Scared Stiff: Everything You Need to Know About 50 Famous Phobias

Sara Latta, illus. by G.E. Gallas. Zest (HMH, dist.), $12.99 paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-936976-49-2
From acrophobia to wiccaphobia, Latta presents an alphabetical tour of 50 fears that readers ought to find entertaining or horrifying, depending on their own personal sources of terror. “Normal, garden-variety fear becomes a phobia only when it is persistent, excessive, and unreasonable,” explains Latta, before going on to examine phobias that range from the well-known (agoraphobia, claustrophobia) to the less familiar (she invokes Neil Gaiman’s Coraline in a discussion of koumpounophobia, the fear of buttons). Quotations and references from pop culture (The Birds and Jaws are mentioned, naturally), examples of famous phobics (Humphrey Bogart: not a fan of leeches), and tactics for conquering phobias (both on one’s own and with professional help) round out this fascinating study of fears big and small. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/10/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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