Nicola Morgan, The Teenage Guide to Friends, Walker Books Australia, 1 July 2017, 224pp., $16.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781406369779
I wish I’d had this guide for teenagers when I was growing up! The Teenage Guide to Friends contains a wealth of information and advice on a wide range of friendship-related issues, including choice of friends, making and keeping friends, and strategies to deal with a wide range of friendship issues. It also covers a variety of situations, such as being the new kid at school, not fitting in, shyness, bullying and online behaviour.
The publisher, Walker UK, describes author Nicola Morgan as an internationally renowned expert on the teenage brain and adolescent stress. Ms. Morgan’s voice is friendly, approachable and non-judgmental, with a conversational style that hits the mark with teens (as my 14-year-old daughter will attest – my copy of the book has already disappeared into her bedroom). The content is current, authoritative and relevant. Easy-to-read chapters end with a quiz, which gives readers a chance to assess their own individual circumstances.
A resources section at the back lists useful organisations and websites for further information, and an index. Although this British publication lists primarily UK-based resources, the author makes a point of encouraging readers living in other countries to search for their own equivalent local organisations; a task that should not be too difficult for today’s tech-savvy teens.
This book is terrific in its offering of valuable guidance to help teens through commonly faced challenges, such as online and toxic friendships, cyber-bullying and peer pressure. But make no mistake; it is also a valuable resource for adult carers and teachers. It helps readers to recognise different personality types, which aids in better understanding why people behave the way they do. And any book that helps me understand my teenager daughter is a wonderful thing in my book!
Reviewed by Julie Murphy