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A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive 0 N. Barton A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to SurviveBook Being Reviewed:Pelzer, D. (1995). A child called "it": One child's courage to survive. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc. Reviewer:Najah BartonGenre:Memoir/BiographySubject Headings:Family Dynamics, Heath/Wellness, Relationships, Trauma, Violence-Assault, Violence-DomesticReview:A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive is a memoir by David Pelzer in which he describes his horrendous childhood filled with abuse and neglect. One of five children, David became the subject of his mother’s abuse from a young age. Raised in a dual parented home, the author described in grueling details the events that took place as he was enslaved by his mother, while his brothers and father condoned and/or contributed to the psychological, emotional, and physical abuse. Appearing to be a seemingly happy and content family on the outside, within the home alcoholism, sadistic behavior, arguments and segregation created a depressing environment for the author. Only after the school nurse, principal and an after school teacher reported the documented incidents to the local authorities was the author freed from the encapsulated hell. The experiences of David are ones that all too many children know very well. Childhood abuse is a healthcare epidemic that is faced by many children. Counselors can used this book for self-knowledge, as it serves to educate clinical professionals on the escalating patterns of abusive behaviors. Used in clinical application, the text could serve to aid childhood abuse survivors with processing their experiences. Additionally, the text can be used as an educational tool for use amongst the batterer population to teach about the effects of childhood abuse on children into adulthood. As the text is very descriptive, it is cautioned that counselors use the book in the course of therapy when clinically appropriate and after a strong therapeutic alliance is built.
by N. Barton
Friday, August 7, 2015
A Terrible Thing Happened 0 K. Dunbar Davison A Terrible Thing HappenedBook Being Reviewed:Holmes, M. M. (2000). A terrible thing happened. Washington, DC: Magination Press.Reviewer:Kelly Dunbar DavisonGenre:Fiction - Children (0-9 years old)Subject Headings:Anger Elementary school traumaReview:A Terrible Thing Happened is about a raccoon named Sherman who has witnessed a traumatic event. As a result, he experiences feelings of anger, fear, nervousness, upset stomach, and sleeplessness. Additionally, he begins to exhibit behavioral issues at school and is sent to see the school counselor, Ms. Maple. Sherman and Ms. Maple work together using traditional talk therapy and expressive arts techniques. Through their work, Sherman begins to express and understand his thoughts and feelings. His behavior improves and his sense of security and stability increases.This children’s book can be used by counselors who are working with children who have witnessed violence or a traumatic event, including, but not limited to, domestic abuse, school violence, homicide, and natural disasters. This book is written in a way that allows children to project their experiences onto Sherman. Counselors may find this helpful as it can provide a starting point for talking about their client’s experiences. This book mentions that encouraging children to talk about what they have witnessed can reduce the likelihood that they themselves will perpetuate violent acts in the future. Additional resources are provided for counselors and parents that offer suggestions for helping children heal from experiencing trauma. These resources include a bibliography of additional publications on specific childhood traumatic events and tips for talking to children about trauma. This book may also provide children with a basic idea of what they can expect if they meet with a counselor. Counselors can recommend this book to parents and caregivers to help them learn positive ways to respond to children who have witnessed trauma. Overall, A Terrible Thing Happened can be a great resource for counselors who use bibliotherapy in their work with children. Learning about Sherman’s experiences can help normalize feelings and give children the language they need to communicate their own experience.
