Here’s How to Deal: The Dance Dilemma | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by 3 Docs Press
The Children’s Book Review | October 27, 2017
Written by Shayna Brody Whitehouse, Eleanor Gil-Kashiwabara and Erika Qualls Laing
Age Range: 11 and up
Paperback: 100 pages
Publisher: 3 Docs Press (2017)
What to expect: Friendships, honesty, bullying, and social media
In Here’s How to Deal: The Dance Dilemma, the authors have used their expertise to craft a novel that is simple in essence but is meant to provoke deep thought and discussion. The aim is to help middle schoolers navigate their changing social environments by providing them with a set of common hurdles and tools to overcome them. Readers are introduced to a group of five middle school friends as they prepare for the upcoming Winter Snowflake Dance. Told from the perspective of each friend, readers are able to see how what is considered a small misunderstanding by one friend can actually be a cause of much distress for another.
The book follows each character over the course of two weeks. Each character explains what happens to them on each of the days and readers are able to see the same event from several different points of view. This creative way of telling the story provides readers with many chances to reflect on the events, explore the various relationships and help decide which choices would be best in each situation.
The companion guide that comes with the book includes discussion questions that are specific to each chapter. Readers are prompted at the end of each chapter to read the questions and think about possible solutions to the problems that have been presented. In this installment, problems include what to do when a friend tries to cheat during a test, how to gather up the courage to ask a friend to the dance, how to deal with a friend that misuses social media, how to stand up for one’s friends, and how to deal with bullies, among others.
The situations presented by the authors will sound familiar to any middle schooler—and to many parents as well. The shifting points of view are a great starting point to spark conversation and will surely help students overcome the many social challenges that can arise in middle school.
About the Authors
Eleanor, Erika, and Shayna were inspired to create their company 3 Docs Press and their first book Here’s How to Deal: The Dance Dilemma, after realizing that many schools did not have funding for full-time counselors and that teachers often had to address issues that kids faced within the classroom setting. The book gives teachers, other adults and kids ways to problem solve and explore those dilemmas through a story format. The authors collectively have a wide range of clinical experiences.
Eleanor is a Research Associate Professor at Portland State University and has focused her professional work around culturally appropriate mental health service for children and families. She lives in Portland, OR with her family, including two daughters, ages 6 and 12.
Shayna lives with her family, including her two sons (a teen and tween), in the greater Boulder Colorado area. Her professional background is in school psychology , private practice, and as a professor in a school psychology graduate program.
Erika lives in Lafayette, Colorado with her family, including her two sons. Her professional background as a psychologist ranges the age span from very young to geriatrics and she has worked in private practice, group and hospital settings.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. 3 Docs Press sponsored this non-biased review of “Here’s How to Deal: The Dance Dilemma.” Learn more about getting a book review …
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