Bibliographic Information: Teen Health and Wellness (online database). (2011). New York, NY: Rosen Publishing. Retrieved via the San Francisco Public Library: eLibrary: Articles and Databases page (library card barcode and pin number required).
Plot Summary/Resource Description: Teen Health and Wellness (THW) is an extensive database that includes a wide breadth of information relevant to and written for teens. This information is broken down into the following subjects:
- Body Basics
- Developmental Disabilities and Disorders
- Diseases, Infections and Conditions
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Eating Disorders
- Family Life
- Friendship and Dating
- Green Living
- Grief and Loss
- Mind, Mood, and Emotions
- Nutrition, Fitness, and Appearance
- Sexuality and Sexual Health
- Skills for School, Work and Life
Users can search or browse, using the above subjects, and then narrow their search using another set of topics. Users can search by entering words or phrases into a search box located at the top right of each page of the online database, or browse using an A-Z listing of topics. This database covers health issues both how the body works and grows and what happens when things go wrong. It also covers familial and social issues. Teens looking for a wide variety of health and life-related information have a one-stop shop with this database.
The database “provides middle and high school students with nonjudgmental, straightforward, standards-aligned, curricular and self-help support,” so whether for an assignment or for personal use, this database has been designed to provide teens with the tools and information they need (About Us, 2011). One interesting feature is that the database includes personal stories by teens themselves who have experienced a topic that is being covered. The teens are identified by their first names. This gives the database a legitimacy as well as a personal touch that might appeal to teens turned off by the sterile feel of a database. Also, it gives those teens included a chance to have their writing published and, more importantly, to have their voices heard.
Critical Evaluation: This is an extraordinary resource. First off, the breadth of knowledge provided by this database is difficult to quantify. Rosen Publishing produces many reference sources and several of them were used to put together THW. Since the emphasis of the database’s editors is on being non-judgmental and straightforward, it is a perfect environment for teens to feel comfortable looking for information about any number of topics. There are many topics included in THW that teens might want to keep private or might find embarrassing, and that is why having solid, reliable, accurate information, presented in an accessible way is so vitally important.
Searching in a variety of ways is straight forward and easy. The database even has a “no results were found for _____. Did you mean _____?” feature for a search using misspelled words. This is something we are accustomed to from Google, but, often, databases fall short with this type of feature. This database has many medical terms, so a search using misspelled words is particularly important.
The design of the database is clean and easy to read with photos of a diversity of teens and highlighted articles and videos. The home page also has an easily visible “HOTLINES Get help now.” button that takes users to a page with many hotline numbers helping teens with the issues of suicide, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy, depression, eating disorders and many more. There are many special features of this database, it includes a glossary and mobile applications, translations in over 50 languages, social networking bookmarks, and RSS feeds and more.
TWH was positively reviewed by School Library Journal, Library Journal, Booklist, VOYA, Young Adult Library Services, and others. The database has also won numerous awards. “Teen Health & Wellness has received critical acclaim and won numerous awards, including an EDDIE (Annual Education Software Review) Award, an Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) Distinguished Achievement Award, a World Wide Web Health Award, and a Best Educational Software (BESSIE) Award,” (About Us, 2011). See their full list of awards and reviews here.
Reader’s Annotation: Teen Health and Wellness (THW) is an extensive database that includes a wide breadth of health and life information relevant to and written for teens.
Information about the Author/Editors: Rosen Publishing considers the content of THW authoritative, developed with experts in the field as well as curriculum experts and reviewed carefully by editors. “To ensure its accuracy and relevance, all content is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Our standards of editorial integrity mandate that each entry includes the date it was last updated. In addition, all content strives to be inclusive in terms of race, sex, religion, economic status, and other teen experiences,” (Editorial Policy, 2011).
Category: Online Reference, Database
Curriculum Ties: Health, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education
Booktalking Ideas: n/a
Reading Level/Interest Age: Ages 13 – 20
Challenge Issues: There may be some challenge issues with the way GLBT issues are handled (in a neutral, non-judgemental manner) or issues about sexuality. There are so many positive reviews and critical praise for this database, some mentioned above, that any challenges could be countered with references to the database’s positive reception. And the library’s collection development policy should provide back up the presence of the database, as well.
Why is this book included? This is such an important database. It includes information for teens that they might be able to find on the internet, but would it be accurate? Would it be up to date? Would it be reliable? There are important questions that teens have about their bodies and their lives, and this database has many trustworthy answers. Additionally, it supports a host of curricular activities, so it is a great academic and personal resource for teens.
About us. (2011). Teen Health and Wellness (online database). New York, NY: Rosen Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.teenhealthandwellness.com.ezproxy.sfpl.org/static/publicabout
Editorial policy. (2011). Teen Health and Wellness (online database). New York, NY: Rosen Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.teenhealthandwellness.com.ezproxy.sfpl.org/static/6