Building Effective Afterschool Programs, by Olatokunbo Fashola, takes readers through the process of modeling, creating and evaluating four types of after-school programs: language arts, enrichment, tutoring and study skills, and community-based programs. The book seems a bit out of order: After the introduction, Fashola moves to a profile of several successful or promising programs within each of the four categories, then moves to chapters detailing how to create and evaluate them. But the profiles and instructions are well-written and concise, consolidating what might take readers weeks to extract from lengthy program evaluations. 119 pages. $24.95. Corwin Press, 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. (800) 818-7243, www.corwinpress.com.
Preventing Problem Behaviors: A Handbook of Successful Prevention Strategies, edited by Bob Algozzine and Pam Kay, sets forth 11 chapters on approaches to preventing disruptive behavior by youth in formal settings. While rooted in problem prevention in schools, the book presents proactive models and ideas just as easily adapted to youth workers in other settings. Social skills training, uniform discipline and connections between workers and the community and family of youths are among the concepts covered. Illustrated with helpful charts and diagrams. 247 pages. $29.95. Corwin Press, 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. (800) 818-7243, www.corwinpress.com.
One Kid at a Time, by Eliot Levine, is an in-depth account of the Providence-based Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, home to the progressive school reform “Met model.” The school groups a small number of students with one teacher, with no grades, classes or set schedule for graduation. These students focus on topics of interest to them and, with the help of faculty, design their own curriculum. Levine combines anecdote and argument to present a clear and balanced picture of the Met model’s strengths and challenges. 170 pages. $18.95. Teachers College Press, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027. (212) 678-3929, www.teacherscollegepress.com.
Speaking of Divorce, by Roberta Beyer and Kent Winchester, is a brief on how recently separated or divorced parents should handle delivering tough family news to their children. Each section is titled after a conversation that divorcees should have with their kids, such as “It’s not your fault,” “You can love us both,” and “We are still a family.” The book takes a very simple and calming tone, and Beyer and Winchester provide good talking points for parents who may not know how to handle a critical situation. 122 pages. $10.95. Free Spirit Press, Free Spirit Publishing, 217 Fifth Ave. N, Ste. 200, Minneapolis, MN 55401. (612) 338-2068, www.freespirit.com.
Practical Tools For Foster Parents, edited by Lana Temple-Plotz, Ted Stricklett, Christina Baker and Michael Sterba, is about the Girls and Boys Town’s approach to foster care and raising foster children. The book provides guidelines for foster parents to create a safe environment, reward good behavior and send clear messages. The authors also stress the importance of becoming involved with the foster child’s family. Families can also learn how to be a positive influence in the children’s life when they return home from foster care. A valuable tool for parents of foster children or those interested in improving the foster care system. 309 pages. $14.95. Boys Town Press, 14100 Crawford St., Boys Town, NE 68010. (800) 282-6657, www.girlsandboystown.org/btpress.
Ravenous, by Eve Eliot, is a sequel to the eating disorder expert’s first novel, Insatiable, relating the experience of three young women struggling with eating disorders. This novel finds characters Phoebe, Hannah and Samantha struggling to control their disorders, this time with more stressful problems on their hands. Eliot once again presents relevant hypothetical situations that anyone who might have an eating disorder can identify with. 340 pages. $12.95. Health Communications, 3201 SW 15th St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442. (800) 441-5569, www.hci-online.com.
Just Say Know, by Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Schwartzwelder and Wilke Wilson, is full of information and resources for parents, educators and youth workers who want to inform youth about the dangers of using drugs and alcohol. The book offers helpful facts about drugs available to youth and reviews some of the potential legal problems facing teens who use drugs or alcohol. The authors stress accountability and open lines of communication between adults and children as the most important factors in reaching teens with substance abuse messages. Just Say Know will help adults arm themselves with information so they can talk to youth about using or trying drugs or alcohol. 153 pages. $14.95 W.W. Norton & Company, 500 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10110-0017. (212) 354-5500, www.wwnorton.com.
Lighting the Way, edited by the Child Welfare League of America, captures the daily experiences of 15 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). The accounts of these citizens trained to advocate and find help for youths in the court system are inspiring and provide a clear case for the value of well-run CASA programs. Lighting the Way is a useful read for anybody considering work as a CASA. 94 pages. $9.95. CWLA, P.O. Box 2019, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. (800) 407-6273, www.cwla.org/pubs.
