Monday, June 11, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: 97 Things to do before you finish high school by Erika Stalder

If your library is infected with a large population of aimless teens, as is mine, this may just be the book for you. While there's nothing more determined than a teen who doesn't want to do anything (except annoy adults and bat condoms around like balloons - true story) the 97 fascinating, weird, exciting, and fun things to do just might inspire a few of them to get out there and actually experience life!

The ideas are organized into nine sections: Personal development, With/for friends, With/for family, For your body, To get to know the world around you, To express yourself, To benefit your community and environment, Because you should, and Because you're only young once.

The ideas are much more varied and far-ranging than the usual entertainment/weird pranks/grand adventures I've seen in similar books in the past. They range from trying a new hairstyle to making a budget, taking a dance class to volunteering, researching your family tree to learning a foreign language.

The introduction emphasizes that this is a browsing, try a few things and move on kind of book - you're not supposed to do everything in the whole volume. Some things require travel or extensive time, some you might have already done. The ideas are peppered with interesting facts and extensions of the projects, websites to visit, and more ideas to try. The color scheme is navy, orange and green which gives it a nice, casual feel. The book is small and compact, about six inches square, and some libraries might be a little concerned about the small paperback, but I've never had problems with Zest's paperback bindings.

Verdict: While this might be most useful as a present to a teen (specifically one of those unmotivated and prone to boredom individuals) it's also a fun book to leave out in your young adult area and wait for inspiration to strike some of the aimless teens milling about.

ISBN: 9780979017308; Published May 2008 by Zest; Review copy provided by the publisher; Purchased for the library


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

A list! How nice! I usually get intrigued if the book is about lists of things you should do, things to read, and so forth. And the premise for this one looks inviting as well. Will try to find it in our libraries.

shelf-employed said...

Thanks for participating in today's Nonfiction Monday roundup. My son received this book before entering high school. Sadly, I don't think he's read it. I thought it was great.

Tara said...

Interesting concept! I like your idea of leaving it around to be leafed through at will.