How to Help: A Guide to Giving Back
Book Reviews

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School Library Journal, December 2010

On Ways to Help Chronically Ill Children, Ways to Help Children with Disabilities, Ways to Help the Elderly and Ways to Help After a Natural Disaster

While these titles are visually geared toward upper elementary or early middle school students, the readability level varies from fifth to tenth grade. The strong graphics and numerous pictures support struggling readers, but these students would need assistance with comprehension. The books are thoughtfully written, addressing concrete ideas of how to help without intruding and discussing sensitive issues such as how to use People-first language. Elderly is particularly strong as it is full of creative ideas for getting to know individuals in the older generation. All of the books highlight children who have volunteered in their own communities, drawing readers in with their stories. Photographs of children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds are sprinkled liberally throughout the texts. As schools move toward requiring service hours, these books would offer useful points of discussion.

Booklist, October 2010

On Ways to Help After a Natural Disaster

One of eight titles in the How to Help: A Guide to Giving Back series, this focuses on various activities in which children can participate to help families be prepared in the event of a natural disaster or in its aftermath, when citizens experience the devastating results. The brief sections on teaching preparedness include advice for putting together supply kits and a sample list for collecting emergency numbers. The bulk of the information is sound, practical, commonsense recommendations, with the exception of a photo showing a tornado-cleanup crew member wearing flip-flops. Included are simple measures, such as offering emotional support, as well as those that are more complicated, such as organizing drives for collecting blood or food and clothing. The design is inviting, with text appealingly laid out and offset by blocks of color. Color photographs, some of which are heart wrenching, show children happily engaged in serious tasks and will inspire many into action. A lengthy resource list and suggestions for further reading on each topic are included.