Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blog Tour: Hot Button Issues (Review)

Fill in the blank.
I don't know how to talk to my tween about_______.
...Internet Safety
... Pornography
...All Of The Above.

There's a lot of topics parents in my children's ministry struggle to talk about.

I'm always looking to find a resource I can pass along to them, to help start a conversation at home - between parent and child.

It's not easy, but it's important.Actually, it's quite vital. At times, the conversation might even make a difference between life and death.

Nicole O'Dell has created four (two more are pending) books that address the "Hot Button" topics in a tween's life - before they become a problem.

From dating to drugs, modesty to purity, morals to popularity and more - O'Dell tackles the tough issues in her four books: Hot Buttons: Dating Edition, Hot Buttons: Internet Edition; Hot Buttons: Sexuality Edition and Hot Button: Dating Edition.

Each book dives into the topic, lays a foundation for how a parent can discuss the issue, and then tackles some of the "hot" pieces.

The books are small - and could easily fit in a purse or backpack. Each book provides short scenarios and three or four responses a teen might talk about in a particular situation. 

I found the books (I dove into the Sexuality Edition and Internet Edition specifically) to be interesting. They may not be comprehensive - OK, let's face it, what book can cover EVERYTHING about a topic. But they are a solid resource that a parent can use.

I found the Internet Edition interesting, because she identified four websites that tweens and teens like to use, away from the "favorites" (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

I also thought the Sexuality Edition was frank, honest and not preachy.

I also liked the study guide, O'Dell included in the back of each book. The goal - another way students and parents can tackle an issue in a non-threatening way.

In all, I'll keep these books as a resource for parents. On the scale of one to five, I give them a solid three and half. Ultimately, these books aren't the definitive solution to an issue - but they are a tool parents can use to start a conversation with their student.

FYI - Bullying and Image Editions are coming in Spring 2013. Considering how many of my tweens are struggling with bullying at school this fall, I'm definitely going to check it out when it's published.

Here's a brief synopsis of the four editions:
Hot Buttons Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.

Hot Buttons Internet Edition helps parents prepare their teens for online challenges they may face. Topics discussed include: internet activity, file sharing, social networking, and internet predators.

Hot Buttons Drug Edition braves the scary world of substance abuse, equipping parents with facts, warning signs, and real-world scenarios on: alcohol; Marijuana and other drugs; inhalants; and prescription drugs.

Hot Buttons Sexuality Edition offers the facts about teen sexuality, backed by statistics; specifics for how to talk frankly about sex with your kids, discussion about the growth of homosexuality and bisexuality among teens; and compassionate advice for guiding your teen to reclaim purity.

About The Author
Youth-culture expert, Nicole O'Dell is the host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk and the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, dedicated to guiding teens through tough issues and helping parents encourage good decisions.

On air, O'Dell covers peer pressure, dating, purity, drugs, alcohol, modesty, popularity, and anything else that comes up along the way. Nicole writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices.

As an author, O'Dell writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her popular YA fiction includes the Diamond Estate Series and the Scenarios for Girls interactive books that feature alternate endings, allowing young girls to decide the outcome for the main character. Her nonfiction for teens includes Girl Talk, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column.

While her YA resources encourage and equip teens, Nicole also works to bridge the communication gap between teens and their parents. The Hot Buttons series helps parents discuss tough issues with their tweens and teens before the issues pop up in real life. Watch for future Hot Buttons books on subjects like bullying, image, prejudice, friendships, politics, and more.

O'Dell, resides in Paxton, IL, with her husband and six children-the youngest of whom are toddler triplets.

Online Resources
Find out more about Nicole at http://nicoleodell.com.
Buy the books: http://ow.ly/esojj
Check out the blog tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/nodell 

It's A Contest
Win a $100 Visa Cash Card at the Hot Buttons Live Video Chat with Nicole O’Dell!

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of these books by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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