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December 05, 2008


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Sounds awesome!

One of my favorite books is "South of Heaven" by Tom French. French is a St. Pete Times reporter (well, he's actually going to be a faculty member here at IU in the fall, I was so excited) who has a pulitzer and often does very long projects. For South of Heaven, he spent a year in a high school in Florida in 1989. It is funny and sad and scary all at the same time. :)


Oh -- he also did one in like 2003 following around middle schoolers. It's called Thirteen and it's hilarious -- I think you can still get the whole series on the web.

Jennifer H

I missed out on The Official Preppy Handbook...will have to take a look at this one, for sure.

Smalltown Mom

Interesting...I should read it for perspective.


You made me laugh with the Preppy Handbook imgages. My sister was in high school during that time. Sounds like the book was a fun read.

Trooper Thorn

I think I'll have to slip on my topsiders, turn up the collar on my polo shirt and get down to reading this new book.

Is te nickname of Walter Payton High "Sweetness High" just like Payton's nickname?


Oh, how I wished to be preppy. High school was miserable for me. I changed schools 3 times in H.S. Not so much fun always being the new girl. This sounds interesting and May see if Lo would like to read it with me.
thanks Jenn, always love your reviews.


Thanks for the review - the book looks interesting.
I never could dress the part (but I can claim to being grunge before grunge was a word).
And, there is a mom called Boopsie at my kid's school. Yes, really.


It is funny how much things have changed. The way I am looking at it is just even in the past ten years


I figure there are a LOT of books I'll have to read like this as my kids get closer to teenagers....

Memarie Lane

If I'd thought high school was composed of the best years of my life I would have shot myself. Every single year since has been a billion times better, even the year of postpartum depression.


I can say with certainty that high school was not the best four years of my life. As someone going back to school, what is your take on high schoolers picking a major, or having a clue what they want to do with "the rest of their life"? I definitely didn't know, and I made bad choices. So many people I know aren't using their education. Sometimes I think working first might be better for kids. What do you think?

Jenn @ Juggling Life

I think that if high schoolers think they know what they want to do, they should be encouraged to pursue it, but should never become locked in--everyone needs a good general education. I am a fan of more vo-tech because some kids just never connect with the more academic parts of school.

I don't think we should expect high schoolers to have any idea at all of what they want to do--my oldest went to college as a Theater major and ended up with a Chemistry degree. My second-oldest had no idea and is now leaning toward Wildlife Biology, but keeping his options open. The younger too are positive that they want to be a Firefighter and NICU nurse, so I'll help them explore those options, but also let them know they may change their mind several times in the next few years.

The reason I'm finishing up college now is that the teaching profession had terrible prospects in the early 80s and I allowed myself to be talked out of pursuing. So I cast about and never found anything that fit and finally quit. I don't have regrets, but if I was starting out again I wouldn't listen to other people, but my own heart.

I'm not a fan of taking time off unless you're doing someting of real value (Peace Corps, etc.)--I think it's too easy to get sidetracked.


I hear you on the time thing...Amelia's getting her license soon and it's a good thing because I cannot keep up with her schedule! Let alone make it fit mine!

Kalynne Pudner

Oh, I used to PORE over the OPH. And buy hunting scene paintings to put in my room. Even today, I still wish Beastie would let me call her "Bitsy."

Kathy H

I practically memorized the Preppy Handbook. We definitely didn't want to be disco, so we all wore Topsiders and Fair Isle sweaters.

Thanks for the review. I've organized a high school PTA book club the past few years, and I'll add this to our list for next year.

phd in yogurtry

Thanks for helping me prove a point to my soon-to-be-high-schooler whose cohorts refer to the popular kids as "preppies". I try to tell him, "no, preppies wear preppy clothes" but that just dosn't quite cut it with him (very very thankful to leave that east coast tradition behind)

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