Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Date Book: A Teen Girl's Complete Guide to Going Out With Someone New (Book)

The Date Book: A Teen Girl’s Complete Guide to Going Out With Someone New (Book) Release date: 2007. Author: Erika Stalder. Publisher: Zest Books. ISBN: 9780977266081.

Plot summary: The Date Book provides a comprehensive approach to tackling one of the most daunting tasks a teenager must face: going on a first-date with someone new. Divided into ten chapters, the contents of the guide cover everything from flirting, deciding what kind of date to have, how to get parental approval for the date, what to wear, and setting physical limitations. Chapters include additional features like quizzes, worksheets, a “dating contract,” and an area to journal dating experiences. The book also provides sample conversations for teen girls to have with parents, to get out of a bad date, or to let their date know they’re not interested in physical advances. The guide helps break down dating “myths” as well, such as it being inappropriate for a girl to ask a guy out on a date, that group or double dates are not as effective as one-on-one dating, and that being “meek” is the best way to behave to make a good impression.

Critical evaluation: Although it is only appropriate for heterosexual teen girls, The Date Book is a very useful guide for tackling the oft troublesome dating situation. Full of advice that will appeal to teens, the book provides a holistic approach to dating. The opening chapters outline the art of flirtation and deciding what kind of date to have. A quiz gives readers a chance to determine what kind of date they would enjoy the most. These personalized aspects of the guide are especially appealing for teens. Several areas in the book provide fill-in charts to set up dating parameters, decide on the perfect outfit, and keep track of past dating experiences. One of the most important chapters in the book deals with dating “red flags.” This section is very relevant for teen girls as it advises against dating someone who has trouble controlling their anger, engages in dangerous activities, or is much older. While it might seem like an awkward read for some teens, The Date Book is a very useful guide for girls who are entering the dating world.

Reader's annotation: The mysteries of dating are unraveled in this helpful guide to going out with someone new!   

About the author: Erika Stalder is an author of advice books and guides for teens. She also has a regular advice column and blog, "Dear Erika," devoted to the same topic. Stalder has written several books for teens including 97 Things to Do Before You Finish High School (2007), The Date Book: A Teen Girl's Complete Guide to Going Out With Someone New (2007), Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing (2008), and In the Driver's Seat: A Girl's Guide to Her First Car (2009). In addition to writing, Stalder has also created a workshop about dating, and held a "Girl Summit" in 2007 to address important topics for teens. (from
Genre: Non-fiction

Curriculum ties:
Safe dating

Booktalking ideas:
Safe dating
Teenage sexuality

Reading level/Interest Age:
14 and up

Challenge issues:
Limited to heterosexual teenage girls
Includes information on how to convince parents to allow dating.
Does not advocate against sexual contact.  
Challenge counterpoints:Recommend parent discuss family rules about dating with child.
Recommend parent discuss book with child.

Reasons for inclusion:
Well-known author who has written several other “guides” for teens.
Author’s works have consistently received positive reviews.  

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