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Adult/High School—A compact trim size, alphabetical organization, and short entries make this guide appealing and easy to use. Each of the 94 entries includes a general description, origins, variations, practice, and cultural context, as well as one to three related superstitions to send readers on a sort of choose-your-own-adventure experience. Topics range from the familiar (black cat, fortune cookie, wishbone) to the more exotic (evil eye, maneki neko, yantra), and each entry has examples drawn from movies, television, and music, most of which will be known to teens. Seventy of the entries are also illustrated in a center section of color plates; the lurid colors of the computer-generated collage images may appeal to some (or may end up snipped out of the book). Although there are 16 books and articles and 30 Web sites listed in the sources, there are no footnotes or endnotes, so Yablon's assertions are difficult to back up. However, as a starting point or as a bit of fun, casual readers should find this book enjoyable.—Jenny Gasset, Orange County Public Library, CA
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Alys R. Yablon is a freelance writer and editor. Her last book was Ask the Kabala Oracle Cards, a collaboration with Deepak Chopra.