The Self-Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! by The Self-Esteem Team

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The Self-Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! by The Self-Esteem Team

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Accessible, friendly, non-judgemental advice for teens from approachable people, centred on developing self esteem. It helps that all three authors have "been there".
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 176 Date: August 2015
Publisher: John Blake
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1784186422

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Did you know that there are (on average) three children in every British classroom who are self-harming? Or that 48% of teenage girls avoid everyday school activities because of a lack of body confidence?

Shocking, isn't it?

In this slim volume, the Self-Esteem Team take their classroom talks and activities and put them on the page so that all kids have access to the knowledge and understanding that will lead to strengthening self-esteem. They cover sex, bullying, drugs, body image and all the other issues that teens face in today's demanding world. The tone is bright and open and the ground covered is extensive.

I think it helps greatly that all three members of the Self-Esteem Team have "been there" as it were - Natasha suffered from an eating disorder, Nadia took almost two decades to stop self-harming entirely, and Grace suffered from severe acne. This insider understanding of the problems teens face gives them an authentic voice and so the Self-Esteem Team don't sound patronising ever. This is important because the same, positive and common sense, messages, can come across very differently to struggling adolescents. The messenger is important.

I liked the general thrust of most of the arguments (although I confess, I do think a great many teenagers take drugs because drugs feel good, not in some desperate search for meaning, and if we pretend that isn't the case, we lose credibility) - and most of them boil down to the same thing: you are valuable and you are not alone. We can't repeat these two things often enough. Because they are true.

I liked the practical approach to various questions, too. In a society full of pornification, it's vital that someone gets down and dirty and explains the difference between porn and real sex, for instance. And, when body image is all, it's vital to know what is healthy in terms of weight. The discussions in this little book cover a lot of ground, from sex (and sexting) to drugs, diet and bullying. But they flow nicely into one another and the fresh, practical tone makes for a lively read. The authors have conversations with their readers throughout but also with each other and I think this also helps to spark an understanding of diversity - not just of bodies and sexualities, but also of opinions and choices.

My press sheet says that this Self-Esteem Team's Guide is honest, funny and compassionate and I would say that this sums it up very nicely indeed.

Boys could also look at Unzipped: A Toolkit for Life by Matt Whyman and girls could try Think Pink by Lisa Clark .

Buy The Self-Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! by The Self-Esteem Team at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Self-Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! by The Self-Esteem Team at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Self-Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! by The Self-Esteem Team at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Self-Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFs?!! by The Self-Esteem Team at Amazon.com.


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