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Book Review

"The Teenager's Guide to the Real World"

    Handbook Helps Teenagers Navigate 'the Real World'

[Book review by Jeff Newcamp reprinted from the Times Publishing Company, Lifestyle Department.]

It seems to be common knowledge in the 90's that teenagers are a distinct lifeform - neither fully feathered grown-ups nor childish kids. The fact still remains that teens are derived from sweet-looking toddlers and eventually turn into full-fledged adults. Such a process, though, takes years of hard work for the teen, and the family. The transition between teen life and the adult world is often tricky and is laden with opposition, modern-day struggles and an ever-increasing worldly influence.

The changeover could be much easier, according to a recently published handbook titled "The Teenager's Guide to the Real World." The book claims to provide in-depth guidance for making the transition into adulthood and laying a foundation for success. I set out to determine if the book can, in fact, assist in the teen transition.

As a high school sophomore, I admit that I was skeptical of this book. However, a quick glance at the table of contents satisfied my yearning for all I ever wanted to know about adult life. I can now easily say the description was indeed legitimate.

Nearly 350 pages go into the book explaining such adult topics as taxes, job interviews, attitudes and values, laws and many more. Line by line descriptions of 401(k) plans, the definition of beauty, marriage costs, and the traits of a perfect employee are all found between the book's front and back covers. Better yet, the sections are written for a teen's level of understanding and evoke positive thought. The reading is, in a sense, fun and enlightening.

Marshall Brain, the author of the handbook, even tastefully touches upon controversial topics, their moral/ethical sides, and their negative consequences. This aspect of the book truly brings topics like abortion and premarital sex into a teen's cognition.

"The Teenager's Guide to the Real World" explains the game of life and shows why adults do the things they do. It ought to help anyone become a successful adult out of the distinct lifeform known as a teenager. The book certainly defined the adult world to me, thus preparing me for a bright, educated transition into adulthood. More information is located on the World Wide Web at, and a copy of the book can be obtained from BYG Publishing at : (888) 294-7820.

JEFF NEWCAMP is a sophomore at Catherdral Preparatory School. Write him in care of the Lifestyle Department, Times Publishing Company, 205 W. 12th St., Erie, PA 16534. Direct e-mail to and faxes to 870-1808.

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