Teenage Kicks: 101 Things to Do Before You're 16 by Clive Gifford

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Teenage Kicks: 101 Things to Do Before You're 16 by Clive Gifford

Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: A fun book, but rather lightweight for a serious review. An ideal stocking filler that will certainly give bored teenagers something to do on a rainy day.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 160 Date: March 2008
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 0340950617

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Kids. They're bored all the time, aren't they? Nothing you buy seems to have any longevity. I think they live in an alternative dimension in which time passes much more slowly than it does for harassed parents. It's the only explanation. I think Clive Gifford must sympathise, because his latest book, Teenage Kicks, has a whopping 101 ideas to alleviate boredom and a clever challenge too - your bored child has to complete them all before they reach 16. At a measly £5.99, this book could represent the most wonderful value for money any parent could ever wish for.

And does it? Well, yes... no... kinda.

There's not a bored child in creation who would set about all 101 tasks in this book, but just about every bored child will find at least half a dozen ideas to while away a Sunday afternoon or few. Each one has a TK rating - that's Teenage Kicks points - and the author himself claims to have reached the sterling total of 1,061 points. Kids love rankings and the addition of points and charts to this book is a sneaky move indeed. This reviewer's younger son fell for it hook, line, and sinker. He's read through and tried out far more of the ideas in this book than he would have had there been no TK points, however daft you might think TK points are. Nobody but nobody wants to be on the 0-71 points level y'see, as that makes you a Total Loser.

The ideas range from simple through daft to worthwhile. You get 9 points for creating a new goal celebration or making a custard pie, 14 for burying a time capsule, 16 for going on a rollercoaster, 26 for learning about and donating to a charity, and a whopping 28 for facing and overcoming a fear.

It's full of jokes and soundbites and captions and cartoons and it's probably all a bit manic for the average parent. Sometimes the bonhomie gets a little bit wearing. Overall though, it's a light and pleasant little book full of fun ideas - some just fun, some fun and worthwhile - aiming to give bored children some inspiration for productive things to do. There genuinely is something for everyone - the sporty kid, the geeky kid, the earnest kid, the creative kid. And perhaps sometimes the ideas will be inviting enough to tempt a child to step outside his or her usual comfort zone.

It won't set the world alight, but it's a great value stocking filler.

My thanks to the nice people at Hodder for sending the book.

If they're looking for something to do, there are plenty of experiments to have a go at in Crimebusters, also by Clive Gifford.

Buy Teenage Kicks: 101 Things to Do Before You're 16 by Clive Gifford at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Teenage Kicks: 101 Things to Do Before You're 16 by Clive Gifford at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Teenage Kicks: 101 Things to Do Before You're 16 by Clive Gifford at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Teenage Kicks: 101 Things to Do Before You're 16 by Clive Gifford at Amazon.com.


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Magda said:

Oooh, OF COURSE time (the bad kind) passes much slower when you are a kid!!!!

I was made TO PICK BLACKCURRANTS at the tender age of 12, from old, organically planted (before organic appeared) bushes (=no bunches as such, 4 on one stalk was lucky) and bargained for time. An hour took about 150 years. I cried by those bushes. And now, what is an hour, even of something utterly horrifically nasty (eg a driving lesson).

Now, the holiday is coming to an end, but why didn't I think of a time capsule?????????????????????????????


Jill replied:

We were always made to creosote the back fence! That took 150 years too. I had a fight with my brother once and he flicked some in my eye. I had to go to casualty. But we still had to do it the next year!