by K. Dunbar Davison
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Wemberly Worried 0 H. Stulmaker Wemberly WorriedBook Being Reviewed:Henkes, K. (2000). Wemberly Worried. Hong Kong, China: Greenwillow Books.Reviewer:Hayley StulmakerGenre:Fiction - Children (0-9 years old)Subject Headings:Anxiety disordersReview:Wemberly Worried is a children’s book about a mouse, Wemberly, who is worried about everything. Wemberly worries about going to bed at night, spilling her drink, and being sucked into the drain in the bathtub. She worries all day, every day, and is told by everyone she knows that she worries too much. She is especially worried about going to school, and seems to feel alone in her worry until she meets a friend at school who worries as well.This children’s book can be recommended to parents to read to their children who seem to be anxious or overly worried. The book normalizes worrying for children, allowing them to not feel as alone in their worry. It also shows how knowing other people who worry and really understand their worry can be healing. Parents who read this book to their children can use it as a way to open up conversations regarding their worries, and find ways to help children feel understood and potentially help problem solve with some of the worries. Counselors can use this book during parenting sessions or parent consultations when working with parents of anxious children. Counselors can role-play with parents to help them figure out how to read this book to their children and help their children process their anxiety. Counselors can respond as the child, allowing parents to practice developmentally appropriate ways of addressing their child’s anxiety.
by H. Stulmaker
Thursday, September 25, 2014
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 0 H. Dehner I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Being Reviewed:Angelou, M. (1970). I know why the caged bird sings. New York, NY: Random House.Reviewer:Holly DehnerGenre:Memoir/BiographySubject Headings:Family dynamics, Racial/ethnic identity, Relationships, Sexual abuse, SexualityReview:Chapter by chapter, Angelou guides the reader through her childhood from her preschool years to the unexpected pregnancy at age sixteen that pushed her into the adult world of the 1940's. The narrative ranges from the cotton fields of the South to the gangster-style subculture of St. Louis, from the emotional juggling to balance the conflicting relationships between her mother, father, grandmothers, and various step-parents, and all the varieties of cultural expectations hidden within those relationships. Angelou concludes this candid journey with the emergence of her sexual identity and the consequences of her impulsive explorations. Angelou's personal history offers many opportunities to reflect on a reader's own socio-cultural development. Finding her own identity among the multiple familial expectations, her reflections of coping with her black heritage, and surviving the trauma of sexual assault at age nine may evoke a transferred identification for those whose own lives have been marked by similar events, and enable a counselor to initiate therapeutic conversations into those areas. The overall sequence of life events highlights circumstances where decisions are made out of necessity, even when outcomes may be unpredictable. One cautionary note: Angelou's perceptions of lesbianism in the last two chapters may be problematic, but her words are a reflection of the misunderstandings of that era.Originally posted on 01/02/2013 at
by H. Dehner
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Dex the Heart of a Hero 0 R. Ralston Dex the Heart of a HeroBook Being Reviewed:Buehner, C. (2009). Dex the heart of a hero. New York, NY: HarperCollins.Reviewer:Ruth RalstonGenre:Fiction-Children (0-9 years old) Subject Headings:Elementary schoolReview:Dex The Heart of a Hero, by Caralyn Buehner, is the story of a little dog that is picked on by a tomcat named Cleevis, about his size. His big dream is to be a superhero and he decides that is just what he is going to do. He reads all that he can about being a superhero and starts training to be big and strong like one too. Soon, Dexter gets big and strong and starts helping out all around town, complete with superhero outfit and cape! Not long after, all the dogs run to Dexter to ask for his help in getting Cleevis down from a tree. Dexter is able to get him down safely, and in turn, Cleevis not only stops bullying Dexter, he also asks to be his side kick.  This children's book is best suited for elementary school children. In using this book, school counselors can instill two main lessons; the first that you should not let others stand in the way of you accomplishing your dreams and the second being no matter how little you are, you can do big things. Dexter could have let Cleevis's bullying and his size get him down and make him believe that he could not accomplish his dreams, but instead he persevered and made his dreams come true.Originally posted on 01/02/2013 at
