Pubs and Videos for April 2004

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Black in School, by Shawn Ginwright, posits a perspective on the older ideas of Afrocentric reform discussed by intellectuals and its applicability to the hip-hop generation of African-American youth. Ginwright argues that Afrocentrism is a philosophy that must be applied to youth rather than taught to them. Ginwright’s candor is direct and intriguing, but at times his opinion overshadows more objective narrative. 157 pages. $21.95. Teachers College Press, 1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027. (212) 678-3929,

Faith Matters: How African-American Communities Can Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy,
by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, is a plea for action by African-American religious leaders from one of the national leaders in teen pregnancy research. The campaign’s research shows that few youth identify religious leaders as influential in their sexual decision-making, but that seven of 10 want more involvement from those leaders. That sentiment is echoed most strongly by African-American Protestants, the authors say. The stakes for African-American girls are high: They are more than two times as likely as their white peers to have sex before age 15. Eight pages. Free online. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1776 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 478-8500,

The Real Deal: A Spiritual Guide for Black Teen Girls, by Billie Montgomery Cook, presents young black girls with advice on surviving the troubled teen years. Cook broaches the typical teen trouble spots, such as self-esteem, dating and sex, but tailors her message to African-American girls. The advice comes from a Christian perspective. 144 pages. $13. Judson Press, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482. (800) 458-3766,


Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility,
by the National Research Council Institute of Medicine, is the product of a study by the National Academies to develop a multifaceted approach to curbing teen drinking. The committee that wrote the report settled on nine broad categories of recommendations, including raising excise taxes and creating a partnership between nonprofits and the alcohol industry. This hardback presentation of the findings includes detailed narrative and an explanation for how each recommendation was reached. 317 pages. $54. The National Academies, 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, DC 20001. 202-334-2000,


Adolescent Boys: Exploring Diverse Cultures of Boyhood, edited by Niobe Way and Judy Chu, brings together essays exploring the behavior and reality of adolescent boys of all ethnicities; a concept of diversity the editors say is lacking in this particular realm of study. Essays range in specificity from the broad “Adolescent Boys’ Heterosexual Behavior” to “The Role of Father Support in Prediction of Suicidal Ideation among Black Adolescent Males.” 416 pages. $22. New York University Press, 838 Broadway, Third Floor, New York, NY 10003. (212) 998-2575,

Child Protection

Helping in Child Protective Services, edited by Charmaine Brittain and Deborah Hunt, is a competency handbook for child protection caseworkers. The hefty resource begins with basic rundowns of child protection history and the casework process, before delving into guidelines for more specific aspects of the profession: interviewing children, intervention with families and medical evaluation, to name a few. 556 pages. $65. Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. (212) 726-6000,


Youths Serving Youths in Drug Education Programs, by George R. Taylor, is a study of the benefits of involving youths in all aspects of drug education. Taylor uses a lot of statistics to prove his point, and outlines intervention strategies and a model curriculum that emphasize the importance of youth involvement within them. Topics include peer pressure, panels with both adults and youths, and the influence of video recordings. At the end, the book has a model curriculum to use for educating youth on drug issues. 183 pages. $39.95. Scarecrow Education, 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706., (800) 462-6420.


A Good Little School, by Carole G. Basile, is a laudatory report on the Jefferson County Open School, a Colorado public school that has for 30 years provided alternative education for grades K-12. The book is a collection of stories about teachers, parents and students and their vision of and projects for this school of choice. It contains many colorful stories from the participants. 166 pages. $16.95. State University of New York Press, 90 State St., Suite 700, Albany, NY 12207-1707., (518) 472-5000.

Letters to the Next President: What We Can Do About the Real Crisis in Public Education,
edited by Carl Glickman, is a collection of letters written by public education advocates to a future president urging him or her to improve, clean up, preserve and increase the funding for public K-12 education and affordable college opportunities. After the preface – a letter from actor and comedian Bill Cosby – there are letters from public figures such as Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) and his former colleague, John Glenn (D-Ohio), and from educators, students and leaders of education advocacy groups. 272 pages. $14.95. Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027., (212) 678-3929.

