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The New New Young Adult Experience, a guest post by Lauren Myracle

Being a teenager is hard.

Being the parent of a teenager is hard!

Sheesh, being a human is hard, period, and despite the exhilarating glory of being sixteen and alive, or seventeen, eighteen, nineteen and alive, it seems to me that our world has moved on in such a way that navigating adolescence is perhaps more challenging than it’s ever been. My therapist told me the last time I paid him a visit that psych manuals and textbooks have even changed the definition of adolescence. Whereas it used to be defined as the years from twelve to twenty, the term—as it applies to human development—now encompasses the years from twelve to twenty-six. My therapist was telling me this, by the way, to help me find my way from feeling completely irate at my (late) adolescent sons to feeling compassion for what their lives look like in this new world of ours, from their perspective.

Adulthood is scarier than ever, and financial independence in the town where I live  is crazy hard to attain.. So what do we do? If we’re on the adult side of the divide, we guide and steer and help push these ever-older adolescents toward adulthood, and we recognize that the paradigms and parenting models that might have worked for many of us are no longer applicable to the kids we’re raising. For those on the teen side of the divide…I don’t know! All anyone can do, I think, is take it step by step, trying to live a kind and honest life, a life which hopefully will be exhilarating as well, because exhilaration is out there, teeming through all of creation.

This Boy tells the step-by-step story of a teenage boy named Paul. His life is glorious; his life is wretched. He experiences triumphs; he suffers through dashed hopes. He chooses some pretty unhealthy—who am I kidding? very unhealthy—coping mechanisms to propel him forward, and he ends up in a pretty shit place. And then, you know, not. Or at least, not as much. I didn’t write this novel to say, “Everything sucks and then you die,” though. I wrote it…oh, as a hug, I suppose? An admission that life, and especially adolescence, is fucking hard, and an admission that I certainly don’t have the answers for how to make it not so. Except, we can love one another, and we can treat each other kindly, and we can aim, always, for compassion. And pray to God that all our beloved adolescents come out safely on the other side.

Meet Lauren Myracle

Lauren Myracle is the author of many popular books for teens and tweens, including Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale; the New York Times bestsellers ttyl and ttfn; the Upside-Down Magic series; the Wishing Day trilogy; and many more. A Netflix adaptation of Let It Snow, her novel cowritten with John Green and Maureen Johnson, will air in late 2019. She has been referred to as a modern-day Judy Blume and has sold over three million books worldwide. Lauren Myracle lives with her family in Fort Collins, Colorado.

About THIS BOY

Lauren Myracle brings her signature frank, funny, and insightful writing to this novel of a teenage boy’s coming-of-age.

Paul Walden is not an alpha lobster, the hypermasculine crustacean king who intimidates the other male lobsters, beds all the lady lobsters, and “wins” at life. At least not according to the ego-bursting feedback he’s given in his freshman seminar. But Paul finds a funny, faithful friend in Roby Smalls, and maybe — oh god, please — he’s beginning to catch the interest of smart, beautiful Natalia Gutierrez. Cruising through high school as a sauced-out, rap-loving beta lobster suits Paul fine, and if life ever gets him down? Smoke a little weed, crunch a few pills . . . it’s all good.

But in the treacherous currents of teenage culture, it’s easy to get pulled under. With perfect frankness, Lauren Myracle lays bare the life of one boy as he navigates friendship, love, loss, and addiction. It’s life at its most ordinary and most unforgettable.

ISBN-13: 9781536206050
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Age Range: 14 – 17 Years

Book Review: The Pride Guide: A Guide to Sexual and Social Health for LGBTQ Youth by Jo Langford

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, a starred review, which originally appeared in the July 2018  School Library Journal.

 

pride guideThe Pride Guide: A Guide to Sexual and Social Health for LGBTQ Youth by Jo Langford (ISBN-13: 9781538110768 Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Publication date: 06/01/2018)

Gr 9 Up—This frank, conversational, and often humorous look at sex, sexuality, gender, and expression is aimed at teens who identify as something other than heterosexual and cisgender. Langford, a bisexual therapist, sex educator, and parent, presents a wide range of information in short, if somewhat dense and visually unappealing, sections. Chapters tackle biology; puberty; body image (with a heavy emphasis on trans teens and dysphoria); intersex conditions; gender identities such as transgender, genderqueer, and agender; transitioning; dating and relationships; consent; and more. Sexual expressions and orientations covered include asexual, demisexual, gray-asexual, and bisexual, with conversations about erasure. A final chapter aimed at parents offers tips, a discussion of what not to do when one’s child comes out, and more. Sidebars go into more depth on other subjects (tucking and binding, the singular “they,” homophobia). Langford also discusses outdated terms and slurs. This inclusive, thorough resource respectfully presents information relevant to many queer teens and adults raising LGBTQIA+ kids. VERDICT Shelve this empowering guide where both parents and teens will find it.