The authors arm teens with good information on the physical and mental impact of healthy food, calorie intake, body-mass index, portion sizes, and reading labels. They also advocate a "healthy eating is a lifelong process" approach, encouraging right decisions while acknowledging that temptations exist."

Wizards of Technology

* This series introduces readers to the people who created well-known social media and entertainment products. Written with an intense business focus, they analyze why Netflix and others brands are popular and illustrate their inventors' creative journeys. * Well-written study questions encourage readers to return to the text and skim for relevant passages. * Some questions call upon students to conduct Internet research or analyze different business models. These texts provide a realistic view of how adults learn and grow in the working world, learning from their mistakes. Students will understand what an innovator or entrepreneur is and how personal challenges--such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's speech impediment--can lead to new forms of communication. * An inspiring series.

Young Adult Library of Small Business and Finance

"This series aims to give advice about starting a business to middle or high school aged students, but the skills and advice rendered are transferable to adults." "These volumes cover many aspects of business, from making a plan to marketing your business in the virtual world." "The texts are written in a positive and encouraging tone." "The authors freely address the challenges and pitfalls of making a business successful, as well as the rewards." "Short chapters with bold headings and the large unintimidating font add to their accessibility."

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