IN LIGHT of recent events that have renewed public concern over the spread of AIDS, the deadly disease has become the main topic of conversation in many schools and households. Children are turning to their parents and teachers for answers on AIDS; and adults, in turn, are looking for reliable information on AIDS prevention to share with young people.
The following list of reading material is designed as a suggested guide -- as a source of information on AIDS for young readers as well as a springboard for healthy discussions among children and adults.
Most of the materials are available free through information clearinghouses or public libraries. Some of the books can be ordered from publishers through local bookstores:
For elementary school children:
* "Children and the AIDS Virus: A Book for Children, Parents & Teachers," by Rosmarie Hausherr, Clarion Books, revised 1991. $5.95 paperback, $14.95 hardback. Available through local bookstores and at the Baltimore County Public Library.
* "Losing Uncle Tim," by MaryKate Jordan, Albert Whitman & Co., 1989. A work of fiction available at the Pratt and Baltimore County libraries.
* "Understanding AIDS," by Ethan Lerner, Lerner Publications, 1987. In question and answer format, it is also available in Spanish. At the Enoch Pratt and Baltimore County libraries.
* The National AIDS Information Clearinghouse offers a series of four brightly colored posters on "How You Won't Get AIDS" for distribution in schools and the home. The free posters -- "You Won't Get AIDS from Hide 'n' Seek," "You Won't Get AIDS in a Restaurant," "You Won't Get AIDS from a Bug Bite" and "You Won't Get AIDS from a Public Pool" -- are available by writing the clearinghouse at P.O. Box 6003, Rockville, Md. 20849 or by calling 1-800-458-5231.
The clearinghouse also offers the pamphlet "AIDS Prevention Guide" to assist parents and other adults in talking to kids about AIDS. Phone orders are taken from adults only.
For middle schoolers:
* "AIDS," by Nigel Hawkes, Glouchester Press, 1987. Available at the Baltimore County Public Library.
* "Know about AIDS," by Margaret O. Hyde and Elizabeth H. Forsyth, Walker & Co., 1987. At the Enoch Pratt Library.
* "The Menace of AIDS," by Douglas A. Eagles, 1988. At the Baltimore County Public Library.
* The Maryland State AIDS hot line offers three free pamphlets: "The Posse," "Andrea and Lisa" and "Yo! Get to Know About AIDS." The pamphlets, in cartoon form, are available by calling 333-AIDS or (outside Baltimore) 1-800-638-6252.
* The National AIDS Information Clearing House offers the following pamphlets geared to young people in grades 6 and up: "Understanding AIDS," "How You Won't Get AIDS" and "AIDS and You." Call 1-800-458-5231. Orders taken from adults only.
* "AIDS," by Margaret O. Hyde, revised 1989. Available at the Baltimore County Public Library.
* "AIDS: In Search of a Killer," by Suzanne Levert, Messner, 1987. At the Baltimore County Public Library.
* "AIDS: Trading Fears for Facts," by Karen Hein, 1989. At the Baltimore County Public Library.
* "Lynda Madaras Talks to Teens about AIDS," Lynda Madaras, 1988, Newmarket Press. At the Enoch Pratt and Baltimore County public libraries.
* "Risky Times: How to Be AIDS Smart and Stay Healthy," a guide for teen-agers. By Jeanne Blake, 1990, Workman Publishing. At the Enoch Pratt Library.
* "Sex, Drugs and AIDS," by Oralee Wachter, 1987. At the Baltimore County Public Library.
* "Teen Guide to AIDS Prevention," by Alan Edward Nourse, 1988. At the Baltimore County Public Library.
* "Understanding and Preventing Aids," by Warren Colman, 1988. At the Baltimore County Public Library.
* "We Have AIDS," by Elaine Landau, 1990. At the Baltimore County Public Library.