Teen Health & Wellness

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
  • Diversity
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Eating Disorders
  • Family Life
  • Friendship and Dating
  • Green Living
  • Grief and Loss
  • Mind, Mood, and Emotions
  • Nutrition, Fitness, and Appearance
  • Safety
  • 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).

Genre: Non-fiction

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

Teen Voices

Bibliographic Information: Teen Voices (magazine). Boston, MA. ISSN: 10747974.

Plot/Content Summary: Teen Voices is not your average teen magazine.  It is a print and online magazine for teen girls, BY teen girls.  The mission: “Teen Voices supports and educates teen girls to amplify their voices and create social change through media.”  Teen Voices is not just a magazine but a non-profit organization that supports teens’ development in creating the magazine and mentors teens through the process.  Teen Voices also supports teen girls’ leadership development and social justice awareness and activism.

Articles in Teen Voices cover a wide breadth of topics, like arts and music, book reviews and author interviews, diversity and equality, food, health, the media, careers, teen activism, relationships, social networking.  The magazine also includes fiction and poetry written by teen girls.  Recent articles include:

  • Recent Events in Egypt from a Girl’s Eye View
  • Girl’s Hurt by Gang Violence
  • Got the Knowledge to Go to College? Teen Voices Helps You on Your Way!
  • When Relationships Get Tough, Can They Be Too Rough?
  • Got the Facebook Blues?

Critical Evaluation: The content of Teen Voices, like the voices it represents, is diverse and intelligent.  Since teens are creating content, the magazine is highly relevant and authentic.  Articles cover real-life issues and, while there is always room for fun, the magazine addresses young women as competent, intelligent people with the ability to think and analyze and question the status quo.  Other teen magazines, with their emphasis on appearance and social status, do not compare to the depth and strength of the content in Teen VoicesTeen Voices and its staff have received awards and honors, that acknowledge the important and life-changing work that the organization does.

Genre/Format: Print and Online Magazine

Reading Level/Interest Age: Ages 14 -18

Challenge Issues: There are many real issues that young women deal with covered in this magazine, so there might be a challenge to some of the content.  However, this magazine has won awards and has a positive review in School Library Journal.  In response to challenges, one can refer to the library’s collection development policies.