"This is a book about manners. If that makes you feel like throwing up, at least say 'Excuse me' before rushing to the bathroom. (See 'Ralphing' for more on the etiquette of upchucking.)" So begins How Rude!, a rich lode of social and psychological guidance that is eminently readable in measured doses. This tome of etiquette, "the set of rules that give expression to manners," is committed to the belief that "the survival of the human race depends on everyone minding their manners." Packer possesses an uncommon insight into the mind of the adolescent. Unfailingly humorous and frank, he navigates the reader through everything from "The Rituals of Relating" and "Saving the Earth from a Manners Meltdown"-including "The Well Mannered Mall Rat" and dealing with "Carpool Tunnel Syndrome"-to family, school, Internet, friendship, conversation, and "stomach rumblings." The final chapter, "I Beg My Pardon!, Being Polite to Yourself," includes such jewels as "Doing Nothing, Doing Something," goal setting, and giving yourself presents ("Just remember that if you give yourself a present, you have to write a thank-you note"). Additional information on the origins, history, and evolution of various manners and cultural variants are interspersed throughout, along with "True Stories from the Manners Frontier" and dealing politely but effectively with adults ("Two rudes don't make a right"). Charts, surveys, cartoons, reproducible "Codes of Conduct" for various situations, and "Dear Alex" questions and responses break up the text. The chapter quizzes and their "correct answers" are tongue in cheek as often as not, but any reader will readily understand their true intent. This book will require intensive marketing to get into the hands of teenage readers, but it will be worth it. Because "rudeness is an equal opportunity annoyer" and "manners are a great equalizing force in society," this book needs to be widely read. Because it is the most incredibly readable, enjoyable, laughable, enlightening, and insightful book about who we are and who we can be as social beings, this book deserves to be widely read by teenagers and adults alike. Index. Illus. Biblio. VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Gr 6 UpFrom its intriguing title to the tongue-in-cheek ideas for dealing with many kinds of situations, teenagers will find this manual humorous, nonthreatening, entertaining, and educational. The narrative is light and lively, and the advice is realistic and practical. The situations covered in the question-and-answer format far exceed those found in standard etiquette books, with section headings such as "Sex-Ediquette" (realistic rules for relationships with the opposite sex), Toiletiquette, (polite bathroom-sharing), and Netiquette (cyberspace behavior codes). The correct way to answer an invitation, which fork to use at a formal dinner, and all of the standard protocols for life in what once was called a "proper" environment are included. Yet there are many scenarios, from sexual situations to in-line skating, that will be relevant to today's teenagers, and questions that many would not be able to ask an adult, yet for which they urgently need answers. They will certainly find guidance here. Charts listing options for correct or incorrect behavior with probable outcomes appear throughout, as are anecdotal snippets entitled "True Stories from the Manners Frontier." Survey results that show what teens think and then what parents and teachers think about the same issues are presented. This volume should be considered ahead of any traditional etiquette book for YAs. They will return to it again and again as they face new and different situations.Marilyn Fairbanks, East Junior High School, Brockton, MA