Selected DVD's & Videos for Young Adults

dvds and videos

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Selected Videos for Young Adults Committee has selected 13 outstanding videos for 2000 (see attached). The selection was made during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting in San Antonio.

The committee, comprised of librarians who work with teenagers, viewed scores of videos to develop the annual list that recognizes videos for technical merit, content, use with and interest to young adults ages 12-18.

Serious issues facing teens today were the focus of a number of the selections. "The Truth about Hate" (AIMS Multimedia) and "In the Mix: School Violence: Answers from the Inside" (Castle Works/In the Mix) uses real teens to discuss real situations and to learn ways to resolve conflicts. "The Truth about Sex" (AIMS Multimedia) and "Just Like Me: Talking About AIDS" ( Films for the Humanities & Sciences) also feature frank discussions.

Videos that explore the emotional and psychological aspects of being a teenager – "Teens: What Makes Them Tick" (Films for the Humanities & Sciences) and "Tough Guise" (Media Education Foundation) – created an impact with the committee. "Surviving the First Year: Inside America's Military Academies" (AIMS Multimedia) follows young men and women through the physical and emotional stress of the first year of the four academies.

Conditions for people and animals in other parts of the world were the subject of several videos. "It Takes a Child" (Bullfrog Films) tells the story of Craig Kielburger, who at age 12, learned first-hand the horrors of child labor in East Asia and went on to found "Save the Children," an organization which works to give children back their childhood.

Artist Shui-Bo Wong presents a personal and impressionistic view of China from the nineteenth century to the 1989 student massacre in "Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square" (First Run/Icarus Films). Actress Julia Roberts goes to Borneo to learn about the orangutans ("Orangutans with Julia Roberts" from the "In the Wild" series of PBS Home Video).

Two videos capture the African American experience in two very different ways. "Figures of the Civil Rights Movement" ( Films for the Humanities & Sciences) celebrates the brave young people who took part in the lunch counter sit-ins in Nashville and the Central High School integration in Little Rock. "Harlem" (Spoken Arts) adds music and live footage to the poem by Walter Dean Myers, illustrations by his son Christopher, to create a lyrical mood piece.

Through the medium of Claymation, Australian Adam Elliot shares his poignant memories of his family with offbeat humor in "Cousin Uncle Brother – A Trilogy" (Adam Elliot).

The Committee members are: Ranae Pierce, Salt Lake City (Utah), chair; Sheila Anderson, Allen County (Ind.) Public Library; Dianne Baasch, Independent Schools Multi-Media Center, Inc., N.Y.; Leigh Barnett, Episcopal School of Dallas; Margaret Butzler, Bethel Park (Pa.) Public Library; Sarah Flowers, Morgan Hill (Calif.) Public Library; Kristen Garbart, Denver, Colo.; Susan Hill, Broward County Division of Libraries, Fla.; Robyn Lupa, Jefferson County (Colo.) Public Library; Tom Reynolds, Sno-Isle Regional Library (Wash.); E.M. Roublow, Los Angeles Public Library; Alethia Turner, Hennepin County (Minn.) Public Library; Rose Ward, East Orange (N.J.) Public Library; and Mary Flournoy, Free Library of Philadelphia.

(The quotes are from teenagers who previewed the videos for the committee members.)

Cousin Uncle Brother – A Trilogy 20 min. 1999. U.S. (price not set.) Adam Elliott

Based on the filmmaker's family, this series of three black and white Claymation shorts from Australia evokes – with offbeat humor and poignancy – memories of childhood.

Figures of the Civil Rights Movement: Sit-ins and the Little Rock Nine. 18 min. 1999. $89.95. Films for the Humanities & Sciences

Two major steps in the Civil Rights movement were the sit-ins in Nashville and the forced desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock. This film focuses on the little known people who were active participants in these events, enduring humiliation and abuse. Archival footage highlights this inspiring video of our nation on the move.

Harlem 10 min. 1999. $44.95. Spoken Arts

Original music, historical facts, and scenes of present-day Harlem complement the bright colors and poetry of the book by Walter Dean Myers and Christopher Myers. Narrated by Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Study guide included.

