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Monday, July 20, 2015

Peer Pressure vs. True Friends (Surviving Junior High)



Peer Pressure vs. True Friends (Surviving Junior High) 
     by Dr. Orly Katz

Blurb (Taken from an email sent to me by the author):

"The book deals with everyday issues such as: self esteem, peer pressure Vs. true friend, body language intuition & leadership, positive thinking, and more...And include true life stories about growing up with tips, helpful rules, Illustrations, simple to do exercises and fun ‘test yourself’ questionnaires."

My Review:

This is a great book to help teenagers deal with all the pressures of life and school at that age. It is written to help children take control of their environment, to not be victims, to stand up for themselves, and to feel confident about themselves. It does say ages 12-16, but I would recommend that parents read it first to see where if their child is ready. The lessons that are taught in this book are so relevant and so needed today. Every student will benefit from reading this book. I love that it teaches teenagers how to say "no" to bad situations, and I also love how it helps kids learn and understand the consequences of some of their actions. Dr. Katz does have a chapter on the internet and how to use it properly, or what can happen if you use it improperly, and I think this one might be the most important. With the invention of the internet, bullying, spreading lies and rumors, and many other situations are so much worse than they were when I was a teenager. Now those lies can be spread to hundreds of people in a matter of seconds, and they will always be out there. Yes, that internet chapter is very important. I think this book is greatly needed today; it is a great resource for parents and teachers alike. 

There are a couple of examples in this book that may make a few parents uncomfortable with their 12 year-old reading them. I have a soon-to-be seventh and eighth grader, and I thought a lot about it. In the end I decided that I probably will discuss the situations with them. I guess there is a lot of stuff out there and I'd rather them be prepared. I will not have them read the book alone, though, I will be reading and discussing it with them. One of these examples is of a girl who gets asked to prom and her date asks her which hotel she wants to stay at after. They would be spending the rest of the prom night together, alone, in the hotel room. The word is never used, and what they would actually be doing there is never discussed, but kids will know what she is talking about. (At first I did not want my sons reading this, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that they probably should. The prom is not relevant to them yet, but I know that kids are being "intimate" at very young ages, so I do think it is a lesson that they should hear....very supervised though.) The other situation is when there is a pool party and a very well endowed girl has a huge wardrobe malfunction and her whole, large, breast comes out of her bathing suit for everyone to see. (I was really against my two sons reading this story at first, but we go to the public pool sometimes, and really, it could happen. The lesson taught with the story is very important, and I think it is probably good for them to think about what they would do in a situation like that before it happens.) 

Overall, I think this is book has some valuable lessons in it that teenagers need to hear. It is well written; it is not condescending, but it is written on their level. I think kids will relate to her examples and her writing style. I recommend this book to all young adults.

Rating: PG+ (This book is clean, but discusses some very sensitive topics. "Intimacy" is discussed in a round-about way, and it does talk about a girl's breast hanging out of her bathing suit.

Recommendation: Junior high and up. I do recommend that parents read and discuss it with their children.

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


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