Bringing Up Good Parents And Other Jobs For Teenage Girls

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gone was the peaceful feeling I’d had the night before, and in its place was this sense of being completely useless. I hadn’t helped Granna at all – she’d tried to commit suicide, for Pete’s sake. I hadn’t done a thing for Mom and Dad. Mom certainly wasn’t rushing to the hospital to be at her husband’s side. And then there was Elizabeth: She was probably running around right now, looking for another place to stay instead of going home. I hadn’t fixed a single one of them, for all my trying.

Book: Bringing Up Good Parents And Other Jobs For Teenage Girls by Nancy Rue, Servant Publications, 2001
Genre: Realistic Fiction – Short Stories
Target Audience: Girls 13-19
Subjects: Dating relationships, friendship, Relationship with parents, and nearly every other subject an average teenage girl faces
Summary: When her Granna tries to commit suicide, it’s the final straw for Brittany. She’s done everything she knows to help her needy family and needy friend, but she’s out of answers! Chrissy just wants to be back in Boliva where life was familiar and comfortable and purposeful and has no clue how to survive in an American high school culture. Cherise hates being stuck in this group project in art class with a bunch of immature teammates who don’t take art seriously. Jenna gives generously out of her wealth – to her friends at least, but she can’t fathom how her friend’s mom can be personally involved with the homeless. Andrea just knows it’s God’s will for her to be accepted into the World Changers program and if her friends and family keep helping she will make a video that show just how perfect she really is. When Kristine goes from being the “fat girl” to being skinny and beautiful over the summer, she gets an instant ticket into the popular crowd – if she truly wants it. When Sophie gets the lead in the school play she’s thrilled – until she realizes that the lines include swearing. Kelsey’s friend Brandi has been horrified for a while now – Kelsey does not have a crush on anyone! With this in the back of her mind, Kelsey starts to fantasize over her teacher when he pays her a compliment. When Laura gets them to play a game of writing a hard question and then taking turns drawing a question out of a hat and answering them honestly, C.P. and his friend undergo a few changes as they gain new respect for one another. Noel’s friend finally gets fed up with her whining about how strict her mom is and encourages her to stop talking about and just ignore it – meaning rebel against the rules. Meg can’t stand the girl who appears to be perfect – until she sees what drives her to the perfection attempt. Sammie makes it quite clear to her parents that she will not spend her Christmas continuously babysitting her younger cousins and resents their intrusion on her life but a trip to the movies could change a lot. Jill gets a hard wake up call about racism when her family moves back to her dad’s hometown and two guys – one black, one white – start showing interest in her. Meg is crushed when the guy she likes but has resigned herself to just being friends with, acts like he wants to be her girlfriend only to get another girl to pay attention to him. Andy likes Kathryn a lot but is getting more and more worn out as she whines and begs for nonstop reaffirming of her appearance and abilities. Shuan’s fury at God for running his chances to play basketball make Taryn wonder if maybe there is a God after all – surely Shaun wouldn’t exert this much passion for a myth. A girl from his past reminds Ben that maybe being Benjie was better than the macho guy he’s tried to become. The girl of his dreams only wants to be friends but Walker learns that may be a more important job right now than being her boyfriend. Jeff never forgot his first girlfriend and when she returns he wants to help her find her way back to God – if she’ll let him in.
Notes: How can you deal with exasperating or downright clueless or even neglectful or abusive parents? How can you navigate the shaky waters of the dating scene? What goes on in the mind of the opposite gender? How can you be a good friend at all times? How can you find your identity and how does that relate to what everyone else seems to think you should be? Where is God when everything seems to go wrong? Fourteen girls and five guys wrestle with these questions and more in this collection of short stories. Each story contains a character facing a difficult situation. They start with a flawed outlook on the situation. Then, either the character discovers something themselves or someone else points them in the right direction to help them shift their way of thinking to looking at it from a more Godly perspective.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Job 12:13 – “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.


Post a Comment

Total Pageviews