by R. Ralston
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Hatchet 0 S. Gotay HatchetBook Being Reviewed:Paulsen, G. (1987). Hatchet. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.Reviewer:Stephanie Gotay Genre:Fiction-Young Adult (12-18 years old) Subject Headings:Family dynamics Review:Hatchet is the adventurous survival tale of 13 year-old Brian who is struggling with anger and hatred in the aftermath of his parents’ recent divorce. An unfortunate twist of fate lands Brian in the wilderness with limited resources. In his struggle to survive alone, he must consider unfamiliar options and potential outcomes in order to find workable solutions. Through many challenging events, Brian discovers his own courage, strength, and determination which were previously unknown to him. This book is recommended for readers age 10 and up who enjoy the thrill of action tales. Although the character’s struggle is based on both personal survival and a family fractured by divorce, the story offers a metaphor for a variety of adolescent life struggles which require decision making, change, and personal empowerment to overcome difficult situations. The character’s struggles parallel those of adolescents attempting to reunify with families following separation and for youth attempting to alter patterns of maladaptive behavior such as gang affiliation, drug use, and aggression. The book is best used as homework which can be processed during therapy sessions. Some printings of this book include a helpful reader’s guide which identifies key points for discussion. The story offers a thought provoking catalyst to utilize with clients when developing survival kits to face their own personal challenges. It should be noted, the book contains two moral dilemmas which may be difficult for some clients; one involves decisions regarding the use of a gun, and the other pertains to adultery.Originally posted on 10/15/2012 at
by S. Gotay
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Firegirl 0 S. Gotay FiregirlBook Being Reviewed:Abbott, T. (2007). Firegirl. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.Reviewer:Stephanie GotayGenre:Fiction-Young Adult (12-18 years old) Subject Headings:Body image, Middle school, Relationships Review:Firegirl is a poignant tale of physical deformity, judgment, and social isolation. Although the story revolves around Jessica who was severely scarred in a fiery car crash, Tom, a quiet seventh grader, is the main character. The story illustrates the ostracizing results differences can produce as well as the inner turmoil experienced when confronting personal reactions to these differences.In this case, Jessica’s classmates are afraid of her scars. They are afraid to look at her, be near her, or speak to her. Tom feels the same, but circumstances develop allowing him to find the courage to reach out to the girl others consider untouchable. This is a story of developing awareness of differences, personal values, individual worth, and injustice. The book is a useful resource to encourage inclusion of others with physical disabilities or abnormalities and to facilitate conversation regarding emotional responses to those perceived as different.The book’s reading level could include ages 10 and up, but the content is intense.For this reason, young readers may benefit by reading the book with an adult or in class.The book can be utilized as homework with older readers to later process during group psychoeducational sessions.School counselors can use this resource with a classroom when attempting to integrate a new student with obvious disabilities.The book is not intended to enhance adjustment for persons with physical differences.Some printings of the book contain a readers’ guide which is helpful to process the emotional complexities of the story.Originally posted on 10/15/2012 at
by S. Gotay
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Buddha Boy 0 S. Gotay Buddha BoyBook Being Reviewed:Koja, K. (2003). Buddha boy. New York, NY: Penguin Group.Reviewer:Stephanie Gotay Genre:Fiction-Young Adult (12-18 years old)Subject Headings:Anger, High school, Multicultural/cross-cultural issues, Relationships, Spiritual practice, Violence/assaultReview:Kathe Koja, the author of Buddha Boy, addresses several important topics in this concise but value-challenging novel. The main character of this story is Justin, a somewhat ordinary high school student, who is comfortable in his middle of the road existence and until he meets the new kid, Jinsen. Other students quickly identify Jinsen as weird and dub him "Buddha Boy" due to his unique appearance and somewhat unexpected behaviors. So, befriending Jinsen openly is a risk that could move Justin from an acceptable status to one of outcast. Through circumstances beyond his control, Justin discovers he and Jinsen have a common interest in art. Justin finds himself forced to make a decision about breaking the status quo and befriending Jinsen. With some reservations, Justin pursues this friendship. What