The Secret Life of Teens: Young People Speak Out about Their Lives

Gayatri Patnaik, Editor, Michelle Shinseki, Editor HarperOne $13.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-688-17076-9
This collection of 200 essays and letters was culled from 5,000 submissions gathered by, a popular Web site for college and high school students. To combat the negative teen image often presented in the media, editors Patnaik and Shinseki, former teachers, invited teens to write about their lives, thoughts and hopes. Covering a variety of topics including friendship, divorce, love, substance abuse and sexuality, the entries are well written and often quite poignant (""The world. What an interesting, magical, scary, loving, hungry and wonderful place it is""). While some entries chastise adults, many are surprisingly forgiving; parents who read this collection may be amazed to hear how much teenagers love and need them. Instead of the sullen, angry teen portrayed in the news media, many express heartfelt concern for others and for family: one girl writes of her memories of her grandfather, a 17-year-old boy writes of his search for God and another girl reveals her love for an alcoholic father. The entries help adults understand teens' worries and the difficulties they face each day in a changing, challenging world. This book will be of interest to adolescents, and invaluable to parents and educators hoping to gain a more profound understanding of what it means to be a teenager today. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Prebound-Glued - 208 pages - 978-0-613-33961-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-20037-0
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