Reviewed by John Perrodin
High School Survival Guide by Adam Palmer
"...parents and teens will appreciate the meaty content contained on each page. Purchase this for struggling students. They’ll be surprised and pleased to learn that they’re not alone in their worries."
In a perfect world parents and teens talk all the time. In other families, kids pick up important details about life and living by osmosis. No matter which mode of communication is prevalent in your home, The High School Survival Guide can help if you have a budding adult navigating these confusing, emotional years.
Parents will want to preview this well-written primer to get some tips on which issues kids are worried about. Hint: they’re the same ones that caused us so much consternation in high school. But it’s doubtful that we had such wisdom to get us through the trouble spots.
The guide consists of practical questions and answers, interspersed with telling teen comments like this: “My parents just got divorced last year, so I had both of them most of my life. But I can see how it’s harder on my younger brother and sister, that my brother doesn’t have that fatherly influence in his life, and how my sister was a real daddy’s girl and now doesn’t have that.” Jennifer, 17. Palmer goes on to answer the toughies: Do I really have to love my parents? Aren’t they just out to get me, or do they actually love me back?
Topics vary widely. Each response is based on Scripture, solid logically, and respectful of the questioner. On one page, in the section about “You”, Palmer discusses what a kid should (can) do if he thinks he’s gay. Though he doesn’t pull punches or get wishy-washy, he answers with honesty and compassion. A large portion of the book addresses the ticklish subject of friendships and how relationships can impact young lives. Sex and dating are discussed with tasteful openness.
One teen commented: “We’re used to thinking of discrimination as white people versus black people, and it’s just not like that anymore. It’s everybody versus everybody.” Kaitlin, 17. Using the story of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman, Palmer reminds us that the surface doesn’t matter – the heart does. And we need to treat everyone with the same sort of love we expect God to grant us daily.
Ultimately, The High School Survival Guide (a compact 173 pages) cannot cover every towering topic that will rear its head in high school. But parents and teens will appreciate the meaty content contained on each page. Purchase this for struggling students. They’ll be surprised and pleased to learn that they’re not alone in their worries.
John Perrodin is the Senior Editor for the Christian Writers Guild. He co-authored the Renegade Spirit Trilogy with Jerry B. Jenkins. The latest release in that series is Seclusion Point (Thomas Nelson). His book, Simple Little Words: What You Say Can Change a Life, written with Michelle Cox, releases in April 2008 from David C. Cook. Please visit www.simplelittlewords.com to find out more about the book, and visit John's website www.johnperrodin.com to find out more about his writing.