follows in a self-awakening and growing awareness as Justin begins to learn not only about his new friend but also about himself and the world around him. Psychological issues Justin experiences include struggles with decision making as he faces bullying, consideration of the parameters of friendship and loyalty, and effective options to utilize in the management of anger and aggression. A growing awareness of cultural and religious diversity and an appreciation for these differences are seen as the friendship develops. Although this book could be used to address a variety of issues common with preteen and teenage clients, the theme centers most directly on bullying, anger management, defining self as an individual, and appreciation of religious and cultural differences.Originally posted on 8/16/2012 at
by S. Gotay
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
A Return to Love 0 C. Jackson A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"Book Being Reviewed:Williamson, M. (1992). A return to love: Reflections on the principles of "A course in miracles". New York, NY: HarperCollins. Reviewer:Candice JacksonGenre:Spirituality Subject Headings:Career, College, GLBT issues, High school, Racial/ethnic identity, Spiritual journey Review:"Our Deepest Fear" is widely known as a poem; however, it is a short passage from Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles." "Our Deepest Fear" has a message intended to empower and communicate accountability. Although the poem has a foundation based on Christianity, secularized versions of this passage are easily accessible on the internet and in other media productions, such as movies Akeelah and the Bee and Coach Carter. Throughout the book, Williamson uses an ontological and existential approach, emphasizing the connectedness between all humans and God. Moreover, Williamson's book has an underlining spiritual message focused on ways of thinking attributed to the New Age movement.This passage can be integrated into therapy as a counseling intervention for adolescents and college students. Whether using the original or secularized versions, clients or students may benefit from the charge embedded in a sequence of rhetorical questions, specifically if they are struggling with issues related to perfectionism, self-efficacy, self-confidence, and identity roles.This referenced passage offers a powerful and resonating message that is not likely to be completely grasped with one, quick reading. When used, it is recommended that counselors encourage or utilize slow reading techniques, emphasizing certain phrases and words, to help adolescents and young adults resist existing cultural norms to refrain from greatness. Additionally, this poem may prove to be especially useful with minority groups who are marginalized within social microcosms, such as schools, colleges, and universities. With regards to developmental counseling, this passage seems to be directly applicable to clients and students working towards establishing identity, as discussed by Chickering and Reisser, whose description seems to encompass each of the aforementioned issues. Additionally, the passage could be used to incorporate spirituality and self-direction into counseling to promote overall wellness in consultation with Myers, Sweeney, and Witmer's (2000) Wheel of Wellness.Originally posted on 8/16/2012 at
by C. Jackson
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia 0 K. Welles Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and BulimiaBook Being Reviewed:Hornbacher, M. (2009). Wasted: A memoir of anorexia and bulimia. New York, NY: HarperCollins. Reviewer:Kristilyn Welles Genre:Memoir/Biography Subject Headings:Body image, Eating disorders, Female lifespan development, Health/Wellness Review:Wasted, by Marya Hornbacher is a memoir of Marya's personal experiences with anorexia and bulimia.The book is essentially a story about the authors life, beginning at age nine when she became bulimic and ending at age 23, when she was in recovery. The book is written in a narrative style that includes factual footnotes and scientific explanations at the bottom of the pages. Marya also includes many direct dialogues and specific stories of her many ups and downs. It includes her recovery highs and her darkest lows, exploring her emotions and state of mind along the way.This is a book that many young women who are suffering with eating disorders can relate to. Marya is honest and real; she does not sugar-coat anything. She gives an intimate look into the dark world of eating disorders and provides incredibly insightful commentary and reflection. Beginning the book at such a young age is helpful for readers to see that this problem may start long before puberty and can truly be a disorder and not a result of hormones and teenage angst.Therapeutically, this book will be most successful for young women who are in any stage of an eating disorder. They can relate Marya's story to their own, and see how they are alike and different. The book can also help a young client to see that there is hope and change is possible after an eating disorder. Another therapeutic task could be to have a client write their own experiences as if it were in a book, to provide time and space for them to reflect; with this, you can see what they consider to be important to their story, and what is not. A great book for clients to learn more about themselves and their eating disorder.Originally posted on 8/16/2012 at
