The advice and history in this volume complement and enhance the prom magazines available each year.

READ REVIEW

PROM

THE BIG NIGHT OUT

Prom is more than just a night out, as revealed in this work of nonfiction.

Although prom began as a middle-class version of the upper class's debutante balls and cotillions, it has become a classic rite of passage for all teens, whether they grew up in the Great Depression, in the 1950s or ’60s, or in the latter half of the 20th century. There have been struggles: for teens who wish to wear formalwear that does not conform to their gender, teens who are part of same-sex couples, or teens who wish to hold an integrated prom after decades of whites-only and blacks-only events (in rural Georgia in 2013!). Yet times are changing to allow all teens to have an enjoyable, safe time together, when their biggest worry is what to wear. In peppy yet sympathetic prose, the author details the history of prom and how it has reflected society. Stories about making your own prom attire or finding inexpensive options are welcome, as is a chapter of young 20-somethings reflecting on their own prom experiences. The design is eye-catching, and text, graphics, and white space are attractively balanced.

The advice and history in this volume complement and enhance the prom magazines available each year. (bibliography, further resources, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-0267-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text...

HOW NOT TO BE A DICK

AN EVERYDAY ETIQUETTE GUIDE

Jokes about cheese logs abound in this humorous but sometimes-belabored etiquette guide ostensibly aimed at teens.

Following an introduction that defines what makes a person seem like a dick, seven chapters address situations ranging from initiating romantic relationships to behaving responsibly at after-office get-togethers. An uneasy line is straddled in terms of its intended age range. Readers are dutifully exhorted to make sure they wear proper attire to school dances: “Most schools have dress codes for dances. Read them carefully!” Yet there’s also advice on how to politely use a coffee shop as your office if you’re working from home. Further, a section on safety and manners at parties seems at times to employ the euphemistic term “sugary beverages” for alcohol and suggests “If you are buzzing on sugar or if someone spiked the punch, DO NOT DRIVE.” This cagey approach to the topic of teen drinking is confusing at best and at worst, may strike readers as condescending.

There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text throughout. However, as etiquette goes, there’s not much that is new here and a real question of whom this is for. (Nonfiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-936976-02-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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Most valuable here is the explicit, intimate, and informative nature of each writer's words

THE V-WORD

TRUE STORIES ABOUT FIRST-TIME SEX

Seventeen women write about losing their virginity in this work of nonfiction.

Editor Keyser begins with a compelling if didactic preface that acknowledges the mixed messages in mainstream culture about sex and implores young women to be informed and purposeful in making their own sexual decisions. Each candid narrative is then presented in its author's own style. A trans woman describes her lovely and affirming first time with a trans man by saying, "It felt as though our genitals had switched places." In startling contrast, another woman describes her disappointing encounter as a first-year college student by using the slang term "bush" for her pubic hair and remembering that her obnoxious hookup partner commented that "he'd never fucked a girl with a full one before." In between each memoir, Keyser writes a very brief commentary on the preceding and proceeding story—segues that seem unnecessary, as readers will be able to see their own parallels and differences in each of these varied experiences from writers who fall along a wide range of sexual orientations. A conversation between Keyser and a teen librarian concludes the collection, along with a solid list of online and print resources for teens and their parents.

Most valuable here is the explicit, intimate, and informative nature of each writer's words . (Collective memoir. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58270-590-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Beyond Words/Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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