Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: New Book by YA Declares "Embark in your Popularity Journey"

Little Genie In A BottleImage by Oliver Scott via Flickr
Popularity Genie in a Bottle:

Embark in your Popularity Journey

By Donatella Fragiale and
Cristina Fragiale

Donatella Fragiale started writing Popularity Genie in a Bottle when she was just 16, a sophomore in high school; she's now a freshman in college. Christina's contribution to the book is based on real events that occurred to her during her childhood and was pleased when Donatella asked her mother to partner as co-author.

Popularity Genie in a Bottle: Embark in Your Popularity JourneyI have very mixed feelings about this book. First, let me quickly say that it is excellent--well written and well-researched with a set of notes included as documentation. At the same time, it is not in the least what a potential reader might have expected when the book was purchased. I hope that good publicity will include more substantive material about the content to prevent potential readers from being turned off by the beginning.  Interesting there is another book available that was published years ago that appears to be more in line with what a potential reader might expect.

In addition, I am concerned that it seems to be written from the standpoint of the reader having a past knowledge of the Bible. If not, the "popular ancient time teen-kings will be unknown for many of today's young adults.

Having said all that, in my opinion, this is a fairly "heavy" religious book--which includes information primarily from the Old Testament, and includes comments regarding Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions. This latter is more informational as opposed to religious in content.

The thrust of the storyline is that Isabella a young teenager wants to be popular. Based upon an incident from the past, she learns that a "Holy Ghost Genie" might have come to visit her. Isabella is becoming older; she looks around her bedroom and suddenly finds it so very childish--she believes that none of her friends would find it as beautiful and precious as she once did. As she thought about her desire to be more popular, she remembered the old stories and wished for a genie to help her...she was lonely and frustrated--angry...

And, of course, she got her wish...

Genie would take Isabella back to about 3000 BC to talk with very popular teens who becme kings! She would then be taken on a trip to meet individuals who were "popular" in today's world. You will learn about how they really feel about their lives.

Isabella got to meet people like Solomon, Josiah, Uzziah, Gideon, also Martin Luther King and then individuals who were known only by names such as they might use as screen names--Hungry4Love, lilpartygirl15, etc.

When I share this book with my niece, I will be letting her known that it is a great way to provide her daughter the opportunity to consider how her life is affected by her personal beliefs. It is a wonderful teaching aid to assist teenagers and adults to consider alternatives to the lifestyles of drinking, drugs, and sexual activities that they may hear about from their friends--and provide real-life experiences for them to see that they can "be popular" with one of the most wonderful friends they may ever find. And who will never offer them a beer or anything else that could harm them!

Highly recommended for parents to read...and share with their children and their friends! Could make an interesting book for individual or group study...or, preferably, for parent-child discussions!

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