by K. Welles
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired 0 K. Perry Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living with Invisible Chronic IllnessBook Being Reviewed:Donoghue, P. J., & Siegel, M. E. (2000). Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired: Living with invisible chronic illness. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & CompanyReviewer:Kimberly Perry Genre:Self-Help Subject Headings:Health/WellnessReview:Invisible chronic illnesses (ICIs) are not observable and people who suffer from them often look healthy. Examples of ICIs include: lupus, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, crohns disease, and multiple sclerosis. People with ICIs are often dismissed, misunderstood, misdiagnosed, or treated in other negative ways by medical professionals, mental health professionals, employers, family members, and friends. Correct diagnoses are often reached only after long, distressing journeys. Mary Siegel experienced that journey first-hand when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She and Paul Donoghue joined forces to write this book which validates and normalizes the ICI patient experience. The authors then help patients develop self-awareness and empower patients by teaching coping strategies and tips for communicating effectively with doctors and loved ones. This book is a must read for patients who live with invisible chronic illnesses. The authors truly understand the complexities of ICIs and the physical, mental, and spiritual toll they can take on a person. Reading this book may help some to feel heard and validated for the first time by someone who truly gets it. This book is also a must read for medical and mental health professionals, caregivers, family, and friends who treat, care for, and/or love people who suffer from invisible chronic illnesses. This book paints a picture of what living with ICIs is often like for the patient. It can inspire compassion and help provide a better understanding of the ICI patients needs. Originally posted on 8/26/2012 at
by K. Perry
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Reach for the Stars and Other Advice for Life's Journey 0 J. Whisenhunt Reach for the Stars and Other Advice for Life's JourneyBook Being Reviewed:Bloch, S. (2010). Reach for the stars and other advice for life's journey. New York, NY: Sterling.Reviewer:Julia Whisenhunt Genre:Fiction-Children (6-11 years old)Subject Headings:Elementary school, female lifespan development, male lifespan development Review:This loveable book sends an inspiring message to readers of all ages. The main characters, an unnamed sketched boy and his canine companion, encounter a series of challenges and triumphs. For every obstacle the child and his dog face, there is a life lesson. They learn, for instance, that sometimes it will be smooth sailing and other times it will be a bumpy ride, with many forks in the road. Messages of determination, humility, optimism, self-forgiveness, and individuality permeate the pages. The overarching theme of this book is to keep moving forward in life, no matter how hard it may sometimes be or how tempting it is to give up on yourself. Although the language used by the author is most suitable for children ages 4 to 8, the message is not restricted by age. This book can be particularly helpful for children who are experiencing life changes or challenges, such as: going to school, fitting in socially, struggling academically, relocating geographically, or learning to alter inappropriate behavior. This book can be powerful when read with child clients, but reading this book together on a regular basis may also be an opportunity to foster bonding and compassion between caregiver and child. Counselors can use this book with child clients to explain that everyone makes mistakes and has bad things happen, but neither of these is equivalent to being a bad person. In addition to facilitating resilience, helping the child client learn forgiveness of self and others may be a primary function of book.Originally posted on 5/29/2012 at
by J. Whisenhunt
