Looking Glass: A Positive Communication Work-Book, by Lynda Regan, Sally Jones and Carole Pelling, is a basic catalog of activities for youth workers interested in reaching out to young women. The suggested activities are mostly arts and crafts projects that help youth workers elicit critical information from girls. While some of the activities and their intended outcomes border on the realm of social work and psychology, many of the activities may help in developing relationships with younger girls. 95 pages. $30. Russell House Publishing, 4 St. George’s House, Uplyme Road, Lyme Regis, Dorset, U.K., DT7 3LS. 011-44-01297-443948, www.russellhouse.co.uk.
More Building Assets Together, by Rebecca Grothe, details 130 activities the author has found effective in helping youth realize and develop their own potential. The activities are simple, generally requiring little more than standard arts and crafts materials. Each seeks to help the youth identify positive behavior in themselves and their communities or to recognize how they can use their skills to lead. 139 pages. $26.95. Search Institute, 615 First Ave. NE, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413. (800) 888-7828, www.search-institute.org.
Tag, You’re It! by Kathleen Kimball-Baker, offers 50 ways for older community members to connect with the young people around them. Although a bit hokey in nature – suggestions include “Laugh!” – the book as a whole represents the basic foundation of the Search Institute’s asset-building concept. Perhaps a bit simplistic for youth workers, “Tag” is a worthwhile recommendation for adults who aren’t sure how to start a relationship with youths. 137 pages. $7.95. Search Institute, 615 First Ave. NE, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413. (800) 888-7828, www.search-institute.org.
Tricks of the Trade: 101 Psychological Techniques to Help Children Grow and Change, by Lawrence Shapiro, is a collection of techniques that therapists can use to help youth and their parents. In seven chapters, Shapiro lays out short-term tactics designed to communicate with, test or engage youth, as well as some designed to help parents work with their own children. 151 pages. $25.95. Childswork/Childsplay, 135 Dupont St., Plainview, NY 11803. (800) 962-1141, www.childswork.com.
Generation Fix: Young Ideas for a Better World, by Elizabeth Rusch, attempts to inspire teens to believe they can make a difference in the world. Chapters include stories of how regular kids have started recycling programs, collected food for the homeless and picketed against injustice. Rusch ends with a list of organizations that teens can contact for volunteer opportunities and ideas. 170 pages. $9.95. Beyond Words Publishing Inc., 20827 N.W. Cornell Road, Suite 500, Hillsboro, OR 97124. (503) 531-8700, www.beyondword.com.
Future 500: Youth Organizing and Activism in the United States, compiled by the nonprofit Active Element Foundation, is a directory of 500 progressive organizations advocating for youth in the United States. Contact information and brief descriptions of organizations (mostly activist) are included, along with additional resources and profiles of 25 rising youth leaders. 197 pages. $12. Active Element Foundation, 532 La Guardia Place, Suite 510, New York, NY 10012. (212) 283-8272, www.activeelement.org.
Confident Communication: Speaking Tips for Educators, by Douglas Parker, is a useful book for educators interested in improving their speaking skills. Using a system called “positive speech conditioning,” the author doles out tips on body language, impromptu speaking, dealing with difficult situations and ways to involve an audience. This book is designed to help educators learn to speak confidently, write interesting speeches and utilize skills both in and out of the classroom. 171 pages. $24.95. Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. (800) 818-7243. www.corwinpress.com.
Kids Working It Out, by Tricia Jones and Randy Compton, provides tools for educators, administrators and policy-makers to implement conflict resolution education programs in school systems. The first section gives an overview of the different methods, while the second half of the book uses anecdotal evidence to illustrate the effectiveness of such programs. 360 pages. $35. Jossey-Bass/A Wiley Imprint, 989 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103. (800) 956-7739. www.josseybass.com.
Reality Therapy and Choice Theory, by Larry Myers and David Jackson, details the internal control approach to youth in correctional facilities. The concept, which focuses on pressing youths to learn how to make choices for themselves, was developed by William Glasser after his work at a girls’ correctional facility in California. Myers and Jackson first break down the theory of internal control (choice theory), then establish a blueprint for implementing it as functional therapy. 263 pages. $20. American Correctional Association, 4380 Forbes Blvd., Lanham, MD 20706. (800) 222-5646, www.aca.org.
Exploring Islands of Healing: New Perspectives on Adventure Based Counseling, by Jim Schoel and Richard Maizell, seeks to fine-tune and develop the practices of youth workers engaged in adventure-based counseling. The book is based on the theory and structure of Project Adventure, which uses challenging outdoor experiences to educate and treat youth. After taking readers through the basics of this form of counseling, Maizell and Schoel end with suggestions for implementing a comparable program. 303 pages. $28. Project Adventure, 701 Cabot St., Beverly, MA 01915. (978) 524-4500, www.pa.org.
Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Imprisonment, edited by Marc Mauer and Meda Chesney-Lind, assesses the negative social impacts of the ever-growing U.S. prison system. Writers of varying expertise weigh in on issues such as the absence of fathers from low-income communities and the growing incarceration rates for women. Packed with data, but balanced with commentary from laymen. 355 pages. $26.95. The New Press, 450 W. 41st St., Sixth Floor, New York, NY 10036. (800) 233-4830, www.thenewpress.com.
International Exchange Locator: A Resource Directory for Educational and Cultural Exchange, by the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange, profiles organizations that focus on international exchange programs and provides contact information. The directory is divided into five categories: exchange organizations, organizations with an interest in exchange, international organizations, foreign affairs agencies and federal government exchanges. 375 pages. $25. Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange, 1776 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 620, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 293-6141, www.alliance-exchange.org.
For the Children: Redefining Success in School and Success in Life, by Rob Langston, begins with a personal account of the educational challenges Langston faced growing up with severe dyslexia. Langston tells his readers, presumably youth who are quietly suffering with learning disorders, about how he first hid his inabilities by cheating, landing him in high school with a fifth-grade reading ability. Now a successful businessman, he details the advantages he reaped by accepting and embracing his disabilities. 167 pages. $14.95. TurnKey Press, 2525 W. Anderson Lane, Suite 540, Austin, TX 78757. (512) 407-8876, www.turnkeypress.com.
The Survival Guide for Kids With LD, Gary Fisher and Rhoda Cummings, is a well-written work for adolescents who have discovered they suffer from learning disabilities. Using a calm, conversational tone, the authors do an excellent job of presenting questions and explanations to kids. A valuable resource for parents or youth workers looking for a book to help learning-disabled children. 103 pages. $10.95. Free Spirit Publishing, 217 Fifth Ave. N, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55401. (800) 735-7323, www.freespirit.com.
A Parent’s Survival Guide to Childhood Depression, by Susan Dubuque, is written by a mother of a clinically depressed child hoping to inform other parents about the realities of childhood depression. Dubuque guides parents through understanding different types of depression and diagnosing the problem, and explains available treatments and what depressed youth need from their parents. A great book to recommend for parents who need answers without the heavy professional verbiage. 83 pages. $32.95. Childswork/Childsplay, 135 Dupont St., Plainview, NY 11803. (800) 962-1141, www.childswork.com.
Keeping Your Kids Sexually Pure, by La Verne Tolbert, is a religious discussion about keeping young teens from becoming sexually active. Tolbert encourages parents, youth workers and pastors to incorporate religion and faith into daily lessons. The author says that kids abstain from sex primarily because their parents expect them to. She suggests the use of abstinence-only efforts, such as virginity pledges and sexual morality vows. Tolbert is not interested in a balanced debate on the subject, but raises important points that are especially timely, given the current debates about sexuality education. 207 pages. $10.99. Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530. (616) 698-6900. www.zondervan.com.
Love to Hate: America’s Obsession with Hatred and Violence, by Jody Roy, offers an interesting look at how American society has grown obsessed with abrasive content in all forms of media. Roy claims that hatred runs throughout our popular culture, and that we make violence look cool by turning offenders into celebrities. The author uses examples of news coverage from recent horrific events, and offers practical solutions to help curb hatred and violent behavior. 202 pages. $22.50. Columbia University Press, 61 W. 62nd St., New York, NY 10023. (212) 459-0600. www.columbia.edu/cu/cup.
Making the Most of Volunteers, by Jean Grossman and Kathryn Furano, is a brief rundown on the use of volunteers within youth programs. Sections on screening, training and managing highlight practices that should help agencies use volunteers more effectively. 18 pages. $5. Public/Private Ventures, 2000 Market St., Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19103. (215) 557-4400, www.ppv.org.
Adolescent Preparation for the Future: Perils and Promise, edited by Reed Larson, B. Bradford Brown and Jeylan Mortimer, is an academic effort to summarize the development of youth on a global scale. Based on a study group put together by the Society for Research on Adolescents, the book successfully tackles such issues as health, labor and educational expectations, and civic engagement, without skewing the analysis toward Western society. 166 pages. $25.95. Blackwell Publishing, 350 Main St., Malden, MA 02148. (781) 388-8200, www.blackwellpublishing.com.
