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Check It Out

April 27, 2001

Adolescence can be a baffling life passage for parents and teens, but

there's help for unraveling its mysteries in new books from Newport Beach

libraries.

For young adults ready to look at the big picture, Jay McGraw provides

a younger, hipper version of his father's "Life Strategies" in "Life

Strategies for Teens." Written with the mantra "Don't like it, change

it," the straightforward guide helps teens steer, rather than drift, in

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life. Topics include peer pressure, popularity, TV addiction, ambition

and self-sabotage, all discussed with wit and enthusiasm by a youthful

life coach.

Real-life examples provide insight into these and other adolescent

concerns in "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens," Richard Carlson's

newest edition to his motivational series. With the conversational tone

of a favorite uncle, the guru of keeping things in perspective offers 100

suggestions for dealing with stressful situations. Typically, the

concepts are simple -- encompassing such wisdom as "be creative in your

rebellion" and "be OK with your bad hair day."

Young adults prepared to tackle real-world finance will be well served

by "Street Wise, A Guide for Teen Investors." In an introduction to the

twists and turns of Wall Street, Janet Bramford provides information

about full-service versus discount brokers, stocks versus bonds, taxes,

investment clubs and stock-market careers. While directed to teens, her

book is a fine guide for beginning investors of all ages.

For more aesthetic challenges, Miss Teen California finalist Jennifer

Youngs offers sensible guidance in "Feeling Great, Looking Hot and Loving

Yourself." Along with tips about skin care, makeup and other components

of external beauty, there's advice about achieving inner radiance in this

self-improvement manual for young women.

That things can easily go awry in adolescence is evident in "Stick

Figure," Lori Gottlieb's real-life tale about becoming anorexic when she

was 11. Turned off by her parents' lifestyle, she challenges their

authority and vows to become "the thinnest girl at school." While

ultimately concluding that you can be too thin, Gottlieb offers wry

observations about an eating disorder and the image-obsessed society that

contributed to it.

From first crushes to first romances, love can be especially confusing

for young adults, and "Teen Love: On Relationships" can help sort it all

out. Rather than preaching, Kimberly Kirberger blends teens' reflections

and letters with adult counsel in her wise guide about adolescent

relationships.

Relationships with friends and family are just one part of the

adolescent puzzle discussed in "Our Best Shot." In this handbook for

tackling tough teen issues, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laura

Sessions Stepp illuminates the challenges of growing up today with

profiles of teens and tips for encouraging growth and preventing trouble.

* CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public

Library. This week's column is by Melissa Adams, in collaboration with

Andrea Jason. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by

accessing the catalog at http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org.

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