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Item - Danny's Dilemma


Series: It's Your Choice — no. 1
Authors: DeVault, Christine
Strong, Bryan
Illustrator: Ransom, Robert
Date: 1987
ISBN: 0941816311 / 9780941816311
Length: 74 pages (plus "About this Book" notes)
Number of Endings: 6
LC Cataloging in Publication Summary: The reader tries to help Danny make decisions about using tobacco and shares with him the consequences of each decision.
Demian's Thoughts: The first thing that struck me about this book (and actually this series in general) was the artwork. It's technically well-executed and attractive, but it's at the same time very artificial and goofy-looking. Interestingly, the text matches the art quite remarkably; the writing quality is technically high, but the content all seems a little forced. Use of third-person writing doesn't help matters much. Obviously, the book is well-meaning, and the many forms and consequences of tobacco are addressed, but the unconvincing attempts at capturing teen slang and behavior tend to undercut the message. Fortunately, all of its flaws make the book a fairly humorous and entertaining read; if you can watch and enjoy the educational shorts on Mystery Science Theater 3000, you'll probably enjoy this book. Really, for what it is, the book is fairly successful; my biggest complaint is that it suffers from "cut-and-paste" syndrome; a lot of the text is duplicated exactly in multiple sections. I would have been more impressed with the design if a clever means of avoiding this repetition could have been found.

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