benjamin kerns posted a thorough and generous review of understanding your young teen the other day. with his permission, here’s a selection from his post (click through to read the whole thing):
This book is conversational in tone which makes it incredibly easy to read. Every chapter has great stories to hook the reader and practical help for handling the many different topics discussed. Additionally, MarkO has invited other youth workers from diverse backgrounds and contexts to share their insights as well. These voices give a well balanced view for each topic and add just the right amount of variety to each chapter to keep the book from being monotone.
A potential danger is to take the casual and conversational tone as being a simple book with simple solutions. But don’t be lulled into this way of thinking. While every chapter has clever stories as their hook, the meat of each chapter is built on a solid foundation of experts in their respective fields. The combination of credible sources combined with MarkO’s contextual expertise, makes this book the perfect resource for the parent and youth worker.
MarkO resists the natural inclination to scare the reader into a “sky is falling” world view with the awful statistics about teenagers, at risk activities, the crumbling of morality, and the secularization of society. Instead, he leans into the goodness of God and reminds the reader how we survived this crazy time of our lives as well.
The picture MarkO paints of early adolescence is one of wonder and chaos. He explores hormones, cognitive and emotional development, relational change, independence, spiritual development and the changing and not so changing youth culture. In every chapter, the reader is left with a hope-filled impression that the early adolescents in our lives are going to be OK. And, just in case our current realities are seemingly hopeless, there are practical helps to move the reader into action.
adam mclane’s grade school children await to pack and ship boxes of this book for you (not the baby; adam doesn’t have him trained to pack boxes yet). order one, or get a bunch of ’em for the parents in your church! (btw: if you want to order a bunch, adam will give you a special bargain — contact him first)