Submitter: What is this book, even?! Just a compendium of conversations between teenage editors of Children’s Express and randomly selected teens about dropping out. Even in 1988, did “eavesdropping” on kids’ conversations tell us much about why kids drop out? And did teens in 1988 talk in complete sentences with proper grammar and punctuation, as rendered here?
Holly: This is kind of interesting, what I can tell from the submitted images and some online reviews. Old, for sure, but an interesting premise. Amazon’s About the Author section says, “Children’s Express is an international nonprofit media organization, founded in 1975, that produces stories by reporters (ages 8 to 13) and editors (ages 14 to 18) for adult print, broadcast, and interactive media. So, yeah, it’s a compendium of essays from teens who dropped out of school, explaining themselves. It was likely edited into proper grammar and punctuation, if these are all teens’ submissions. From a collection development perspective, though, the reasons kids dropped out of school in 1988 were likely not all the same reasons they drop out in 2021, so I’d weed it on age and relevance to today’s teens/parents/educators.