Coping with Loss: The Life Changes Handbook.


48 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 978-0-7787-4391-0
DDC j155.9'3





Reviewed by Sandy Campbell

Sandy Campbell is a reference librarian in the Science and Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


This is an unusual series from Crabtree that addresses some of the most difficult situations that young people face. These books maintain the bright, eye-catching design that makes Crabtree publications so attractive. There are images, mainly photographs, on every page, illustrating pithy text. There has obviously been a lot of input from teens into these works, because the difficulties described are highly accurate. For example, the exam handbook covers what to do if you really have left your studying too late or you’ve studied for the wrong exam. There is also help for those students so worried they cannot sleep, for those who suffer exam-day panic and stress-induced memory loss.


The body language handbook has also captured the essence of teen problems. It starts out with some very interesting applications of reading body language, such as “how to spot a fake” and “flirtatious body language,” but wanders into confidence building, with only passing references to body language. So, while the book is good, it doesn’t really deliver what the title promises.


Coping With Loss is also very reflective of the lives of teens. It covers emotional and physical changes, changes at home, moving, immigrating, separation and divorce, chronic illness, and death. There are answers and suggestions for many scenarios in which teens can see themselves. For example: “My mom hasn’t been able to cope with anything since my dad died a year ago …”; “My parents have decided to cremate my grandmother—it’s horrible that they are doing this to her”; “My mom died three weeks ago and I haven’t cried yet.… What’s wrong with me?” This volume is most effective if the teen reads only the section applicable to his or her problem. The whole book, read at one sitting, introduces loss after loss and would be very depressing to someone who was already having difficulty coping.


The one shortcoming of this overall excellent series is the lack of references to Canadian support agencies, particularly in the loss book. Highly recommended for public and school libraries.


Naik, Anita., “Coping with Loss: The Life Changes Handbook.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024,