Pubs and Videos for November 2007

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Afterschool Style in Practice:
25 Skill-Building Meetings for Staff
Tamara Sniad, Claudia Weisburd, Sarah Mello
Center for Afterschool and Community Education/Foundations Inc.
182 pages. $59.95.

This spiral-bound workbook contains everything that after-school program directors need for on-site staff training. Each 45-minute meeting plan includes instructions for facilitators, materials lists, handouts, activities and a follow-up form. Three sections are: Fundamentals, such as “Understanding Child and Youth Development”; Program Connections, such as “Working with Volunteers”; and Teaching, from homework help to English language learning and more. Modeling the “after-school style” of active learning, these well-organized trainings would benefit any youth worker. (888) 977-5437,


Almost Home
Jessica Blank
Hyperion Books for Children
256 pages. $15.99.

In this searing novel, readers meet seven runaways on the streets of Los Angeles. Rusty is abandoned by his teacher/lover. Squid escapes an endless stream of foster homes. Manipulative Scabius wants handsome junk-dealer Critter to himself. Laura leaves her desert home to experience city life. Tough, magnetic Tracy is touched only by 12-year-old Eeyore, who fled her stepbrother’s abuse for a street family that cannot protect her. Their pitch-perfect voices build a gut-wrenching, discordant symphony whose power will infuse any teen reader on the streets or at home. National runaway resources are provided and a screenplay is under way. (800) 242-7737,


Moving Out and Moving On
Brenda Hayes
Milligan Books
157 pages. $14.95.

Addressing her 17-year-old daughter, Hayes offers vignettes of advice about negotiating the world on one’s own. In chapters about dating, friendship, finance, faith, and other skills and values, this “Guide for Female Teens and Their Mothers” crackles with Hayes’ folksy wisdom and humor: “That thong with your shear [sic] dress should not be worn to church. Your butt cheeks should not be seen clapping as hard as your hands are clapping.”

Self-respect and unconditional love underlie it all. Older teen girls in dorms, apartments, foster homes and shelters will consult this portable Mom. Educators and librarians might be charmed into overlooking the poor editing. (323) 750-3592,


A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression
Gary E. Nelson
Cascade Books/Wipf & Stock Publishers
137 pages. $18.

In this readable, compelling testament, pastoral counselor Nelson illuminates the realities of severe depression, anxiety and related illnesses through his teenage son’s experience and his own practice. Explaining how depression feels, Nelson offers tools to help save lives that are at risk from its side effects, such as substance abuse and suicide. (541) 344-1528,


Struggle for Identity:
Issues in Transracial Adoption and A Conversation 10 Years Later
PhotoSynthesis Productions and New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children
20 minutes each. Special edition DVD $100.

In 1998, “Issues in Transracial Adoption” filmed seven adoptees – biracial, multiracial, Asian and African-American – who candidly probed their reactions to their white adoptive parents, racism and cultural identity. In “A Conversation 10 Years Later,” the articulate Michelle Johnson and John Raible, two of the adoptees, reappear with adult perspectives. Now helping young transracial adoptees to adjust, both believe that adoptive parents and social workers aren’t prepared for the quandary that such children face when developing their identities. Together on a single DVD, these groundbreaking films open many arenas for discussion. (607) 272-4242,

Working with Black Young People
Momodou Sallah and Carlton Howson, Editors
Russell House Publishing
242 pages. $49.95.

Sixteen essays by British educators, youth workers, juvenile justice officials, psychologists and researchers call for “greater understanding” of black youths’ viewpoints. Because people of African and Caribbean origin belong to two different subcultures in the United Kingdom, parallels with African-Americans are limited, although such challenges as negative stereotyping are similar. The book’s accessibility is marred by tiny, dense text and an academic style. (503) 287-3093,


Resiliency in Action
Nan Henderson, Editor, with Bonnie Benard and Nancy Sharp-Light
Resiliency in Action
248 pages. $36.95.

Three leaders in the resiliency movement offer a second edition of the indispensable handbook, subtitled “Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities.” Research shows that most young people overcome adversity. Abundant techniques for jump-starting this “self-righting capacity” appear in seven sections of short articles by social workers, therapists, educators, librarians and youth. They include youth-involvement activities, such as a Postcard Project about mentors, and resources, such as a Resiliency Quiz and a “How to Build Your Resiliency” handout. No youth-serving agency, school or group should try to get along without this guide. (800) 440-5171,

Teaching Kids to Change the World
Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner and Chris Maser
Search Institute Press
61 pages. $24.95.

Youth center director Griffin-Wiesner and ecologist Maser present 26 “Lessons to Inspire Social Responsibility for Grades 6-12,” empowering youth to imagine new solutions to planetary and social problems. Lesson plans are organized around eight principles, including “Act Locally and Affect the Whole World.” Investigations – such as exploring the concept of change through Easter Island’s decline, alongside observations of a ripening apple – will help to breed young activists in classrooms and youth organizations. (800) 888-4741,