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Speak 0 J. Myers Speak Book Being Reviewed:Anderson, L. H. (1999). Speak. New York, NY: Penguin Group. Reviewer:Jane Myers Genre:Fiction-Young Adult (12-18 years old)Subject Headings:Depression, Grief & loss, High school, Sexual abuse, Trauma, Violence-assault Review:Melinda Sordino embarks upon high school deep in the throes of depression and social isolation. At a party that summer she called the cops in panic, causing her friends to abandon and ridicule her. It is apparent that there is something that Melinda is not telling about that party, and it is awhile before the reader discovers that Melinda was raped by an older student that night. This novel describes the struggle Melinda faces socially, mentally, and academically because of the effects of her trauma. It documents her journey as she tries to find her way again, to stand up for herself, and to take from others the support she needs. Melinda’s story could be useful for teenage girls and young adult women who may have battled similar trauma in their past.  This book can offer them hope and as well as a reminder that they are not alone. Melinda’s struggle to avoid thinking about her trauma rings true, but it is when she begins talking about it that she finds her voice and a new beginning. This is a powerful message for any young woman dealing with trauma and a reticence to talk about it with others. As with all things, be careful that the client is developmentally ready to read this book, as some scenes could be disturbing. The book could also be quite useful in fostering a discussion among any small group of young women, and many editions of the book offer discussion questions as an appendix. Originally posted on 5/8/2012 at 
by J. Myers
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Codependent No More 0 K. Gasson Codependent No More Book Being Reviewed:Beattie, M. (1992). Codependent no more. Center City, MN: Hazeldon. Reviewer:Kerry Gasson Genre:Self-Help Subject Headings:CodependencyReview:What do people mean when they say "codependent?" What is "codependence" and how does it affect relationships, both with others and with one’s self? Melodie Beattie, in her book, Codependent No More, provides answers to these questions and illuminates relationship issues that many people may be unaware. Counselors and clients alike can benefit from reading this book as it opens doors to discussing relationships, how deeply impacted we are by the relationships we maintain, and how we influence them, both healthfully and not so healthfully. Beattie provides very straight-forward definitions, checklists to identify specifically where the reader may be struggling, and recommended exercises for the reader at the end of each chapter. Beattie describes what codependency "looks like" and how it affects people through vivid stories and personal reflections. Further, she provides down-to-earth guidance in how to improve one’s relationships, how to deal with anger and other difficult emotions, how to practice self-care, and so much more. Although the book is written from the point of view of a recovering alcoholic, the definitions, principals, and recommendations Beattie provides can be useful to anyone that has codependency issues. I really like this book because it made me pause to think about relationships in my life and evaluate where I might have some codependent concerns. The same can be true for our clients. Used as bibliotherapy, I have seen lights go on for several of my clients; the insight they gain is truly valuable to them and the counseling process.Originally posted on 5/8/2012 at 
by K. Gasson
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The Giving Tree 0 H. Barbee The Giving TreeBook Being Reviewed:Silverstein, S. (1964). The giving tree. New York, NY: HarperCollins.Reviewer:Hannah Barbee Genre:Fiction-Children (6-11 years old) Subject Headings:Aging, Communication, Relationships, Spiritual journeyReview:In The Giving Tree, a young boy grows up playing with a tree full of love for him. The tree gives all she has to the boy for his happiness. As he grows up, he has less desire to play with the tree and less need for things she can provide. The tree grows sad and purposeless without the boy s company. Eventually the boy ages, but returns to the tree later in life in search of different comforts. These the tree happily provides, not hesitating to sacrifice for her boy. Soon, all that s left is her stump, which the boy uses as a place to rest in old age. Once again, the tree gives this to the boy and is happy. Counselors can use this book for bibliotherapy with a variety of clients in many different contexts. The themes presented within this story are universal and can apply to many individuals in different stages of life. The topics of love, what it means to truly love someone, and happiness, what it means to truly be happy, are prominent. The love the tree feels for the boy can be compared to that felt by parents for children, thus making the book appropriate for family and couples counseling. This story also addresses ideas of identity within relationships, i.e. losing parts of oneself to another person, also making it relevant within individual counseling. Because this is a children’s book, this story also holds relevance to children of all ages.Originally posted on 5/08/2012 at 
by H. Barbee