School Choice 2003: How States Are Providing Greater Opportunity in Education,
by Krista Kafer, offers little in the way of demonstrated progress or regression. Each state is profiled separately, listing its policies on school choice, its expenditures and populations, and its students’ scores on fourth- and eighth-grade national tests. But, while the resource marks the 20th anniversary of the incendiary “A Nation at Risk” report, the state profiles do not even offer comparative data on score improvement. Only the results from 2000 are listed. Nevertheless, the book is a good quick reference for policy professionals who need information on a state’s contemporary education environment. 260 pages. $14.95. The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20002. (202) 546-4400,

Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with the Crisis in Childrearing,
by Robert Evans, defends the schools against a public that the author believes is quick to blame them for failing to develop children, a problem Evans places more on the shoulders of families and communities. The book examines the emerging challenges in child development and concludes with a section on the abilities and limitations of educators and youth workers addressing those problems. 294 pages. $25. Jossey-Bass, 989 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103. (415) 433-1740,


Food Services Manual: Lessons in Group Food Service, by Viki Kappel Spain, is a virtual bible for professionals involved in running food services at a camp for youth. The guide offers a model that emphasizes leadership over basic management and covers the major facets of food service: staffing, and food planning and preparation. Included are a large collection of recipes, sample rotating menu plans and troubleshooting suggestions for common camp kitchen debacles. 305 pages. $34.95. American Camping Association, 5000 State Rd. 67 North, Martinsville, IN 46151. (800) 428-2267,

Foster Care

Dependent Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Guidebook for Judges, by the Juvenile Law Center, is a concise explanation of guidelines judges should use in planning the paths that older youths (16-21) in foster care will follow. After a brief overview of the Foster Care Independence Act and its requirements, the guide presents a list of questions that a judge should ask at a permanency review, mostly pertaining to health needs, job training and youth with disabilities or special circumstances. Each suggested question is supplemented with background information on the relevant issue. A helpful resource for judges attending to the needs of older foster care youth. 10 pages. Free online. Juvenile Law Center, Philadelphia Building, 1315 Walnut St.,
Fourth Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107. (215) 625-0551,


Dark Blue: Color Me Lonely, by Melody Carlson, is about Kara Hendricks, a high school student suddenly faced with the lonely prospect of re-evaluating herself. Her best friend of eight years, Jordan, has “left her” for the cheerleader crowd they scoffed at for so long, leaving introvert Kara afraid that she will never fill the void. Carlson does a good job chronicling the tough process young girls go through in determining who they are and what they should surround themselves with. 205 pages. $12.99. Nav Press, P.O. Box 35001, Colorado Springs, CO. (800) 955-3324,

The What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls,
by Lynda Madaras, is a guide for young girls and their parents on the maturing body and mind of preteen and teen girls. This third, expanded edition takes readers through the phases from puberty and periods to boys and romantic feelings. Madaras misses nothing and tells all with the right mix of details and simple explanations. 263 pages. $12.95. Newmarket Press, 18 E. 48th St., New York, NY 10017. (212) 832-3575,


Mass Trauma and Violence: Helping Families and Children Cope, edited by Nancy Boyd Webb, is a collection of essays on working with youth who have endured a traumatic event. Frameworks for assessment and treatment and strategies for intervention are complemented by five more specific essays. Editor Webb focuses on trauma of a less singular nature (a natural disaster, for example), instead examining trauma that tends to cause stress related to the fear of recurrence of something highly unusual, such as terrorism. 378 pages. $40. The Guilford Press, 72 Spring St., New York, NY 10012. (800) 365-7006,

Nonprofit Management

Kids As Planners, by the KIDS Consortium, argues that employing a service-learning model to involve youth participants in higher echelons of planning is beneficial to both youth and overburdened adult youth workers. The guide takes readers through a process that begins with building community partnerships while developing a project plan and ends, ideally, with a greater number of youth working in leadership positions. 118 pages. $19.95. KIDS Consortium, 215 Lisbon St., Suite 12, Lewiston, ME 04240. (207) 784-0956,

