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- author Jackie French

Friday 18 June 2010

Review: Find Your Tribe

How were your teenage years? What do you remember about your life at high school? It may be a time you look back at fondly, or perhaps you’d rather forget. Or, if you’re anything like me, you might feel a mixture of the two.

Sparrow, a respected writer, novelist and newspaper columnist, wrote Find Your Tribe (and 9 other things I wish I’d known in high school) to share her advice on surviving school and life in general as a teenaged girl.

As she points out, a girl’s high school days are fraught with embarrassing moments, homework agony and dreaming of boys who are oblivious to said girl’s admiration. It is also often a time where we establish strong, lifelong friendships and learn things that will set us up for life. It’s a turbulent point in your life, with hormones racing, emotions running high and parents and teachers seemingly out to stop you from being free.

The introduction sets the book’s pace, with a short, straight-to-the-point, hilarious narrative of her time at school. She sets the conversational tone by sharing some embarrassing moments, such as the fact that she “looked like Harold Bishop with a perm” as a teenager.

We then move on to the real advice, including things like who to hang around with, the attitude for success in life, using your instincts, exercising, self-confidence, school marks and their impact on future success, helping others, alcohol and drugs, and love and sex.

The worst thing for a teenager is the feeling of loneliness, the worry that no one understands or feels the way the do. So the pearls of wisdom from a bunch of well-known Australians are critical to this book’s success; writers, television presenters, singers, athletes, comedians and artists share their advice and experiences, showing the reality of life at high school and putting it all into perspective. Also included are the details of other books and websites to read.

Find Your Tribe (and 9 other things I wish I’d known in high school) is a really useful tool for teenaged girls, packing a ton of information into a condensed, easy-to-read book. It is positive without being clich├ęd, and it gives strong messages (‘just say no’) without being condescending or old-fashioned.

A recommended read for any teenaged girls (and parents of same) in your life.

Download teachers' notes

Title: Find Your Tribe (and 9 other things I wish I’d known in high school)
Author: Rebecca Sparrow
Publisher: University of Queensland Press, $14.95 RRP
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780702237720
For ages: 13+
Type: Non-fiction