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The Quarreling Book 0 J. Myers The Quarreling BookBook Being Reviewed:Zolotow, C. (1963). The quarreling book. New York, NY: HarperCollins. Reviewer:Jane MyersGenre:Fiction/Young Adult (12-18 years old) Subject Headings:Anger, Family dynamics Review:The Quarreling Book by Charlotte Zolotow was written in 1963 and is based on the domino effect of anger within a family. The pattern begins with the father having a bad day and brushing off the mother, which in turn results in a turn of her attitude. This attitude plays out negatively when she takes it out on one of the children by snapping at him. Upset by the treatment from his mother, the pattern continues when the child mistreats one of his siblings, who then becomes upset and takes it out on someone else. The domino effect continues until the anger reaches the dog, who believes that he is being played with and begins a reversal of the anger within each family member.The story is a classic example of displacing anger as a defense mechanism and how it can impact others. This book can be used with individuals or families, especially those with presenting issues of anger, miscommunication/communication troubles, or lack of positive interaction with others. After having client read the book or having read the book with clients, counselors can ask each party involved if they’ve ever felt like or been similar to any character in the book. In an individual session, client would describe that moment and the feelings they were having. A family session would involve a similar task but might also include family members identifying the other party represented in the book’s example and processing together. Individual or group processing allows clients to understand the impacts of their behaviors on other people.Originally posted on 5/08/2012 at 
by J. Myers
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Go Ask Alice 0 V. Olson Go Ask Alice Book Being Reviewed:Anonymous. (1971). Go ask Alice. New York: Simon Pulse. Reviewer:Vanessa Olson Genre:Fiction-Young Adult (12-18 years old) Subject Headings:Substance abuse-drugsReview:Go Ask Alice is the supposed diary of an anonymous teenage girl living during the 1960’s in the United States. The book documents the girl’s journey through high school, family relocation, and her experimentation with drugs. There are detailed accounts of experiences with LSD and other psychedelic substances. The book’s progress and the girl’s drug addiction and chaotic life style have a direct relationship. Furthermore, as she continues to journal her experiences, readers can note the changes in behavior and thought through the girl’s use of vocabulary and grammar. After much turmoil, the girl decides to remain clean from drugs and to refrain from keeping a journal; however, the epilogue states that she died three weeks later from an overdose. Go Ask Alice is a great book for counselors to recommend to adolescent girl clients struggling with the decision to experiment with substances or currently using. There are realistic accounts of the experiences regarding deciding to use, actually using, and various feelings after using. Caution is recommended when determining if the book is appropriate for clients. The story may seem over exaggerated, and the time frame in which the book took place should be noted. Because it was set in the 1960’s, some societal norms have changed and should be expressed to potential readers. Additionally, caution should be utilized when considering that the main character is pronounced dead in the epilogue. Aside from cautionary details, Go Ask Alice can help clients realize the impact substances can have on their lives.Originally posted on 2/03/2012 at 
by V. Olson
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The Secret of Willow Ridge: Gabe's Dad Finds Recovery 0 E. Ridley The Secret of Willow Ridge: Gabe's Dad Finds RecoveryBook Being Reviewed:Moore, H., H. (2010). The secret of Willow Ridge: Gabe's dad finds recovery. Las Vegas, NV: Central Recovery Press.Reviewer:Elizabeth Ridley Genre:Fiction/Children (6-11 years old) Subject Headings:Substance abuse/alcoholReview:Helen H. Moore's, The Secret of Willow Ridge: Gabe's Dad Finds Recovery brings to life the experience of a ten-year-old, in a home defined by an alcoholic father. For all children who have found themselves in his shoes, Gabe speaks bravely of the unpredictability in his life and the changes taking place as family confronts addiction through treatment. Over the course of the story, Gabe laments mixed emotions towards his Dad regarding life with and without him, fears and apprehensions of his return home, his hope for a new relationship and new way of life. Throughout his journey, Gabe and his family address the disease of addiction and its affects on families. Moreover, Gabe stumbles his way through feelings of guilt, shame, and hope. In the end, Gabe's and his family reunite and begin to reacquaint themselves and start their new life together in recovery. Claudia Black's foreword thoughtfully frames the story for families and children who find kinship and comfort in Gabe's story. For this reason, this book can be used therapeutically with clients and their families. The book is a great resource to offer families of clients who are struggling with addiction, to share together when facing recovery. Moreover, the book can be used on an individual level with children ages nine to twelve, for speaking through Gabe's story can allow for expression of similar feelings and experiences. This book may not be as appropriate for those families currently experiencing relapse.Originally posted on 1/01/2012 atc 
