Bring Them Back Alive: Helping Teens Get Out and Stay Out of Trouble

Jose M. de Olivares, Author Taylor Trade Publishing $12.95 (148p) ISBN 978-1-58979-128-2
With 40 years of experience helping teenagers""straighten out their lives,"" U.S. Department of Labor regional director de Olivares clearly knows how to communicate with disenfranchised youths. Unfortunately, his gifts don't translate well into writing. Of course, there's no quick fix for violence, drug use or even the less-dramatic manifestations of teen frustration. But de Olivares doesn't offer any practical advice until this book's fourth chapter and, even then, his advice is couched in non-specific language like""The river floods and destroys your home. You can't control that. But if it is the third time in ten years a flood has destroyed your home, you may want to consider rebuilding on higher ground."" This, and countless other similar nuggets, seem too theoretical to be of use to parents whose households are electrified with adolescent angst. That said, the book's section on establishing a non-threatening relationship--where de Olivares describes his""ARC"" approach ( accountability, respect and consistency)--is helpful. De Olivares's explanation of why these principles are important may provide much-needed inspiration for the disillusioned and battle-weary.
Reviewed on: 09/27/2004
Release date: 07/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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