Home Book Review I've Got This Friend Who – Book Review
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I've Got This Friend Who – Book Review

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Ask a teenager who they would rather have advice from, their friends, or the adults in their lives, and you know they are going to say their friends. It's what we all did, and I can live with that. But how many friends have the answers to everything a teen could be wondering about? Sometimes it takes a group of friends to find the answers. In "I've Got This Friend Who …" edited by Anna Radev, a panel of six teens share their experiences, their knowledge, and their approaches to life and its many challenges.

If there is a question about it, the answers are likely in this book. The hottest topics of drugs, smoking, alcohol, eating disorders, self injurious and high risk behaviors are thoroughly explored and discussed from a teen's perspective. Why do people smoke? What makes you an alcoholic? How can you control the urges of addiction? Why would someone not eat? How does hurting yourself affect you? What do you do when your friends are headed for serious trouble? The best solutions are always found with knowledge of the who, what, when, where and why. Coming from the words of other teenagers, the advice here is most valuable.

Imagine a group of young adults hanging out and discussing whatever is going on. The questions that come up are asked with curiosity but also with great importance and interest since things may be very personally and hugely influential in their lives. One might have an eating disorder and have first hand experience with why this occurs. One might have a parent who is an alcoholic and is concerned that it is hereditary. Someone's best friend might be considering having sex, while another friend might be cutting herself with a razor blade. The discussions in the book are broken down into six chapters, focusing on these topics. Each chapter is like a panel chat-fest and includes sidebars of important facts and information while the teens discuss the real life ramifications. What results is an advice source for readers whose friends might not have all the answers.

There are times when the information sharing looks a little forced; like a teen just would not answer in such a fact based way, but the answers provided are worth that risk. I highly recommend having this book around the house. Most readers will not sit through the entire book all at once, but will refer back to it when a situation arises in their lives. Full of additional resources like websites and hotlines, it is an interactive tool as well. The people behind the book are well versed in helping teens: KidsPeace is a 125 year old national children's crisis charity dedicated to giving hope, help, and healing to children facing crisis. This is a must have for teens everywhere.

By Heather Froeschl

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