Best Practices in Youth Development in Public Park and Recreation Settings, by Peter Witt and John Crompton, identifies and thoroughly profiles park and recreational department programs that have been particularly successful in certain aspects of youth work. The authors feature agencies that have achieved high marks in one of five categories: foundational modeling, creating spaces and outreach programs, comprehensive programs, issue-specific programs, and after-school and summer programs. Each profile covers what the organization has done to improve. 238 pages. $24.50. National Recreation and Park Association, 22377 Belmont Ridge Road, Ashburn, VA 20148. (703) 858-0784, www.nrpa.org.
Young People’s Guide to Goal Setting, by James Desrosiers, is an upbeat attempt to encourage young “dreamers” that they can achieve any goal they set. Desrosiers provides an interactive guide to establishing and reaching goals, using examples of real-life “achievers” like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. While younger kids might relate to the graphics and positive reinforcement, Desrosiers is perhaps too optimistic and declines to acknowledge that some goals are simply out of reach for some people. Older youth, who might benefit from the structure and discipline Desrosiers provides, will likely be put off by the overly cheery tone and simplistic illustrations. 30 pages. $10. GROWTHco Publishing, 48 Bluefield Road, Ashburnham, MA 01430. (978) 827-3133, www.jamesdesrosiers.com.
The Children of Divorce, by Newist, focuses on the voices of children whose lives have been forever altered by their parents’ divorces. The video is aimed at recently separated parents, and the comments of youth interviewed should alert parents to feelings that must be dealt with up front, such as kids sometimes blaming themselves for the breakup. Although some of the interviews seem coached and scripted, Newist offers a valuable lesson for parents about focusing on what divorce does to their children. 27 minutes. $195. Newist, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay, WI 54311. (920) 465-2599, www.uwgb.edu/newist.
Homeboys: “My Daddy’s in Jail,” by Active Parenting, examines children with fathers who are incarcerated. Interviewing both children and their imprisoned fathers about their lives and the decisions they make, the producers drive home the point that despite their incarceration, fathers must try to guide their kids in the hope that they might learn from their fathers’ mistakes. The video risks alienating viewers by only using African-American subjects, but the interviews are well-edited and informative. 26 minutes. $79.95. Active Parenting Publishers, 810-B Franklin Court, Marietta, GA 30067. (800) 825-0060, www.activeparenting.com.
Inhalants Exposed, by Human Relations Media, centers on the story of a high school teenager who dies of Sudden Sniffing Death after inhaling for only the second time. Around this death is woven information from narrators and health professionals about the potential outcomes of inhalant use, one of the cheapest and most accessible drug habits available to youth. The video includes information about how to tell if someone has been inhaling, discussion materials and other resources. 15 minutes. $99.95. Human Relations Media, 41 Kensico Dr., Mt. Kisco, NY 10549. (800) 431-2050, www.hrmvideo.com.
The Keg Party, by Human Relations Media, tells the story of David, a high school senior who has taken his younger sister to a senior keg party before his class graduates. David, who has stopped drinking since he crashed his car driving drunk a year ago, watches as his sister gets drunk and is taken advantage of while his friend makes a clown of himself and ultimately drinks himself to death. With surprisingly good acting, “Keg Party” is an accurate portrayal of just how quickly things can go wrong with out-of-control underage drinking. 25 minutes. $139.95. Human Relations Media, 41 Kensico Dr., Mt. Kisco, NY 10549. (800) 431-2050, www.hrmvideo.com.
Understanding Addictions & Emotional Child Abuse, by Aquarius, features adults and teens discussing the tie between their use of drugs and alcohol and their abusive upbringings. Directed by psychologist Oliver Tuthill, two interviewees discuss their parents’ heavy drinking and the subsequent physical abuse they faced, while one describes how easily she slipped into drugs because of her parents’ marijuana-induced obliviousness. The video is a good conversation-starter for training. 24 minutes. $150. Aquarius Health Care Videos, 5 Powderhouse Lane, PO Box 1159, Sherborn, MA 01770. (888) 440-2963, www.aquariusproductions.com.
Real Life Teens: Stress, by TMW Media Group, confronts the many areas of stress that high school teens complain about. Covering such age-old adolescent traumas as academics, fitting in and dating, the video ties feedback from teens with simple suggestions on how to manage time and emotions in a healthy way. The video does well in touching on a subject that affects all teens but is often overlooked in videos that deal with more severe issues. 20 minutes. $59.95. TMW Media Group, 2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291. (310) 577-8581, www.tmwmedia.com.
Why Cry When No One’s Listening? by Urban Leadership Institute, is a compilation of raps, poems and monologues that confront the issue of violence in the city of Baltimore. With an eye toward expressing the frustrations of youth about the violence around them, the unique presentation of such feelings and the talent of the performers would make this an excellent gift or resource for artistic urban youths. $10. Urban Leadership Institute, PO Box 23412, Baltimore, MD 21203. www.urbanyouth.org.