From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9-This upbeat book offers girls going through puberty advice on nutrition, fitness, self-image, and appearance. The authors claim that following their Cactus Plan, which is largely based on the food pyramid model, will increase energy and concentration, improve sports ability, reduce stress, and improve one's looks. Readers are encouraged to take charge of their choices, and to recognize marketing gimmicks. The plan offers a balanced diet along with guidelines for physical activity, hydration, and rest. Most adolescents will need a support network of family and friends to make these ideas a reality, but the book offers the inspiration to get started and sufficient information for reference along the way. "You can do it!" is the battle cry. Tina Schwager and Michele Schuerger's The Right Moves: A Girl's Guide to Getting Fit and Feeling Good (Free Spirit, 1998) includes more direct information on improving self-image, including journaling activities, as well as more specifics on exercise and fitness, but speaks to the same audience and goal.Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
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Gr. 5-8. Jukes, now joined by Wai-Yin Cheung, a doctor and registered dietician, continues to enlighten adolescent girls on the physical and emotional aspects of going through puberty with this companion to Growing Up: It's a Girl Thing: Straight Talk about First Bras, First Periods, and Your Changing Body
(1998). The authors promote their own guidelines in the form of "The Cactus Plan" (think food pyramid), which encompasses food, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. Much of the information--drink six to eight glasses of water per day, eat balanced meals, etc.--kids have heard ad nauseam. But given the alarmingly high rates of eating disorders, girls definitely need to hear some of the straight talk more often: "During puberty in girls, fat tissues increase as part of breast development. Hips and thighs change in size and shape. . . . Expect it. It's normal." A chapter devoted to advertising is also helpful in countering the unrealistic images portrayed in the media. Girls may not always like what they read here, but this kind of information can go a long way in helping them accept and understand the inevitable changes occurring in their bodies. Lauren PetersonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved