Compact Research: Diseases & Disorders Reviews

HPV: ISBN 978-1-60152-690-8 / ebook: 978-1-60152-691-5
Voya, August 1, 2015

A frank survey of medical statistics concerning HPV and the HPV vaccine, Parks’s summation incorporates charts, photos, sidebars, research chronology, and primary sources to valorize the need for immunization. The fact-filled text covers the risks from cervical cancer as well as other types of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly the human immunodeficiency virus.  Primary and secondary indexing leads the reader to specifics of population protection, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.  To assess arguments against universal inoculation, the author incorporates a fair appraisal of objections to immunization. 

Breast Cancer: ISBN 978-1-60152-548-2 / ebook: 978-1-60152-549-9
Concussions: ISBN 978-1-60152-512-3 / ebook: 978-1-60152-513-0
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: ISBN 978-1-60152-608-3 / ebook: 978-1-60152-609-0
Voya, December 1, 2014

Recognizing the information avalanche that society faces, this series, with six subsets covering topics from current issues to teenage problems, provides a researcher with a general understanding of a topic. A thumbnail reference opens each volume. An overview provides context for subsequent chapters which concern definition, cause, cure and/or prevention, and combine medical language, personal stories, and common comparisons to explain the disease. These explanation chapters include lists of out-of-context quotations that represent a variety of opinions, and each speaker’s credentials are included. Colorful graphs illustrate statistical information. Some listed "facts" could be considered inferences rather than checkable reports. Extensive print and non-print sources listed at the back of the book, as well as contact information for “Related Organizations,” and lists of outstanding experts in the field provide ample follow-up sources. Breast Cancer suggests a healthy lifestyle but concludes that everyone is vulnerable. Concussions campaigns for a more serious consideration of the injury. Sexually Transmitted Diseases maintains that the best defense against infection is lifestyle. Complex structure, technical language, sophisticated graphics, and extensive references make these volumes challenging reads even though the objective is to simplify. The lexile scores range from 1280 to 1310. The suggestions of websites and organizations to contact make more recent research available. The danger lies in using the volumes to cherry-pick shortcuts rather than as springboards, but both students and adults will find the series to be a useful resource.

Anxiety Disorders: ISBN 978-1-60152-137-8
Brain Tumors: ISBN 978-1-60152-138-5
Personality Disorders: ISBN 978-1-60152-139-2
Schizophrenia: ISBN 978-1-60152-140-8
Booklist, October 15, 2011

Gr 7–12 Fortified with contemporary individual case studies of both teens and adults, each title in the Compact Research: Diseases and Disorders series discusses variations of each disease, as well as the prevalence, symptoms, causes, effects, diagnoses, and treatment, drawing upon media interviews and commentary as well as clinical reports and research studies. Anxiety Disorders will have wide YA readership, especially because it is the most common form of mental illness in the U. S. —from post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks to claustrophobia. The discussion is jargon free, honest about trauma's agonizing toll, and includes info on therapy and medications. Up to date, accurate, and clearly written, Brain Tumors focuses on the pathology of how tumors form, as well as the symptoms and treatment. Very clear about how little is known about causes, this title raises an important teen issue: can heavy cell-phone use increase brain tumors? Personality Disorders is not as accessible, with some heavy jargon, but it is up to date enough to include information on dialectic behavior therapy. Schizophrenia does an excellent job of demystifying the disorder, including the multiple-personality diagnosis, and discusses whether particular treatments can help. The clear design includes recent graphs and tables, color photos and diagrams, and lots of carefully documented primary-source quotes from patients, researchers, and scientists.