In the Mix: School Violence: Answers from the Inside 30 min. 1998. $59.95. Castle Works/In the Mix

A suburban high school uses peer mediation and plainclothes monitors who really know the students to prevent conflicts from escalating to violence. "Students are believable" (13-year-old girl). Study guide and additional material are available at

It Takes a Child: Craig Kielburger's Story 56 min. 1998. $ 250. Bullfrog

At age 12, Craig Kielburger journeyed to South Asia to learn about the lives of child laborers. As a result, he founded "Free the Children," an organization that works toward the elimination of forced labor, including prostitution, which robs children of their childhood.

Just Like Me: Talking about AIDS 21 min. 1999. $89.95 Films for the Humanities & Sciences

Six young men and women who became HIV-positive as teenagers share their individual stories. These poignant autobiographies explore the reality of contracting and living with the HIV virus.

Orangutans with Julia Roberts (In the Wild series). 60 min. Closed captioned. 1998. $19.98 PBS Home Video

Julia Roberts travels to Borneo to learn about orangutans - the sole surviving great apes of Asia and the world's largest tree-living primates – in this wildlife adventure. "An excellent, informative show." (16-year-old girl)

Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square 29 min. Closed captioned. 1998. $225. First Run/Icarus Films

Filmmaker Shui-Bo Wang's personal journey from dedicated Communist and Red Guard member to a disillusioned art teacher who left China soon after the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square. A powerful blend of personal artwork, photographs, and animation show thirty years of change in China. "Very informative… it really shows how China was." (17-year-old girl).

Surviving the First Year: Inside America's Military Academies. 48 min. 1999. $149.99. AIMS Multimedia

Step into life at the four U.S. military academies while witnessing what life is like for male and female students during their first year, from the rigorous physical demands and strict rules governing every aspect of their daily life during basic training to the high academic expectations and required memorization of menus and newspaper articles. While this may be of most interest to students considering a military career, many teens will be intrigued by this in-your-face look.

Teens: What Makes Them Tick 41 min. 1999. $149.99 Films for the Humanities & Sciences

How are teenagers different from adults? In this ABC News special John Stossel examines the physiological reasons behind teen behavior and talks with teens and parents about how they get along and what they want from each other.

Tough Guise 57 min. 1999. $150. Media Education Foundation

Through wide-ranging examples taken from popular culture – from Howard Stern, rap icons to films such as Good Will Hunting, viewers see the image of young males in today's society. This look into the nature of masculinity offers thought-provoking perspectives into the school tragedies at Columbine and elsewhere as well as what the crises of masculinity mean to today's young women.

The Truth about Hate 49 min. 1998. $149.95. AIMS Multimedia

Racism, ethnic bigotry, religious hatred, and sexual discrimination are explored through the eyes of today's teenagers. A group of teens gradually learn to face the destructive reality of their prejudices through visiting the mother of a gay teen who was attacked, a Holocaust survivor, and the homes and churches of teens from other ethnic groups. Study guide included.

The Truth about Sex 45 min. 1999. $149.95. AIMS Multimedia

This program forces teens to face the realities of having sex too young, including unwanted pregnancies and STDs. Teens visit young parents coping with raising children, see a premature baby born with many health problems, talk to a woman whose body has been ravaged by AIDS, and participate in a mock AIDS test. Dr. Drew of Loveline talks to parents and teens about the difficulties of talking about sex. Study guide included.


AIMS Multimedia, 9710 DeSoto Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311 800-367-2467; Fax: 818-341-6700

Adam Elliot, Pty Ltd., Flat Two, 1a Kinglsey St., Elwood 3184 Victoria, Australia 613-9525-6209.

Bullfrog Films, Inc., PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547 800-543-3764

Castle Works/In the Mix, 114 E. 32nd St., Suite 905, NY NY, 10001 800-597-9448; Fax: 212-684-4015

Films for the Humanities & Sciences, PO Box 2053, Princeton, NJ 08543-2053 800-257-5126; Fax: 609-275-3767

First Run/Across Films, 153 Waverly Place, 6th Floor, NY 10014 800-876-1710; Fax: 212-255-7923

Media Education Foundation, 26 Center St., Northampton, MA 01060 800-897-0089; Fax: 659-6882

PBS Home Video, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314 800-645-4727

Spoken Arts, 8 Lawn Ave., PO Box 100, New Rochelle, NY 10802-0100 800-326-4090