Parents & Teachers: Book Review,
"The Teen Survival Guide"
The Teen Survival Guide to Dating & Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along (2005), by Annie Fox, thoughtfully delves into important teenage topics – including self-image, relationships, sex, family, and authority figures. A student-written review of this book can be found below.
Review by: Katie Ransohoff,
high school student writer
The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating: Real World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along is your classic teen advice book. It uses a question and answer format with a humorous tone. The book discusses the typical array of topics you would expect in a teen advice book: self-image, friendships, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, sex and STDs, parents, siblings, and authority figures. The Teen Survival Guide treats each topic sensitively and thoroughly.
The book is full of current resources for teens. The advice is typical. However, that seems to be the goal of the book: to normalize the teen experience. The Q&A format attempts to draw in the reader, and the answers are very general, so the advice is broad-based rather than question-specific.
One of the best features of the book is also its pitfall: its breadth. It is great that the book gives guides and advice on so many topics, yet this wide range limits the audience. The chapters on friendships and parental relationships are next to the chapters on intimacy and sex. This poses a problem because parents might want their younger teens to read about siblings, but not about sexual intimacy.
The first chapter – titled, "Me, Myself, and I" – seems to be directed at a rather young audience, possibly even preteen. The second and third chapters, which step up the age level, are about boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. The fourth chapter deals with sex and intimate relationships, a topic big enough for its own book. The chapters on friends, parents, siblings, authority figures, and conflict resolution are shorter and much less in-depth. However, these chapters are still full of solid advice.
Overall, this book is a good basic resource for teens. I would rate this book a four for helpful advice, even though the book is short and does not go into much depth. The book also features many resources – both online and offline – that are valuable for teens looking for more information.
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Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013