Rob Clough at High Low did a review of Bad For You

Now that’s my kind of poem. It’s always a pleasure to when Mr. Clough reviews one’s books in his typically incisive and thorough way. Some favorite lines:

“While aimed at a young-adult audience (complete with a glossary of terms in the back to help younger readers understand certain historical, legal and philosophical terms), there’s no mistaking this book’s bold, anti-authoritarian stance. ”

and

Bad For You‘s arguments are well-built, the content is well-organized, and the book has a sense of humor about itself while being utterly serious in its goals to demolish a fear-mongering culture of rigidity and give kids the ammunition with which to do so.”

Read the full review (HERE)

GOOD NEWS/“BAD” NEWS

Time for another BAD FOR YOU roundup of reviews (excerpts included; follow link for full post).

From graphic novel writer/researcher/editor Paul Buhle’s review for The Comics Journal:

“For a book aimed at kids, this one is chock-full of information, but presented so well in comics (and also charts and info-graphics) that the details are destined to move easily, and usefully, into young minds.”

From comic legend Tony Isabella’s blog Tales of Wonder:

“This non-fiction book combines comic-book storytelling – art by Pyle – with graphs and prose articles in a delightful journey through the centuries. … If I ever write a sequel to 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, you can bet Pyle and Cunningham have earned themselves a place in it.”

From a “Young Adult/Children’s Librarian in Indiana” blog:

“This is a cool exploration of the many ways that adults have tried to take away fun from kids and teens.”

And from a self-described “ artistic queer vegan feminist librarian” at the blog Glitter and Dirt:

“AHHHH! This book is awesome!!!

The whole of the piece is a testament to the historical and present American mistrust and mistreatment of youth– it’s totally great. I read it straight through.”

Our interview on the Geekdad site “Video Games, D&D, and Farting on the Bus: Bad for You Is Good for You,” got a discussion going about the once vilified game of chess.

That exposure lead to a post on a gaming website Gamasutra –  a coveted spot in the eyes of the authors, since BAD FOR YOU features a whole section on the debate about the impact of video games on kids.

“Like video games, chess was once decried as a time-waster that kept kids entranced at a desk for hours when they could have been outside playing or studying something useful.”

BAD FOR YOU even appears on a website about “BIGFOOT” and “THE PARANORMAL.” It’s a blog by the author of Legend Tripping: The Ultimate Family Experience. The website features an excerpt from the book about, big surprise, Legend Tripping.

Geek Dad interview!

cropped-logo-geekdadBlogger and author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms Ethan Gilsdorf  had us sit down (at our computers- this is for GeekDad after all) and have a chat about Bad For You. Excerpt:

GeekDad: Now parents seem to lock in and dictate every waking minute of their kids’ lives. What do you think explains the rise of helicopter parenting today?

Pyle: I feel the media’s insatiable need to keep viewers on the hook is part of the dynamic, and it seems fear and anxiety are the emotions they are quickest to exploit. It’s the same with weather, crime, health issues, you name it.

Cunningham: Yeah, there are more sources for news and those sources are providing news 24-7–and they’re all struggling to grab the viewers’ attention. When there’s a tragedy, something such as a school shooting or a child kidnapped, the stories are examined in detail and repeated endlessly by various cable and internet new sources and the impression parents get from the wall-to-wall coverage is that these tragedies are constant and increasing with each year. In fact, statistics indicate that it’s the safest it’s ever been in America to be a kid and youth crime rates continue to decrease since they peaked in the early 1990s.

Check out the whole thing (HERE)

GOOD FOR US

It’s a BAD FOR YOU review roundup from the last few weeks. We’re really proud and pleased to have so many nice reviews and from a wide variety of perspectives. Abby Schachter, the first and most recent listed below, is a reviewer for the libertarian magazine Reason. But Bad For You‘s appeal also reaches vegan skateboarders. How do we know that? Because of the great review at Vegan Skate Blog!  

We have included short excerpts from the reviews below, but hope you’ll click the links and peruse them all the way through! Many thanks to the folks who have taken the time to read our book and write about it!!!

From Reason: “Bad for You isn’t a complete antidote to parental insecurity, but it does have a valuable lesson to convey: We don’t have to fall for every mass hysteria about the evils of texting, Marilyn Manson, Mortal Kombat, or Dungeons and Dragons.”

From Sandra Dodd: “I suspect this will be one of those books kids get in trouble for owning or quoting, and that will be shared around at school, hidden under desks, and confiscated by teachers. Knowledge is power, and ephebiphobics Do NOT want kids to have power.”

From Vegan State Blog: “The title and cover practically scream out to any skateboarder…who has dealt with cops, security guards or over-zealous citizen. The book not only covers skateboarding, growing fears of new technologies, but goes in depth on subjects like Zero-Tolerance policies that have resulted in children’s suspension from elementary school for possession of nail clippers.”

University Laboratory High School Library Blog: “In the technology chapter there are a number of delicious digs at Internet filtering software, one of my favorite things to demonize. The ‘Moral Panic Media Cycle’ and the ‘Techno-Panic Timeline’ pages are suitable for framing.”

From The Alliance Review: “If you’re a kid who’s ever been told that texting will rot your brain or pop music is immoral or video games are turning you into a zombie, you need to read Bad for You.”

And here’s an older one from School Library Journal we missed in December: “Classroom uses for this title abound. Teens, particularly fans of the graphic format, will glom onto this fascinating book, which will give them one more reason not to trust the “’establishment’.”

 

 

School Library Journal Reviews!

Two, count two, great reviews from School Library Journal:

Gr 8 Up–A well-researched docu-comic. Covering topics such as comics, games, technology, and play, the chapters begin with a historical perspective on each subject. The authors then go on to explain how time after time, as new pastimes develop, they gain in popularity with youth until they enter the public limelight and are deemed potentially harmful to children. For example, the section on games begins with a description of the earliest archaeological discovery of dice and includes a reference to the poet Horace, who warned of the negative impact on youth who gamble with dice. The chapter explores the evolution of games and describes instances of adults trying to protect children from their negative impact, including Scientific American cautioning parents about chess in the mid-19th century and the attempts to legislate against Dungeons and Dragons and video-arcade games in the 1980s. In an examination of the current controversy about video games being responsible for violent behavior, the authors use countless scientific studies and other research as well as court cases to expose the fallacy behind the fear. Black-and-white graphic panels illustrate the text succinctly and add humor. Resources and references are included, with a more extensive list of references supplied on the book’s website. Pyle and Cunningham argue that under the guise of protecting children, adults have created a youth-phobic society, in which “fear of the new” is the overriding impulse. They attempt to expose this mind-set and encourage readers to think critically about what is supposedly bad for them. This book is funny, mind-boggling, entertaining, and completely educational. Make sure every teen gets a copy.

AND:

Who knew to what extent that some adults and the U.S. Government went to correlate comic books to crime and tried to regulate (and ban) them during the years 1948 to 1955? During this period, comic-book burning occurred across the nation. One person behind it was Dr. Frederic Wertham, a psychiatrist who claimed that “…as long as the crime comic books industry exists in its present form there are no secure homes.” Pyle and Cunningham discuss the scientific method (which Wertham never used) and cite other, tangential studies on comic books that turn Wertham’s theories upside down. Societal fears about the effects of Harry Potter, games, technology, and play are considered in the same manner. A variety of black-and-white illustrations, including graphic panels, maps, and charts are utilized. Classroom uses for this title abound. Teens, particularly fans of the graphic format, will glom onto this fascinating book, which will give them one more reason not to trust the “establishment.”

The second is part of a great roundup by Daryl Grabarek of books that connect well to classroom curricula.