An Intimate Understanding of America's Teenagers: Shaking Hands with Aliens

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Praeger, 2008 - Family & Relationships - 267 pages
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Alicia is so obsessed with being popular, she does things that would shock her parents, if they knew. Hector is aware the gang that wants him to join may be the death of him, but he will not decline. Sam was a baseball star, but can't play the sport he loves anymore because he is wracked from football injuries, a sport his father will not let him quit. They are just a few of the teenagers that readers will meet, in this candid book authored by a 34-year veteran high school teacher. Voted Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year, Bruce Gevirtzman shares with us the results of his years spent talking with teenagers about topics from life and lust to depression and death. Revealing honest, poignant words shared in conversations, classroom talk, interviews, surveys, and journals, Gevirtzman takes us inside the minds of today's youths, and also contrasts them with teenagers of decades past. Topics include teen thinking and secrets on issues from sex, drinking, and drugs to peer pressure, self-imposed standards, and beliefs about what is important, and painful, in life.

Including interviews with fellow teachers, Gevirtzman's book is threaded with one recurring truth: Sadly, instead of parents and teachers and lawmakers and the public looking out for our kids, today's kids are largely left to fend for themselves, he concludes. Not only will general readers and educators find great insight in this work, it will be of interest to students and scholars of adolescent psychology, clinical psychology, and social work.

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An intimate understanding of America's teenagers: shaking hands with aliens

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Gevirtzman, Bruce J. An Intimate Understanding of America's Teenagers: Shaking Hands with Aliens. Praeger. 2008. c.288p. bibliog. index. PSYCH~Verdict: This rambling and cranky memoir from former ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

BRUCE J. GEVIRTZMAN is a high school English teacher who has also, across 34 years, served simultaneously as a sports and debate coach. Also Chief Playwright for Phantom Projects, an acclaimed youth theater group that has performed across several western states, Gevirtzman has authored and directed more than 30 stage productions. He has been featured in programs aired on NBC and PBS, and in the Los Angeles Times. Gevirtzman also runs workshops for educators focused on teen issues.

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