A debatable selection of items to master before you grow up—meaning, perhaps, freshman year of high school.
This collection is a strictly hit-or-miss affair from a variety of angles: good point, good explanation; good point, bad explanation; pointless point, explanation irrelevant. Taking everything from personal attitude to skills to knowledge into account, sometimes the item and the accompanying instructions are smack on: how to field criticism, do your laundry, learn to say no (“Don’t offer too much explanation” and “You can always say ‘thanks for asking’ ”); what to do if someone is choking (best tip here: “take a first aid or CPR course”); how to make your bed and load a dishwasher and defeat a mosquito bite (not all at once). But advice like “balance is something you can improve upon with practice” or “your journal is completely up to you” is meaningless, as, arguably, are the quaint tips on map-reading and how to write a check (why not how to treat a black mamba bite or, maybe, raise a roof beam, which are just about as likely to arise?), and then there is the questionable: “If you are biting your nails when you’re watching TV, try chewing gum.”
A pure turkey shoot, though “National Geographic wants you to know what explorers know, what makes them successful.” That must have been educational TV and sugarless gum. (Nonfiction. 8-12)