Growing up getting on

16th November 2007 at 00:00
Self-esteem is vital for young children and teenagers. With the help of these books you can boost, and maintain, pupils' confidence.The Little Book of Growing Up. Vic Parker. Hodder Children's Books pound;3.50

I was a little confused by the target audience for this mini book. Is it a Christmas stocking filler for a 13-year-old? A gift discreetly slipped into a nine-year-old's bag? It has been written in a straightforward style, which is great. The language is easy to understand for a young girl about to embark on womanhood, answering questions that are even embarrassing to ask Mum.

However, it then moves on to the male side and becomes inappropriate for younger girls. It is much more suitable for 13-year-olds, but then the first part of the book is an area they will have, or should have, covered at school. Many 13-year-olds have begun menstruating and dealt with the embarrassing and painful moments associated with those first few weeks.

It was a quick, easy, fun read, but I am still not sure who it is aimed at.

Amy Aviss teaches at St Martha's Catholic Primary School in King's Lynn, Norfolk

The 7-Day Self Esteem Super-Booster. J Alexander. Hodder Children's Books pound;4.99

This book is aimed at key stage 2 and key stage 3 children and caters well for the age range of nine to 14. I was impressed by the idea of pupils being on a seven-day course, which does last for only seven days but in fact has 70 activities and could run for 10 weeks.

The tone and style of this book is positive, strong and easy to follow. By offering practical advice, this book leads the reader through the week and the activities are achievable for a wide ability range.

By being organised for each day of the week, the reader is able to choose activities, which also take into account a range of learning styles.

I recommend this book to children who need to boost their self-esteem. The activities could also be used by teachers to help children contemplate how they see themselves and to encourage self-reflection and personal development.

Children are guided through each task with helpful and realistic case studies to illustrate different perspectives and problems.

Alternatively, I could recommend this book for parents who are looking for ideas to support their child. The author clearly understands how children can be helped and I look forward to using these activities.

The Little Book of Self Esteem. Anita Naik. Hodder Children's Books, pound;3.50

Do you know a pupil with self-esteem issues? I can't imagine any teacher answering no to that. Low self-esteem can manifest itself in many ways and can lead to different outcomes, including poor behaviour, difficulty in making progression and problems socialising. This book is a gem for these children.

It has more than 50 motivational phrases and advice. This is manageable, even for the most reluctant reader. The language is easy to understand and the tone never patronising, but uplifting and positive.

In places, the advice is targeted specifically at girls, and it has a feminine style with background symbols of flowers and swirling shapes.

As a teacher, I can imagine passing The Little Book of Self Esteem to a number of pupils who I know would benefit.

It is often difficult to advise pupils and although there are many books for adults on this subject, it is unusual to find a book aimed at the 10 to 15 age range.

Sam Custance teaches at Holsworthy Community College in Devon.


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