Personality Disorders: ISBN 978-1-60152-139-2
Anxiety Disorders: ISBN 978-1-60152-137-8
School Library Journal, May 2011

Gr 6-10 These titles provide a systematic and focused look at their respective subjects. Each title begins with an overview and then provides an explanation of the disorder. Personality Disorders covers 10 types, including paranoid and schizoid disorders. Subsequent chapters explore causes and the ways these conditions impact patients' lives and ultimately address whether sufferers can overcome them. Short sections containing primary-source quotes and bulleted facts and charts that highlight important information are appended to each chapter. Anxiety Disorders covers six main types, including panic and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It strikes an off-note with the inclusion of a graph showing that women who have had abortions have an increased likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder. Since this is the only study cited that links a particular action with an increased rate of anxiety, it adds an unfortunate and unnecessary political agenda to the topic. With the exception of the aforementioned problem, these titles are useful for reports as well as general interest; the inclusion of information on key people and advocacy groups as well as a chronology of events that highlights the historical background and important milestones adds value.
—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY

Influenza: ISBN 978-1-60152-118-7 / eBook 978-1-60152-430-0
Mood Disorders: ISBN 978-1-60152-119-4 / eBook 978-1-60152-431-7
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: ISBN 978-1-60152-120-0 / eBook 978-1-60152-432-4
Self-Injury Disorder: ISBN 978-1-60152-112-5 / eBook 978-1-60152-428-7
Booklist, February 1, 2011

With objectivity and depth, the Compact Research: Diseases and Disorders series brings together various types of mental and physical illnesses. Each book includes a general overview followed by a focus on statistics, causes, symptoms, treatments, and prevention. Influenza discusses the virus that causes the disease; prevention through proper hygiene as well as vaccination, especially during epidemics; and warns against public apathy. With a focus on youth, Mood Disorders discusses the two main categories: unipolar (if untreated, the number one risk for suicide) and bipolar (which swings between depression and mania). Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder shows that the irrational fears of OCD affect males and females across race and class. Self-Injury Disorder states that the main cause of self-inflicted injury is to gain relief from unbearable emotional pain, and it also covers methods of treatment and prevention. The readable page design features pull quotes and subtitles, with occasional photos throughout. At the end of each chapter, several pages of primary source quotes from diverse viewpoints are featured, along with a detailed summary of helpful facts illustrated with color charts and graphs. Back matter includes information on key people, advocacy groups, and related organizations, as well as source notes and references. Great for group discussion, readers will appreciate that there are no easy solutions for these conditions and illnesses, but there is hope.
—Hazel Rochman

Bipolar Disorders: ISBN 978-1-60152-066-1
ADHD: ISBN 978-1-60152-062-3
Alzheimer's Disease: ISBN 978-1-60152-061-6
School Library Journal, June 2009

Gr 6-10 These serviceable volumes offer orderly looks at their topics. The authors describe the disorders, causes (if known), symptoms, treatments, and the effects on an individual, a family, and society at large. Detailed back matter includes source notes, key people and advocacy groups, and related organizations. The texts are factual without being dry, easy to read, and colorful. One drawback is that the illustrations, although aesthetically pleasing, tend to be a little simplistic. Also, readers will need to read the fine print at the bottom of the sections labeled “Primary Source Quotes” to understand the series’ usage of the term. The quotations are really just a gathering of sound bites and text blurbs gleaned from doctors treating these illnesses and the patients and/or families of the afflicted. Still, these titles are solid entries for libraries needing to update their collections in these areas.
—Robin Henry, Wakeland High School, Frisco, TX

Down Syndrome: ISBN 978-1-60152-065-4
HPV: ISBN 978-1-60152-070-8 School Library Journal, June 2009

Gr 7 Up This up-to-date, excellent overview of Down syndrome addresses controversies and ethical issues associated with this genetic disorder. Parks also reports on current and potential scientific advances that may prevent it in the future and offer a better quality of life and opportunities for those born with it. HPV examines prevention techniques and treatments, explains scientific advances that might prevent HPV, and presents information about vaccines and controversies surrounding them. Important features in both volumes include primary-source quotations with citations, illustrations, facts, tables, and colorful informational sidebars. Useful for reports and for general information.
—Caroline Geck, Newark Public Schools, NJ

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: ISBN 978-1-60152-045-6 / eBook: 978-1-60152-396-9
Hepatitis: ISBN 978-1-60152-039-5
Meningitis: ISBN 978-1-60152-043-2
Phobias: ISBN 978-1-60152-044-9
Anorexia: ISBN 978-1-60152-042-5
Autism: ISBN 978-1-60152-058-6
School Library Journal, November 2008

