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In her new book, inspired by her AP story of the same name, Harpaz (The Girls in the Van) focuses on a year in the life of her 13-year-old son, nicknamed Taz. After his bar mitzvah, Taz crosses the bridge from the innocence of childhood into a world of iPods, baggy clothes, lewd song lyrics, questionable peers (he calls them "peeps") and poor grades. Harpaz takes the change in stride, rifling through her son's room for contraband (she's not disappointed, finding a locked box of condoms and alcohol later revealed to be a "plant"), peering over his shoulder as he surfs MySpace and trying to figure out whether her rebellious child is normal or the result of her being a "Terrible Mother." Readers follow Harpaz as she wrangles with such familiar topics as dragging a teen along on a vacation, homework and the all-consuming desire to be cool. Though the antics of an annoying teenager can be tedious-even for readers sympathetic to her situation-Harpaz has an engaging voice, and her outlook on everything from teen fashion to Facebook is fresh and funny. In spite of her insistence that she doesn't fit in with the "Perfect Mommies," she and Taz get through a challenging year without major mishaps and plenty of laughs. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.