|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews|100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaSexuality in AdolescenceShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
by Aisha Muharrar
Free Spirit Publishing, 2003
Review by Judith Carlson on Apr 16th 2004
Although I understood and
appreciated what author Aisha Muharrar was trying to accomplish in her book More
Than a Label, I came away disappointed. It felt too much like I was reading
a required text for a middle school class rather than the enjoyable call to
action I think it was intended to be.
More often than not I felt like I
was being hit over the head with the same information rather than being
stimulated into deeper thought. She talked about learning in debate class that
there are two sides to everything and then almost entirely focuses on all of
the negative aspects of labels. I wish she would have spent more time on things
we can control, and less on trying to change other people. History is littered
with examples of people beating their collective heads against the wall trying
to change other people without success. The Middle East is an obvious example
of this futility.
That is why I enjoyed the section
in the book on negative self-talk as she really nailed it. We may not be able
to control how we are viewed by outsiders and cliques or have much power to
change how they see us, but we have complete control over how we view
ourselves. Developing this skill is invaluable and well worth the time spent. I
suffer from anxiety and have learned to reduce the amount of anxiety I
experience by changing the way I think about things. I have learned that how I
process what people say to me is what matters not what they say or think about
me and it is very liberating.
Aisha uses the sticks and
stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me saying in the book and
completely missed the point, when she follows with the assertion "But the
truth is some words do hurt." The point of that saying is that only
the power you attach to the words or the way you think about them
can hurt you if you allow them to. By saying some words do hurt you are
giving all the power to others and that could be used as a metaphor for what I
disliked about her approach in this book.... Too much focus outside of yourself
and not enough focused inside.
I always wanted to be more
popular with the "in crowd" at my schools, but finally realized I was
wasting my time and energy chasing the end of a rainbow. Although Aisha has a
noble agenda, I think she would have helped more of her peers by focusing on
exercises to help them feel better about themselves, while still advocating the
same things she focused on without beating the reader over the head like a
Personally I wish she would
have focused on cliques more than labels. I do think a lot of the exercises in
the book are useful and would work well in middle school classes and that Aisha’s
heart is in the right place.
© 2004 Judith Carlson
Judith Carlson writes about
junior in high school. I'm on the soccer team at my school and take several
honors courses. I have lived with my foster family since I turned nine. I plan
on attending a good college after I graduate and would love to continue playing
soccer in college (but I need to improve some more first). I have battled
anxiety since I was very young and did not even realize it for a couple of
years but I think I have it under control now. Everyone thinks I'm shy but I
think I'm just naturally quiet.