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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Media Madness: An Insider's Guide to Media

Reviewed: July 13, 2005
By: Dominic Ali / illustrated by Michael Cho
Publisher: Kids Can Press
64 pages, $16.95

There are, say creators Ali and Cho, six big questions that you should ask yourself when looking at to listening to anything on your medium of choice, whether paper based or electronic. One way to look at this book would be to apply the BIG SIX.

1,Who created this message and why are they sending it?

Ali and Cho hope to make some money with this book, of course, but they also seemed concerned with getting out some real information about media and making their audience more media savvy.

2. Who is the target audience and how is the message tailored to them?

This book is for teens, perhaps early teens, but it is intelligent and clever enough to appeal to older teens as well.

3. How does this message get your attention?

Media Madness has a kind of soft Mad Magazine appeal to it. Anchored by its central character, Max McLoon it takes you on a friendly but revealing trip through every kind of media that a youngster is likely to encounter, from television to radio, print media, the music industry, the internet and video games.

This is also certainly a book aimed at libraries.

4. What values and lifestyles are shown?

This is a positive book which challenges its reader to think about its content and encourages them to appreciate diversity, which is something not often found in certain types of media.

5. How might other people read this message differently?

This is pretty straightforward. The media might not want everyone to be this informed, but that's their problem.

6. What's missing from this message that might be important to know?

For a book at this level, I don't think much of anything is missing. The text is informative. The illustrations are attractive and effective. Aside from the main text there are lots of informational sidebars. It illustrates the techniques and jargon under discussion by actually using them and them explaining them as part of the presentation.

It even has suggestions for activities that the target audience might try out to see how things work in the real world.

All said, it's an excellent little book that does what it sets out to do in a pleasant the effective manner.

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