Winter 2001 Book Reviews
The Struggle to Be Strong: True Stories by Teens about Overcoming Tough Times, by Al Desetta, M.A., and Sybil Wolin, Ph.D. Free Spirit, 2000. Paperback, 179 pp., ISBN 1-57542-079-1. $14.95.
This book addresses relevant challenges that face today’s youth. Dr. Wolin clearly defines seven “resiliences”—insight, independence, relationships, initiative, creativity, humor, and morality—that, she contends, are necessary for coping with difficult times. Instead of simply recounting individual stories of pain and triumph, the authors present them in a manner that encourages readers to learn from them; they also provide strategies for approaching similar dilemmas.
True or False? Tests Stink! by Trevor Romain and Elizabeth Verdick. Free Spirit, 2000. Paperback, 80 pp., ISBN 1-57542-073-2. $9.95.
A fun, accessible book for gifted students ages six to ten. The authors use a gentle but effective approach to encourage kids to think about tests differently. The book offers advice for alleviating test-related anxiety, for both confident and not-so-confident test takers, and strategies to prepare for tests. The reader’s attention is held by the illustrations and by pop quizzes that focus on positive solutions to test taking.
Parenting Successful Children, by James T. Webb, Ph.D. Gifted Psychology Press, 1999. Video, 52 min. $35.00.
Dr. Webb describes over two dozen practical, easy-to-implement strategies to help parents set effective limits for their children and enhance their relationships with them. A summary outline given throughout the video makes it easy to follow and reinforces the main ideas. A short list of sources is also provided. Less than an hour in length, this video is ideal for the busy parent.
The Parent’s Little Book of Lists: Dos and Don’ts of Effective Parenting, by Jane Bluestein, Ph.D. Health Communications, 1997. Paperback, 336 pp., ISBN 1-55874-512-2. $10.95.
Like many self-help books, this text can inspire and educate. However, reading its many lists—even when they provide valuable suggestions—can become tedious, so this book should be viewed as a reference. The author’s emphases are emotional health and maintaining a positive relationship with your children. In addition to explaining common problems that parents have with their children, the book offers strategies on everything from potty training to talking to your child about drugs. Not written specifically for the gifted child, it provides practical suggestions adaptable to all children.
Parents of the Gifted Guide to Teachers/ Teacher’s Guide to Parents of the Gifted, by Sandra Warren. Royal Fireworks, 1999. Paperback, 92 pp., ISBN 0-89824-507-9. $9.99.
Although this book is repetitive, one can appreciate the author’s general advice, particularly about facilitating communication between teachers and parents. The book also suggests how to start a community organization for the gifted and outlines the benefits for parents, teachers, and students. The author’s credentials are not provided, nor does she explain how she obtained her data, but the book’s fun, accessible format makes it enjoyable reading.