by E. Ridley
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The Great Katie Kate Tackles Questions about Cancer 0 J. Myers The Great Katie Kate Tackles Questions about Cancer Book Being Reviewed:DeLand, M. M. (2010). The great Katie Kate tackles questions about cancer. Strongsville, OH: Greenleaf Group Book Press. Reviewer:Melinda Snyder and Jane Myers Genre:Fiction/Children (6-11 years old) Subject Headings:Female lifespan development, Health/Wellness, Spiritual journeyReview:Suzy goes to the doctor with her parents and is told that she has cancer. She starts to worry and is very scared and doesn’t understand. Great Katie Kate, a superhero type figure suddenly appears, coming to her rescue to teach her about cancer, treatments, and realities of a cancer diagnosis. She also helps her face the Worry Wombat, a large furry critter who was sad and worried just like Suzy, and causes Suzy to be worried too. Suzy, the Great Katie Kate, and the Worry Wombat go on a magical journey throughout the hospital exploring and learning about everything from blood work, x-rays, chemotherapy, radiation, side effects, hair loss, surgery, and hospital stays. The more questions Suzy asks, the more she understands. The more she understands, the more she relaxes and even smiles! Eventually her Worry Wombat disappears. Overwhelmed parents often have trouble communicating effectively with children and it can be a struggle for parents to talk at all with their child about cancer because of apprehension, denial, or just being unsure of what to say. The author of this children’s book is an oncologist who wrote the book to answer the most common questions asked by children with a positive and open attitude. Reading this book with a child is great way to help them conquer their Worry Wombat by help them face challenge of dealing with cancer with new confidence from understanding and lessened anxiety. Children who read the book identify with Suzy, which helps to normalize the fear, worries, and questions that the child is most likely experiencing. The book also answers questions that we may not have thought to explain to children and does so in a positive way and a way that a child can understand.Originally posted on 1/01/2012 at 
by J. Myers
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Here For Now: Living Well with Cancer Through Mindfulness 0 J. Crockett Here For Now: Living Well with Cancer Through MindfulnessBook Being Reviewed:Rosenbaum, E., (2005). Here for now: Living well with cancer through mindfulness. Hardwick, MA: Satya House. Reviewer:Jamie Crockett Genre:OtherSubject Headings:Alternative therapies, Body image, Grief & loss, Health/Wellness, Spiritual journey, Spiritual practiceReview:In Here for Now, psychotherapist and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction instructor Elana Rosenbaum, chronicles her own life development through an intricate weave of her personal, spiritual, and professional experiences from childhood through adulthood including her diagnosis, treatment, reoccurrence, and survivorship of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma . This book is intimate and experiential. Drawing from her journal, poetry, and painting, Rosenbaum describes her hopes and fears, her process of grief, illness, vulnerability, and healing. Throughout the book, she incorporates tools and resources to engage the reader in their own process of coping and reflection through meditation, journaling, art, and other exercises. Whether dealing with a recent diagnosis, metastasis, recurrence, in the midst of treatment, challenged by survivorship issues, or dealing with end-of-life concerns, Here for Now is an excellent book for clients who have been physically and emotionally impacted by cancer, and for counselors working with these individuals, couples, families, and groups. Here for Now can be used as a client workbook or resource for counselor intervention planning. Rosenbaum shares over 30 exercises and guided meditation scripts appropriate for use in-session or between sessions to facilitate client physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual awareness, as well as the development of mindfulness-based coping skills. Here for Now also aids the counselor to cultivate empathy and gain understanding of some of the common psychosocial and developmental needs of this population.Originaly posted on 1/01/2012 at 
by J. Crockett
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
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