Today we have another teen heath book. It is now 20 years old. Like all medical information, this should be treated as suspect. Even if it hasn’t changed, teens need current information, just like adults. Also, these types of books also have referral information. I actually think this is probably one of the most important features of weeding criteria. Think about what wasn’t around in 2000. Not all businesses or organizations had website or social media presence. No smart phones. Limited texting. (I tried some early texting using only the phone key pad. It took me about a half an hour to write “hi”. No thanks.) Also important, books like this need to look current. Bottom line remember your audience.
What is Cancer, Anyway?: Explaining Cancer to Children of All Ages
Submitter: This book, designed to help children cope with cancer, is more confusing and just plain weird than anything I’ve seen in a long time. Also, WTF is up with that entity on the cover? It is blonde child with a skin condition? Is it a dog in a wig? Why is it wearing mascara?!
Holly: I don’t find the text in the excerpts pictured below to be particularly child-friendly. The vocabulary is pretty sophisticated. And yeah – weird anthropomorphism. When they’re too human it’s creepy, not cute.
Let’s Go Out and Play!
Lots & Lots of Fitness Fun for Kids
Submitter: From a small Midwest public library collection. We’re trying to keep up with the weeding, now that we’re back in the building for the first time in 2+ months. This DVD showed up on the “hasn’t been circ’d in 3 years or more” list. Maybe it’s just me, but couldn’t the graphic designer find a better image than the middle toddler on the cover? That child looks like s/he’s not happy at all to be outside playing, and is 1.5 seconds away from throwing a tantrum. It will shortly be removed from our collection.
Holly: That kid is definitely plotting something. What’s confusing about this to me is that the title, font, and general concept of the DVD seems like it would be for older kids. The toddlers on the cover make me question if this is for kids of all ages, or just little ones. Also, is fitness something parents worry about with toddlers? Sure, we need to pry big kids away from the video games and teach them healthy lifestyles and encourage play. But the kids on the cover are, like, two, and Danger Child is maybe a year old. Do you need a DVD to keep toddlers active?
The Prime of Life?
I like how the title is phrased as a question.
Fiske was an academic and published several articles and books on aging. This book is geared to a non academic audience. If I remember correctly, age discussion was a topic of mainstream popular psychology. Gail Sheehy’s Passages was a 1976 publication that was a wildly popular that also talked about adult life changes. I actually remember reading Sheehy’s book back in college.
When I picked up this book, I immediately thought this was a less interesting version of Sheehy’s book. Fiske had some serious research credentials and unfortunately her book suffered from poor book design and some less than awesome photos/illustrations. Please take a look at the last 2 pictures on the page. Now I am wondering what will happen if I get too stressed.
The Aerobics Way
New data on the world’s most popular exercise program
Aerobics was just beginning to be the exercise fad when this was published. Most folks would probably credit Jane Fonda’s 1982 workout tape. This is more a discussion of aerobic activity and all the supporting data. It really isn’t any kind of workout, but more of the science and studies related to heart and lung function. A dated book, but I have a feeling this became the springboard for the aerobic dancing exercise fad.
Taking Care of Your Child
A Parent’s Guide to Medical Care
Pantell, Fries, and Vickery
Yet another entry from my Swedish Death Cleaning project.
Since it has a 1992 publishing date, it has to be when I changed pediatricians and went to a new practice. Old pediatrician yelled at me for not breast feeding enough, even though I told him that I hadn’t had a shower in a month and was walking around topless trying to feed the baby all the time. I wasn’t making enough milk to feed my kid and was tired of crying every time I went to see this guy. I don’t like anyone who is sanctimonious about breastfeeding, but I really didn’t like this guy (yes, a guy) tell me how I just needed to try harder or I would hurt my baby.
When I joined the new practice evidently they gave me this book. (I stayed with that practice until my kids were teens.) No one yelled at me during well baby visits. New pediatrician told me to do bottle feeding and get some sleep. That moment totally changed my life.
As far as the book goes, its okay. I don’t remember using it much. It probably made me feel better to have it around though. Since my kids are grown up, I don’t think I am going to need a baby care book from the early 1990s. Circular file it is!
The Autism Ambassadors Handbook
Submitter: This terribly ableist book is in the library of the university I graduated from. When I discovered it as an autistic student, I was livid. The author, an 18-year-old boy who is being treated as an expert despite his lack of qualifications, describes autistic people in the most alienating way possible (he actually says we sound as if we just stepped off a spaceship). He doesn’t consider that if a child screams or covers her ears, maybe she is hurt or scared by a loud noise. To him, this behavior is just evidence that she is socially oblivious. The author clearly hasn’t talked to many autistic adults. If he had, he’d know that we do NOT want to be “indistinguishable from our peers”, that stimming has an important purpose, and that autistic people want real friends, not assigned “friends” for whom we are a special school project.
A Boy Today, a Man Tomorrow
Submitter: I found this 1959 puberty manual when cleaning out an old closet at a public library in North Carolina I worked at a couple summers ago. It had long been weeded–I brought it home to read aloud to my 12-year-old, who was sufficiently horrified!
Holly: What were they saving it in the closet for?? It warms my heart to know it got a second life through your tween.