Monday, September 29, 2008

Let's Clear the Air: 10 Reasons Not to Start Smoking

Today for Nonfiction Monday, I'm happy to present the first review from our newest contributor, Mary Rowe, "The Library Queen."

Let's Clear the Air: 10 Reasons Not to Start Smoking is probably the most readable book on the subject I have seen. There are ten chapters. Each chapter is devoted to one reason not to start smoking. Within each chapter, the reader is introduced to pre-teens and teens who think no one should start to smoke. After the introduction. the reader is allowed to peek into the mind of person by reading his/her original essay dealing with the topic of smoking

The ten reasons given for not smoking are the ones you would expect: cancer, other health issues, relationships, addiction, performance, appearance, the entertainment trap, false advertising, and money.

What you might not expect is the honesty of these young people as they tell how family members suffered because someone in the family smoked. They tell of the pain they felt when their parent or grandparent died from cancer. They tell of cousins addicted to cigarettes who have told them NEVER to start smoking because they themselves can't quit. In the chapter about how tobacco affects athletic performance oral cancer and smokeless tobacco were also addressed.

Included in each chapter are interesting facts which highlight the dangers of tobacco in brief sentences inside gray boxes. Lighter gray boxes have the student essays. This layout helps the reader to focus on specific aspects that interest them. Other features that will keep students reading are black and white pencil drawings. For students who want to take action facts relating to how they can become active in spreading the message about the dangers of tobacco are included.

I believe this book would be a wonderful addition to a school or public library. Students will not feel someone is preaching to them as they read this book. The teens included in the book speak with words that are convincing and not overly edited to sound less than authentic.

Adrienne Joy Lowry was seven when her dad died of cancer. The book includes Adrienne's story in her own words.

"My dad died on November 2, 2002. I wrote this in my journal on the day that he died.

'Today my daddy died. It was really sad. I will miss him. He took his last breath and poof he was gone. His spirit went to heaven. He is special.' "

She concludes her essay with this statement of firm resolve:

"I will never smoke because I don't want my kids someday to have to go through what I went through" (p 15).

Another essay I liked was by Brenna on page 107. She writes,

"If you think you want to start smoking, you should think again! Because if you like the way you look now, that can all change when you start smoking. When you smoke the tar in the cigarettes will stain your teeth and fingers yellow. Smokers also have really bad breath!"

How much more honest can you get?

This book was published in Canada and includes photos of Canadian cigarette package warnings. It is interesting to note that these warnings include photos of the disease along with the warning. I think it would be much harder to pick up a pack of cigarettes that had a photo of diseased lung or a clogged heart valve along with the words "smoking causes lung cancer or doubles your risk of stroke."

What Other Bloggers are Saying:

A Patchwork of Books: "The parts that will really hit home to kids are the personal accounts written by real kids for the teens and older children reading the book. Those written accounts are what make the book go by so quickly and actually make it an enjoyable read." (read more...)

More Info:
  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Lobster Press (October 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897073666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897073667
  • Source: Review copy from publisher

1 comment:

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