Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence

I read lots of books on theology, culture, and teenagers. Every now and then I just get flat-out tired of reading stuff that forces me to go deep. Ever feel that way? I was feeling that way when I wandered into the airport bookstore before a long, cross-country flight. Then, I spotted it! It was the cover and the title that caught my attention. The cover featured a family picture from the 1970s complete with geeky kid, under the words Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence (Three Rivers Press, 2002). Written by the creator of the TV series Freaks and Geeks, Paul Feig, this book takes readers on a hilarious autobiographical journey through junior high and high school.

Because Feig grew up during the 70s, some of the cultural references are unique to the times. Those of us males who grew up about the same time might think Feig is writing about us, as if he had gotten into our heads and recorded what we were thinking, experiencing, and feeling as our hormones were setting themselves in motion and bouncing around out-of-control. But Feig captures the life-stage in ways that not only make this book a laugh-out-loud (which I did several times on the flight!) read for anyone, but a helpful reminder of just how difficult and confusing the teen years can be for adolescents of all generations.

While the book is really funny, it does serve as a reminder of just how important it is for our kids to receive nurture and support from home and church. We know that adolescence in today’s world is no laughing matter for far too many kids. From Feig’s recounting of everything from dodgeball to dating. . . this is one hilarious book!

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