Sex, Brains & Video Games: Information and Inspiration for Youth Services Librarians, 2nd ed. By Jennifer Burek Pierce. Chicago: ALA, 2017. 240 p. $57 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-1548-6).

In this book, Jennifer Burek Pierce focuses on many aspects of young adult development, from their mental and emotional processes to the many influences that affect them in their day-to-day lives. She asserts the importance of making a place for this unique group in libraries’ spaces, programs, and staff, noting that adolescence is an incredibly difficult transitional period and that, in the words of Sari Feldman, libraries “are a lifeline for people at every key transition in their lives” (xii). This book does not contain step-by-step guides for serving this age group, but it presents clear reasoning for how to approach this age group and describes what a librarian might experience while working with today’s teens.

In this timely update and expansion of her first edition (2008), Pierce begins by debunking myths about teens. The subsequent chapters address important topics that face teens as well as current library initiatives that serve them. The chapter “Sex and Sexualities” is an example of the revisions made for this new edition; the first edition mentions homosexuality, but the current edition discusses recent social and political shifts in the LGBTQ community, their relevance to teens, and their importance in young adult literature.

Extensive bibliographies at the end of each chapter and an appendix of essential reading for young adult librarians offer a wide variety of resources for young adult librarians and those managing youth services. This book is a great way for young adult librarians to catch up on the latest research and familiarize themselves with current teen culture.—Leanne Cheek, Selector/Teen Coordinator, Pioneer Library System, Norman, Oklahoma


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