the boy who drank too much cover

Friday Fiction: The Boy Who Drank Too Much

The Boy Who Drank Too Much
Greene
1980

Today’s theme in teen fiction is alcohol. Buff (yes, that is his name) has been coping with an abusive father, a dead mother, and pressure to become the star athlete. Buff and the unnamed narrator became good friends. They played hockey together and as the pressure on Buff continued,he nearly drank himself into a coma. Not a bad story line but it is dated. I do think this plot and book could translate into something more contemporary. The book’s message is that its okay to ask for help and friends can be there for you.

abusive relationships cover

Abusive Relationships

Everything You Need to Know About
Abusive Relationships
Rue
1996

I want teens to have the best resources when it comes to serious topics like abusive relationships. I also think that these books need to be styled in such away, that it won’t discourage young people from using the material. I don’t think this book does the job effectively.

The cover art and illustrations leave a bit to be desired. The pictures are disturbing in that I think too many people would wouldn’t call a relationship abusive unless it is physically violent. Even though the book does address situations of female on male abuse and emotional abuse, it is still lacking on what constitutes an abusive relationship.

Regardless, this book is a weeder just because the content is over 20 years old. It isn’t necessarily wrong, but any material this old, especially in a teen section, is questionable.

Learning about sexual abuse

Uncle Brian is a Criminal

Learning About Sexual Abuse
Aho and Petras
1985

This type of material is one we see quite often on this site. (Click here to see Mr T help kids, or this gem of a book that tells kids that sex abuse will make you gay.) Most of it dates from the 1980s and 90s when there was a lot of hysteria associated with stranger danger, sex abuse, and other crimes against children.

Regardless, this book is still dated. Most of the perpetrators are portrayed as having “problems” or are misunderstood. Unfortunately, no one seems to get these people arrested and charged with a crime. However, they do do get counseling or “help”. Note the final line in the story where Uncle Brian is evidently still allowed to hang out with the family. Evidently, just some once a week counseling and a “good talking to” by Laura’s parents will fix Uncle Brian right up. Notice how no one helps Laura and she still has to hangout with creepy Uncle Brian.

Drugs and Domestic Violence cover

Drugs are very bad

Drugs and Domestic Violence
Jamiolkowski
1996

Direct from the teen nonfiction collection: another book examining another social ill. These series are everywhere and probably used by students to write that report about how “drugs are bad”. Obviously the facts are out of date and this series just looks old fashioned. I have noticed a decrease in the last few years of students asking about the “drugs are bad” reports. I also noticed that these books have not been circulating either. The only chuckle for me on these books are the photos used to illustrate. They remind me of a more modern version of the classic filmstrip used in my high school health class. (Yes, I am that old.) Maybe the “drugs are bad” message is fading as a school assignment? Regardless it is outdated and it has low circulation.

Drugs and Anger cover

Angry Cool Kids

Drugs and Anger
Rawls
1995

Without a doubt, drugs and other substance abuse materials for kids is an eternal gold mine of laughs for ALB. So we have another drugs are bad book for your consideration. The title Drugs and Anger first made me ask: Maybe they are taking the wrong drugs? And then there is that snappy, oh-so-subtle graphic for the cover and my first thought was I hope they didn’t waste the stuff out of the bottle.  Rounding out the problems are the insipid captions on photos that are laughable. Weed it and don’t look back.

How about some nice cocktails instead?