2002 Selected DVDs and Videos for Young Adults

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Selected Videos for Young Adults Committee has selected fourteen outstanding videos for 2002. The selection was made during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in New Orleans, LA.

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

Timely issues were the focus of a number of the selections. Ecstasy (Castle Works, Inc.), Dying to be Thin (WGBH Educational Foundation), Healthy Steps for Teen Parents (Injoy Videos) and Tattooing and Body Piercing: Thinking Smart about Body Art (SVE & Churchill Media) explore these topics of concern to current teens.

The events of September 11 and their continuing impact on teenagers are revealed in 9-11: Looking Back…Moving Forward (Castle Works, Inc.). Students who attend a high school near Ground Zero talk about how their view of the world has changed.

African-American history is visualized in Here Am I, Send Me (Episcopal Media Center), a documentary about a white Civil Rights crusader and Black Soul (National Film Board of Canada), an emotional animated historical tour.

Three videos explore gay and lesbian issues. Assault on Gay America (WGBH Educational Foundation) is a riveting documentary on the damaging effects of homophobia. Coming to Terms (Frameline) dramatizes one college student's courage to come out to his family. One of Them (National Film Board of Canada) is the story of how a long-term friendship is tested when one girl reveals her sexuality.

A campy look at girl 'zines, combining interviews, animation, and 1950s-style television ads is the subject of Grrlyshow (Women Make Movies). Breakin' the Glass (Frameline) portrays the beauty and excitement of female basketball players who were involved with the American Basketball League from 1996-1998. Roller Coaster Physics (Discovery Communications, Inc.) is a thrilling jumping-off point for science fair projects as it tours some of the world's scariest amusement park rides.

Moving and disturbing interviews of war crime survivors comprise the youth-produced video on activism, ICC: A Call for Justice (EVC's Youth Organizers Television).

The committee members are: Robyn M. Lupa (Chair), Leigh D. Barnett, Josephine Caisse, Edith E. H. Cummings, Susan E. Dunn, Sarah I. Flowers, Mari Hardacre, Susan L. Hill, Kevin Stewart Payne, James C. Scholtz, Tricia A. Segal, Lisa Whitley, Sue Ellen Beauregard (Consultant), and Aletheia Turner (Administrative Assistant).

Assault on Gay America . VHS. 60 min. 2000. $49.95. WGBH Educational Foundation.

In traditional documentary style, this video explores the case of Billy Jack Gaithers, murdered in 1999 because he was gay. Interviews with family members, friends and with Gaither's killers give viewers a complete picture of the damaging effects of homophobia.

Black Soul . VHS. 9.45 min. 2000. $129. National Film Board of Canada.

Swiftly changing images and accompanying music give an emotional tour of the history of African-Americans. An old woman presents a young man with his ancestry from the Pharaohs through time to contemporary America.

Breakin' the Glass . VHS. 28 min. 2000. $29.95. Frameline.

A look at the ABL (American Basketball League), began in 1996 in the glory of a successful women's Olympic team. It was forced out of business in 1998 by the WNBA, which was backed by the political power and pocketbook of the NBA. The video portrays the beauty and excitement of women athletes and the power of their example to girls.

Coming to Terms . VHS. 17 min. 2000. $29.95. Frameline Inc.

With powerful and mature language, a college student comes out to his parents in a phone conversation and then must deal with their reaction - and his own - long distance.

Dying to be Thin . VHS. 60 min. 2000. $19.95. WGBH Educational Foundation.

A candid behind-the-scenes look at young women who are afflicted with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. This video explores some of the attitudes that lead to unrealistic body expectations in our society and the difficulty of successful treatment.

Ecstasy . VHS. 30 min. 2001. $59.95. Castle Works, Inc.

A fast-paced combination of teen's personal narratives and facts and statistics from experts explores the physical, emotional and legal realities of ecstasy and similar drugs.

Grrlyshow . VHS. 18 min. 2001. $195. Women Make Movies

A look at girl 'zines that combines interviews, animation, clips from the 'zines, and tongue-in-cheek connecting segments done in the style of 1950s TV ads. Female 'zine creators talk about making women feel good about themselves, about a "sense of creating an alternate world," and about giving girls and women the message that "yes, you're legitimate."

Healthy Steps for Teen Parents . VHS. 25 min. each. 2001. $199.95 each, $499 3-part set. Injoy Videos.

Volume 1: Prenatal Care. Volume 2: Labor & Birth. Volume 3: Postpartum. This high-quality series provides crucial information for teen parents, presented in an upbeat and nonjudgmental format. By following stories of real teens, the videos address the normal fears and concerns of expectant parents and offer various options for dealing with those issues.

Here Am I, Send Me . VHS. 50 min. 2000. $29.95. Episcopal Media Center.

A moving documentary about the life and death of an idealistic young white seminarian from New Hampshire who moved to Alabama in 1965 to help with the Civil Rights Movement. A sheriff's deputy shot Jonathan Daniels to death.

ICC: A Call for Justice . VHS. 16.30 min. 2000. $75. EVC's Youth Organizers Television

Moving and deeply disturbing interviews with three survivors of war crimes comprise the main portion of this youth-produced program on activism. The video, which calls for justice for victims through the creation of an International Criminal Court, provides a jumping-off point for further research by older teens.

9-11: Looking Back…Moving Forward . VHS. 30 min. 2001. $59.95. Castle Works, Inc.

The effects of the September 11 tragedy are explored from the viewpoint of teens that attend a high school near Ground Zero as they struggle to cope with events that have changed their view of the world and of their lives.

One of Them . VHS. 26 min. 2000. $195. National Film Board of Canada.

Drama about two high school girls whose long-term friendship is tested when one of them reveals that she is a lesbian. The other must decide whether or not to publicly defend her friend.

Roller Coaster Physics . VHS. 27 min. 2000. $39.95. Discovery Communications, Inc.

Applied physics becomes accessible during a tour of some of the world's scariest amusement park rides. The concepts described are an ideal starting point for reports and science fair projects.

Tattooing and Body Piercing: Thinking Smart about Body Art . VHS. 22 min. 2001. $95.95. SVE & Churchill Media.

This video explores the history behind two popular trends and gives helpful and cautionary advice to those who are considering a tattoo or piercing.