Gr 9 Up Each of these books contains the same foreword, stating that part of the series goal is to present "information on a current topic in a user-friendly style that invites, intrigues, and fosters understanding." Mission accomplished. The organized, uniform structure includes an opening overview of the disease or disorder, with subsequent chapters divided into three parts: text, quotations from primary sources, and "Facts and Illustrations," which includes bulleted snippets of information and color photographs and drawings. While the illustrations are helpful access points, their separation from the text can be inconvenient. The firsthand or expert accounts that open chapters and are sprinkled throughout are astutely selected and seamlessly woven into the presentation. These quality sources could be used in a variety of different ways-straight reporting for speech or debate ideas (Anorexia's discussion of "pro-Ana" Web sites could be used in debates on free speech, for example), or as a springboard for further research.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: ISBN 978-1-60152-045-6 (Out of Print. New edition available) / eBook: 978-1-60152-396-9
Booklist, October 15, 2008

Sobering, enlightening, and up-to-date, this title in the Compact Research series uses an effective blend of primary sources, diagrams, and thorough text to bring the latest facts about STDs to young readers. Following a quick, at-a-glance reference page, the text identifies specific sexually transmitted diseases, their risks, best behavioral prevention strategies, and current scientific research. Each chapter closes with two helpful sections: one devoted entirely to relevant quotes from primary source material; the other a mix of bullet-point facts and diagrams that support concepts, such as HIV replication, that are discussed elsewhere in the title. The variety of formats allows readers easy access to information, while the material itself is admirably current, including coverage of new research on HPV, the most common STD among female teens today, and Gardasil, the new vaccine developed to guard against four strains of the virus. In addition, many of the well-chosen quotes are dated within the last two years. A time line and lists of key advocacy groups and further reading close this valuable resource for teens.
—Gillian Engberg

Diabetes: ISBN 978-1-60152-076-0
Learning Disabilities: ISBN 978-1-60152-077-7
Sleep Disorders: ISBN 978-1-60152-071-5
Booklist, November 2009

With many color photos, famous profiles, and dramatic opinion-based quotes from experts with differing viewpoints, the browsable design will draw readers to these titles in the Compact Research: Diseases and Disorders series, including teens who suffer from the conditions or know someone who does. Far from saccharine, both professionals in the field and individual young people never deny the hardship, and they are realistic about the ongoing daily struggle and the hope of overcoming disability. Diabetes is especially grim at times, with scary terms such as "deadly" and quotes about kidney disease, nerve damage, and blindness, but the essential information includes details of the diabetes food pyramid, the facts about pancreatic cancer and kidney transplants, and especially the call for increased government spending on prevention. In Learning Disabilities, the famous profiles—from the mayor of San Francisco, who struggles with dyslexia, to Helen Keller—show that even if the disability cannot be cured, with the right treatment and attitude, people can achieve success. Everyone will recognize the causes and effects of insomnia discussed in Sleep Disorders; much scarier are the potentially fatal disorders of sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Each title includes extensive, spacious back matter, with bibliographies of books, periodicals, and Internet sites; detailed source notes; and key people and advocacy groups. —Hazel Rochman

Sleep Disorders: ISBN 978-1-60152-071-5
Learning Disabilities: ISBN 978-1-60152-077-7
Diabetes: ISBN 978-1-60152-076-0
School Library Journal, November 2009, Series Made Simple Supplement

Gr 6 Up Marcovitz’s coverage ranges from insomnia to potential medical conditions that can lead to death, such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy. This book is a comprehensive overview of an often misunderstood subject. Parks explains what learning disabilities are and discusses the causes and overcoming them. The book’s strength is that it explains how learning disabilities differ from other types of disorders. Yuwiler discusses type 1 diabetes and its management, type 2 diabetes and its prevention, metabolic syndrome, and medical advances. In all three books, subtopics are delineated by brightly colored burgundy headings; blocks of orange-colored sidebars with bright-red print and relevant color photos and illustrations appear throughout. Each chapter ends with several pages of primary-source quotes and facts and illustrations that offer greater clarity to the text. Teens will find the overall organization of these succinct and easy-to-read books useful and attractive.
—Caroline Geck, Newark Public Schools, NJ