cover image Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall at All

Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall at All

John Schwartz, . . Roaring Brook/Flash Point, $16.99 (132pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-323-6

Schwartz, a reporter for the New York Times , debuts with an investigation of the relationship between height, wealth, and happiness, that's rich with examples from his own life. At 5'3” as an adult, Schwartz has been considered short all his life, which has affected him in ways both obvious and invisible. With an accessibly informal and even cheeky tone, he mixes personal anecdotes with information from scientific papers, news articles, and interviews as he explores hormones and surgeries marketed to children and parents, breaks down the biases that can be found in scientific studies, and even covers the embarrassment (but also bargains!) to be had shopping in the boys' department. Schwartz also discusses ways to physically and mentally deal with shortness (and how it can be an advantage), encouraging healthy eating, exercise, and breaking the habit of blaming one's problems on height: “[L]earning to tell what's real from what's hype can save you from a lot of unhappiness.” Charts and statistics complement this down-to-earth and hopeful account, which demonstrates that being different doesn't have to forecast what Schwartz calls a “second-rate life.” Ages 11–14. (Apr.)