The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Middle School by David Borgenicht, et al.

Middle_School_Survival_HandbookYou’ve finally made it out of elementary school. How cool is that? But now you’re headed off to middle school and things might be way different than they used to be. How will you survive?

Well, if you pick up a copy of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Middle School, you’ll certainly be off to a better start than most.

This quick read is full of advice on how to survive:

The First Day,
Homework Overload,
Bullies and Cliques,
Getting in Trouble,

and so much more, including special “Girls Only” and “Boys Only” sections.

You’ll find tips on how to:

memorize your locker combination,
fix a problem with a teacher,
rescue a sinking grade,
challenge a cheater,
prep for a test in your toughest class,
try out without freaking out,

and so many tips that will make your journey through middle school easier and more enjoyable.

One of the topics I paid close attention to is “How to Survive a Bully”. While I think it is slightly misplaced being in the “Boys Only” section, the tips found here could really make a difference for a young person trying to deal with a bully. The “Girls Only” section does cover the topic of “How to Survive Mean Girls” and those tips are great, but there are enough girl bullies out there that I felt surviving bullies should be in Chapter 3, titled “The Social Scene”.

While reading this book, all I could think was, “Where was this book when I was entering middle school?”

The hip cover and fun illustrations provided by Chuck Gonzales definitely get an “A” in my book, and by using silly names like “Miss Mean Jeans” the authors get their points across in a lighthearted and entertaining way.

Buy it for yourself. Buy it for a friend. Buy it for someone you love. But make sure you buy it before that person enters middle school.

Rating:Β Β  πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10: 0811868648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811868648
  • SRP:Β  $10.99
  • Girlforce by Nikki Goldstein

    GirlForce-coverYoung women who read CosmoGIRL, Teen Vogue, Seventeen and Girls’ Life will feel right at home in between the pages of Nikki Goldstein’s new book Girlforce: A Girl’s Guide to the Body and Soul.

    Basing her book upon India’s ancient medical system, Ayurveda, which according to Goldstein offers a complete system of living, the author has modernized this ancient system and made it applicable to young women and the situations they are dealing with on a daily basis. Proving her knowledge of the age-group, Goldstein includes quizzes similar to those found in popular teen magazines, which allow the reader to figure out which Body Type she is, how much stress she is under and where she is on the self-esteem meter.

    The colorful front and back cover, color photographs and appealing inside design will certainly attract teens to this book and encourage them to read more.

    The basic advice found in Girlforce is all stuff we’ve heard before: be happy with who you are, eat right, exercise, and take care of yourself. It encourages yoga and meditation as ways to relax, which are parts of Ayruveda. What Goldstein, does however, is create Body Type specific applications for diet, exercise, stress management, fashion, and beauty techniques.

    I have to admit, while I found most of the advice in this book to be helpful for young women, I did have a few challenges as I read it.

    The first is that while it does tell the reader over and again how much she should appreciate who she is, most of the photos show girls who look more like professional models than average teens. In addition, Earth girls are said to be “curvaceous” and “…tend to put on weight around the hips and butt.” None of the girls photographed for Girlforce look like that.

    As with all general quizzes, you tend to find yourself not always able to locate the right answer for you, so you end up choosing the best answer of those available, even when none of them truly apply. This can skew the results. And for those who don’t land completely in one Body Type, it can be challenging to know which Body Type specific advice to follow because different Body Types, according to this book, should avoid certain things or use them moderately, whereas others should use them more liberally.

    This reader would have liked to have seen a bit more information on how certain foods interact with specific Body Types and meditation, along with a few more examples of creative visualization.

    Girlforce interested me enough that I wandered out to do a bit of additional research about Ayurveda. What I found at www.ayurveda.com is that this philosophy believes “…the entire cosmos is the interplay of the energies of the five great elements–Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.” Why the other two elements are not included in Girlforce, is not explained.

    Overall, Girlforce by Nikki Goldstein will appeal to its target market. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management are good for everyone, not just teens. By encouraging young women to get into this type of daily routine earlier in life, they will have an advantage over those who wait until they are much older to make such lifestyle changes.

    Rating:Β Β  πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
  • ISBN-10: 1599903547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599903545
  • SRP:Β  $14.99 (U.S.)
  • It's Not Fair, Jeremy Spencer's Parents Let Him Stay Up All Night! by Anthony E. Wolf Ph.D.

    It's Not FairΒ Looking for a book that will help you through some of the most diffcult challenges of parenting children? Look no further than It’s Not Fair, Jeremy Spencer’s Parents Let Him Stay Up All Night! by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D.

    I received this book from my daughter’s school adjustment counselor. Having a strong-willed daughter and being strong-willed myself, I expressed concern over the battles we wage in our household each day. Why is it that she is so well-behaved at school, but the moment she comes home it’s like someone dropped the bomb?

    Through It’s Not Fair, I was able to catch glimpses not only of my daughter’s behavior, but also of my own. Already feeling like I was part of the problem, Wolf’s insight showed me the areas I need to concentrate on, areas that required me only to change how I handled the situation.

    In this book, Wolf discusses the “baby self” and how there remains a part of us that does not grow up. This “baby self” acts very differently from the “mature self”–the part of us that does grow up–who is able to handle stress, accept responsibility, and have self-control.

    Topics I found especially helpful were those on power struggles, consistency, dealing with whining, sulking, and temper tantrums, and sibling rivalry.

    It’s Not Fair, Jeremy Spencer’s Parents Let Him Stay Up All Night! is like a parent’s best friend: understanding, not judgmental, and filled with great advice. Perhaps the best part is that Wolf doesn’t insist you do things his way; he suggests what he has seen work in the past and shares his knowledge of why these parenting methods work. And he does it in such a way that you aren’t left feeling like a failure before he came along to save you. He just gives you the tools to create the more tranquil home you want.

    No parent should be without It’s Not Fair, Jeremy Spencer’s Parents Let Him Stay Up All Night!!

    Rating:Β Β  πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • ISBN-10: 0374524734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374524739
  • SRP:Β  $14.00