13 Is the New 18

13 Is the New 18

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a€œI wonder sometimes if therea€™s something to the old superstition about the number thirteen. Maybe that superstition was originally created by the mothers in some tribe who noticed that in their childrena€™s thirteenth year, they suddenly became possessed by evil spirits. Because it did seem that whenever Taz was around, things spilled and shattered, calm turned into chaos, and tempers were lost.a€ So laments the mother of one thirteen-year-old boy, Taz, a teen who, overnight it seemed, went from a small, sweet, loving boy to a hulking, potty-mouthed, Facebook/MySpacea€“addicted C student who didna€™t even bother to hide his scorn for being anywhere in the proximity of his parents. As this startling transformation floors journalist Beth Harpaz and her husband, Elon, Harpaz tries to make sense of a bizarre teenage wilderness of $100 sneakers, clouds of Axe body spray (to hide the scent of pot?!), and cell phone bills so big they require nine-by-twelve envelopes. In the process, she begins chronicling her sona€™s hilarious, sometimes harrowing, indiscretions, blaming herself (a€œI am a terrible mothera€ becomes her steadfast refrain), Googling unfamiliar teenage slang, reading every parenting book she can get her hands on, and querying friends who also have teens. From a derailed family vacation where Taz is more interested in trying to get a cell phone connection than looking at the worlda€™s largest trees (boring!), to a prom where Taz is caught with liquor, to a trip to Australia sans parents in which Taz actually doesna€™t get into any trouble and manages to do his own laundry, the events that mark Taza€™s newfound and troublesome independence are told with a wry and poignant voice by a woman whoa€™s both wistful for the past and trying her hardest to understand her sona€™s head-scratching new behavior. In her quest to infiltrate his world by spying on his MySpace page (where he claims hea€™s twenty-two), Harpaz expands her online monitoring and soon becomes a Facebook addict. She also reflects on her own youth and entry into middle age, and in the process achieves hard-won wisdom. A book for any parent of teensa€”be they girls or boysa€”13 Is the New 18 is a delightfully comical foray into todaya€™s increasingly widening generation gap and one moma€™s attempt to figure it all out with little guidance and a whole lot of misplaced guilt. From the Hardcover edition.From the Hardcover edition.

Title:13 Is the New 18
Author: Beth J. Harpaz
Publisher:Crown - 2009-01-27

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