Youth Court Training Package, compiled by the American Bar Association and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, is the authoritative collection on youth court training and models. Designed for newcomers to the youth court concept, the package is broken into three basic parts. First, individual handbooks are provided for four types of youth courts: the adult judge, peer jury, youth judge and youth tribunal models. After choosing a model, readers turn to the general guide, which effectively details each aspect of the court proceedings of all four models and offers activities to help train youth and volunteers in preparing for hearings, deliberations and other court matters. Finally, additional resources are provided in a 19-minute video covering youth court cases in Salt Lake City, and on a CD-ROM with printable versions of the handbooks. $45. American Bar Association, Division for Public Education, 541 N. Fairbanks Ct., Ste. 15.3, Chicago, IL 60611. (312) 988-5735, www.abanet.org/publiced.
Managing Difficult Frustrating and Hostile Conversations, by Georgia Kosmoski and Dennis Pollack, takes administrators and leaders through steps to enhance their ability to handle difficult situations in the youth service field. While the subject matter is qualified by school-related accounts, the book covers the best approaches to dealing with personalities that are familiar to all in youth service – screaming or drunk parents, those with legitimate complaints, and bosses who might humiliate or embarrass staff. Providing concise analysis based on interviews with 150 administrators, Kosmoski and Pollack have put together a guide that any youth worker will find useful. 108 pages. $19.95. Corwin Press, 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. (800) 818-7243, www.corwinpress.com.
Figuring Foreigners Out: A Practical Guide, by Craig Storti, is a training manual for educators and trainers on cultural understanding and sensitivity. Stressing the need to use generalizations positively in a time of growing importance of cultural acceptance – cultural ignorance “can cost you money, friends, business, and professional advancement,” says Storti – the author breaks down different components of culture with explanations and exercises. The material seems too cerebral to directly apply to a program or lesson for youth, but youth workers might benefit from understanding the complexities of cultural assessment. 165 pages. $21.95. Intercultural Press, 374 Rte. 1, P.O. Box 700, Yarmouth, ME 04096. (800) 370-2665, www.interculturalpress.com.
Puberty’s Wild Ride, by Marta McCave, is a forthright and personable guide for preteens facing the challenges and curiosities of puberty. McCave presents a balanced and calming explanation of what is happening in a child’s mind and body, covering everything from sexual expression to violence and conflict resolution. All the while, she writes directly to the reader, phonetically spelling all science-related words. By holding the middle ground between conservative and liberal views on pubescent development, McCave has created one of the better reads on the subject for soon-to-be adolescents. 132 pages. $5. Family Planning Council, 260 S. Broad St., Ste. 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19102. (215) 985-2600, www.familyplanning.org.
Taste Berries for Teens: Inspirational stories and encouragement on life, love, friends and the face in the mirror, by Bettie B. Youngs and Jennifer Leigh Youngs, is the third installment in the Taste Berries series, featuring short stories for teens by teens. The book is divided into sections covering alcohol and drug problems, friends, family trouble, and falling in love. In each section, teens write candidly about their feelings. The final section features trivia questions and engaging activities related to history and pop culture. 366 pages. $12.95. Health Communications, 3201 S.W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442. (800) 441-5569, www.hci-online.com.
How Can You Tell If You’re Really in Love?, by Sol Gordon, is a self-help guide to determining what relationships are right for certain people at certain times, in what the author sees as a western civilization deteriorated by the high volume of relationships ending in despair or disaster. Gordon tackles everything from defining love to making the right choices about levels of commitment and intimacy, breaking each of 14 chapters into chunks of conversational explanations that adolescents and divorcees alike can benefit from. Gordon’s work would be an excellent resource for practitioners in need of concise and easy reads for clientele ranging from confused children to single parents. 238 pages. $7.95. Adams Media Corporations, 260 Center St., Holbrook, MA 02343. (800) 872-5627, www.adamsmedia.com.
Live Aware, Not in Fear: The 411 after 9-11, by Donna Wells and Bruce Morris, is a book for teens who have been confused or stressed out since the attacks on Sept. 11. The authors take a conversational tone, speaking directly to “you” as an older teen, which is mostly effective but at times will sound like a wannabe-hip parent to cynical teens. The subject matter tackled by Wells and Morris is extremely relevant, explaining things such as the economic slowdown and biochemical warfare, which youth may have trouble understanding. “Live Aware” should help teens realize that certain emotions they may not be comfortable talking about are natural and understandable. 162 pages. $9.95. Health Communications, 3201 SW 15th St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442. (800) 441-5569, www.hci-online.com.
Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times, by Luis Rodriguez, a former gang member, reviews the history of gangs in the United States and offers ideas on how to combat gang violence and promote peace in local communities. In this powerful book, Rodriguez speaks candidly about his experiences with gangs and violence, and how he took control of his life by helping others. He writes about what he has seen work to steer youths in the right direction, and asks readers to “get smart with the heart” by participating in the lives of youths around them and diminishing the appeal of gangs. 365 pages. $24.95. Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts St., New York, NY 10013. (212) 226-8760, www.sevenstories.com.
The Impact of War on Children, by Graca Machel, examines the myriad effects that conflicts in developing countries have had on children in the last decade. As the days of the Cold War waned, Machel says, many countries in the Third World fell into civil wars that wreaked havoc on the development, health and stability of their children. Among the most serious consequences Machel highlights: use of children in militias, forced sexual violence and exploitation, and landmines. Machel has put together an excellent account of the gravest situation facing youth today, explained simply but throughly. The Impact of War on Children is a worthwhile read for any youth worker. 226 pages. $35. Palgrave Publishing, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. (212) 982-3900, www.palgrave.com.
Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African-American Young Women, by Freeman Hrabowski, Kenneth Maton, Monica Greene and Geoffrey Greif, examines the advancements of women in a demographic group that the authors say is too often associated with welfare and hopelessness. Based on interviews with successful black women, the book examines what factors helped to put them on the path to success. Key factors include relationships with family members, personal traits and achievements in math and science. This follow-up to the acclaimed Beating the Odds, which covers black male success stories, is equally informative and of value to any youth worker seeking positive examples to model the empowerment of young black women. 272 pages. $25. Oxford University Press, 198 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. (212) 726-6000, www.oup-usa.org.
Toxic Relationships, produced by Discover Films, uses interviews with teenagers to describe the early warning signs of unhealthy or abusive relationships. Youth who were verbally abused, or have friends who were physically abused, discuss the behavioral and emotional patterns that led to what they ultimately discovered were destructive situations. The basic message of the video, targeted at high school youth, is that violent behavior is learned, and therefore can and must be “unlearned.” While the content hits home at times, some of the teens are hard to understand. 30 minutes. $149. Discover Films Video, P.O. Box 24758, New Orleans, LA 70184, (888) 649-6453, www.discover-films.com.
Sex and Young America, produced by the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, is a four-video, two-guide curriculum designed for churches and civic groups to help youth make educated decisions about sexual activity. The curriculum preaches one answer to all questions concerning sexual acts: Don’t. The materials rely on biblical quotes to drive home the “wait-until-you’re-married” side of the sex debate. One telling hypothetical presents a high school girl who is not allowed to date. The girl agrees to have sex with a family friend in exchange for him convincing her parents to let her date. When the girl tells her boyfriend how she finally got permission, he dumps her. This program is probably best used by abstinence-only groups that don’t mind strong biblical overtones. Within that frame, Sex and Young America provides some decent materials to present the abstinence argument. 85 pages. $89.95. National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, 800 Compton Rd., Ste. 9224, Cincinnati, OH 45231. (513) 521-6227, www.nationalcoalition.org .
No Dip, No Duh, produced by Discover Films, is a multi-faceted approach to the argument against using spit, or smokeless, tobacco. Employing every type of guest from celebrity to rodeo cowboy, the producer conveys to youth that: Girls are not attracted to men who use dip; it does not improve your performance in any aspect of athletic competition; and the potential for serious illness is high. The horrific footage of tobacco chewers/spitters suffering disfigurement caused by cancer surgeries might be enough to make many young teens spew out any notion of taking up the habit. 30 minutes. $149. Discover Films Video, P.O. Box 24758, New Orleans, LA 70184, (888) 649-6453, www.discover-films.com.
Too Many Victims, produced by Video/Action, quickly covers the murder of Tariq Khamisa by 14-year-old gang member Tony Hicks, instructed to shoot Khamisa after he refused to give up the pizza he was delivering. After interviews with Khamisa’s father and Hicks’ grandfather, who started a foundation together in Tariq’s name, Tony tells in court of his remorse and his fear of the adult prison he is about to go to for 25 years to life. 10 min. $49. Video/Action, 1000 Potomac St., Ste. 202, Washington, DC 2007. (202) 338-1094, www.videoaction.org.