More of a guide to the habits, quirks, and development of adolescents than a parenting manual, this will appeal most to those who seek short and (sometimes) snappy descriptions. No matter how complex the issue (from Adoption through Cults, Obesity, Pets, and Smoking, to Work), editor Gross has limited his expert respondents to 750 words or less--and many replies to the questions he poses are far briefer. Physicians, educators, and psychiatrists answered typical parental concerns based on their research or experience, and the result of this massive accumulation is a disjointed series of more than 300 separate statements. A neurologist and a psychiatrist respond to questions about why an adolescent can't learn to ride a bike (have a thorough neurological exam to find out. . . or maybe it's an authority conflict?); an educator discusses ""mooning"" (teens do it for a ""kick,"" or for ""fun and games,"" he reports); the trivial is treated with as much reverence as such serious aspects of adolescence as drug abuse, pregnancy, shoplifting, suicide. There are many more entries on each of these topics (15 on Divorce and Marital Conflict, from ""Telling Children the Reasons"" to ""Effeminacy in Son of Divorced Parents""; 23 on Sex, including ""Normality of Frequent Erections,"" ""Repercussions of Abortion,"" ""Mothers' Feelings Toward Their Daughters' Sexual Activity""); but this handbook will not be useful to parents in need of a consistent point of view about child-rearing. On that score (and just about every other), The Family Handbook of Adolescence (1979), by John Schowalter and Walter Anyon, is much superior.