In Controversy (series). San Diego: Reference Point, 2015. 96 p. $28.95 ea. Gr. 7-12.
Parks, Peggy J. How Serious a Problem is Synthetic Drug Use? 978-1-60152-884-1.
Wilcox, Christine. How is Online Pornography Affecting Society? 978-1-60152-882-7.
Reference Point expanded their popular In Controversy series with the addition of these two titles in 2015. The goal of the series is to more fully explain controversial topics for the secondary reader. In How Serious a Problem is Synthetic Drug Use?, author Peggy Parks examines the issue of the use of various newer synthetic drugs, best known under their common names: synthetic marijuana, spice, K2, flakka, gravel, and bath salts, to name just a few. How
is Online Pornagrapy Affecting Society? explores the proliferation of pornogaphy on the web (over 2.5 million websites and counting) and the addiction many develop to these sites. Both titles explore the history/background of their respective topics, the addictive nature of each, the relationship teens have to these issues, the legal ramifications of these addictions, and what the law and society can do to combat these problems. THOUGHTS: These two titles are solid additions to the existing In Controversy series. Topics are discussed in a straightforward,
logical, and easy to understand manner. The text is enhanced by the presence of numerous sidebars/fact boxes, quotes, and statistics. Recommended for purchase as a research resource.
300s; Social Issues Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg HS/MS
Mastering Martial Arts (series). Broomall, PA: Mason Crest, 2015. 96 p. $24.95 ea. Gr. 7-12.
Chaline, Eric. Martial Arts for Athletic Conditioning: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3241-5.
Chaline, Eric. Martial Arts for Women: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3243-9.
Chaline, Eric. Ninjutsu: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3244-6.
Chesterman, Barnaby. Judo: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3236-1.
Chesterman, Barnaby. Taekwondo: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3245-3.
Johnson, Nathan. Jujutsu: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3236-1.
Johnson, Nathan. Karate: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3238-5.
Johnson, Nathan. Kickboxing and MMA: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3239-2.
Johnson, Nathan. Kung Fu: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3240-8.
Johnson, Nathan. Martial Arts for Children: Winning Ways. 978-1-4222-3242-2.
The Mastering Martial Arts series aims to inform readers about the major types of martial arts, as well as providing specific titles targeting women, youth, and athletes. Written in consultation with martial arts instructors, each volume features historical background information on the martial art under discussion, as well as explanations of specific martial arts moves. Diagrams illustrate the step-by-step techniques needed to complete each move. Emphasis is also placed on safety when completing moves, and proper warm-up techniques are explained. Martial arts terms are regularly defined within each chapter. The mental/spiritual aspects of martial arts and their benefits, not only in martial arts but in everyday life, are also discussed. THOUGHTS: The title I reviewed in this series (Martial Arts for Athletic Conditioning: Winning Ways) did a commendable job of making the topic of martial arts accessible to secondary readers. The text promoted martial arts as a way to improve both physical fitness and mental well-being. Recommend to those with a passing interest in martial arts as well as more advanced practitioners of the sport.
796.8; Martial Arts Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg HS/MS
Hayes, Leah. Not Funny Ha-Ha: A Handbook for Something Hard. Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2015. 978-1-60699-839-7. 148 p. $16.99. Gr. 9 & up.
This graphic novel walks the reader through two types of abortion: medical and surgical. The author states from the beginning that she is not taking a stance about whether abortion is right or wrong. She acknowledges that the decision to have or not have an abortion is complicated, but ultimately it is personal. The purpose of the book is to give an honest picture of what the procedures themselves are like, and the book does a good job with that. The text and drawings are stark, reflecting what can be a scary time for women. It weighs the pros and cons of each procedure, again stressing the decision is personal. The author doesn’t sugarcoat much; she writes that it can be a painful and emotional process. This is a straightforward, non-judgmental resource that some girls need. THOUGHTS: When I first picked this up, I was worried it would open a can of worms about “promoting” abortion, but it’s not that at all. It is simply about the procedures. It does not debate the morals and politics behind abortion, which all of my library’s other books on the topic do. As the author points out in her afterward, so many books on the subject are about the before and after — whether a woman should make the choice to have an abortion, and the emotions she may feel afterward. This book is about the middle part, and it’s honest. Another thing I like is that you can’t tell from the cover that the book is about abortion. It could be a graphic novel about anything, based on the title, so it may take away from stigma of checking it out. I would recommend this book for any high school collection.
Graphic Nonfiction; Abortion Kristen Rowe, Plum Senior High School