Roberta’s Rules of Order,
by Alice Collier Cochran, challenges readers to leave behind the rules of parliamentary procedure used by many nonprofits in their board meetings. The title refers to the oft-used and British Parliament-derived “Robert’s Rules of Order,” developed in the 19th century by Army officer Henry Martyn Robert. The adaptation that has worked for Congress, says Cochran, is not necessarily a good fit for small board meetings. “Roberta’s Rules” is a five-part plan to humanize what its author views as an antiquated system that is inefficient at the micro-level. 305 pages. $26.95. Jossey-Bass, 989 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103. (415) 433-1740,


Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn’t Fit In, by Perri Klass and Eileen Costello, is an all-inclusive guide on how to handle children some might classify as “different” for reasons ranging from their bizarre obsessions (such as hugging vacuum cleaners) to real disorders like Attention Deficit Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Like other “how-to” guide books, it describes scenarios and then analyzes the best way to handle the situations. 385 pages. $23.95. Ballantine Books, New York, NY.


Abuse and Assault

Lookin’ Out 4 U features three young couples in abusive relationships. Cori stays with Kevin, despite his drug-dealing and refusal to use a condom; Isobel must overcome Chris’ jealousy; and Nikki is being suffocated by her stalking older boyfriend, Ty. See a pattern? The video is directed at girls, and each scene depicts a scenario where males are aggressive and controlling. While the writing is pretty realistic, the acting is a little rough. A decent starting point for a discussion with girls about how to handle abusive male teens. 29 minutes. $95. Guidance Channe1, 135 Dupont Street, P.O. Box 760, Plainview, NY 11803. (800) 999-6884,

A Rose for Livvy tells the story of Livvy, a lonely teen who develops an online relationship in a chat room. The first scene features a classroom lecture about the perils of Internet chat rooms. Not a ringing endorsement for the idea of Internet safety outreach, though: Two girls from the class immediately try it out. While they are disgusted at the responses they get, lonely Livvy uses the Internet to fill the void caused by having no friends and a disinterested mom. The other end of the chat room turns out to be an adult with one thing on his mind. Once the story gets going, Livvy’s frightening brush with an online predator should have an impact on youth who might be bold enough to meet a stranger. 29 minutes. $89. Guidance Channe1, 135 Dupont Street, P.O. Box 760, Plainview, NY 11803. (800) 999-6884,


Smart & Sober draws together a strange mix of celebrities, experts, parents and teens seeking to dispel myths about the “coolness” of drinking and the immortality of youth. The teens are relatively uninspiring in a panel setting, and it is unlikely that Henry Winkler carries as much star power with youth today as he did in his days as the Fonz. More moving are the harrowing story of a son lost to drinking and driving, a message from a young adult in prison for killing a man in a bar fight, and commentary from young hip-hop star Lil’ Bow Wow. 40 minutes. Free. Office of Ohio’s First Lady, 77 S. High St., 30th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. (614) 995-2000,


What Do You Believe? brings together teens of many religious backgrounds to discuss their views. Catholics, Muslims, even pagans weigh in on their belief systems and how faith affects their lives as adolescents. Director Sarah Feinbloom does an excellent job framing the reality and struggle of teen faith: So many want religion or spirituality in their lives, but they question some of the modern applications of religious doctrine. A great starting point for any discussion of tolerance. 49 minutes. $95. New Day Films, 190 Route 17M, P.O.Box 1084, Harriman, NY 10926. (888) 367-9154,

Nonprofit Management

The Best Cooperative Team Building Activities presents simple activities for youth work staff to build trust and camaraderie. The lessons about trust, working together and communication are clear in each activity, but a lot of the activities seem pretty corny. Then again, on a typical community group budget, there isn’t a lot of room for high-priced team-building fun. A good collection for basic icebreaking, especially for professionals who want to break in new youth leaders. 58 minutes. $39.95. Bill and Ezra, 338 Reichling Ave., Pacifica, CA 94044. (650) 359-0836,


The Private Lives of Children explores the tricky balance between respecting children’s privacy and monitoring activities that may get them in trouble. The video has the feel of a local news feature story and addresses such dicey issues as taping children’s calls, monitoring computer use and randomly testing for drugs. An interesting video for concerned parents who are seeking advice on where to draw the line. Parents’ guide included. 30 minutes. $49.95. Active Parenting Publishers, 1955 Vaughn Rd. NW, Suite 108, Kennesaw, GA 30144. (800) 825-0060,