Parents' Guide to

Stoner & Spaz

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Edgy, sardonic book is OK for mature readers.

Stoner & Spaz Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 16+

Not a fairytale

I used to read this book, among others, alot while in high school. It constantly reminded me of the truth of life and high school in general. While most parents and teachers think it's unmoral to teach kids about things such and drugs, sex, and violence, adults need to keep in mind that kids will find a way to learn this on their own if reality isn't taught to them. Yes, we all want our kids to keep their innocence and such until they're at least 34, but if you're being practical, most kids learn about substance abuse and sex at about the age of 13-14 because of their friends and their 'friends'. I've noticed that too many parents let themselves be dillusioned into thinking that their teen is still five years old and in need of a security blanket. I may not have a degree that tells people that I know every thing there is to know about what's 'wrong' with someone else's child, but I use my own common sense to try and understand the differences between a child 'under the influence' of their peers and a child that's been taught the correct way to deal with these sorts of things. In my opinion, Stoner and Spaz is a great book for a parent and their teen to read.

This title has:

Educational value
age 13+

I understand it

I loved this book, and I think those of us who have to deal with addicts understand it much more than other people. I love how it ended because it was not just a happy ending, It was a truthfull ending. A horrible truth that occurs consistently with addicts

This title has:

Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Ben tells the story, and his sardonic view of teen life, and of himself, is mostly amusing and clever, and the part of his humor that is self-pitying is knocked flat by Colleen's wicked directness. Though it's Ben's voice and story, the book is really about Colleen, a charming, if disgusting, junkie who's too smart to be behaving this stupidly.

Poet and novelist Ron Koertge's forte is tight, witty dialogue, and he uses it to great effect here. Conversations between Ben and Colleen, his grandmother, his neighbor, and his classmates sparkle with sharp patter reminiscent of '40s movies. This brief, fast-moving, funny story, with doses of sex, swearing, and drugs, will keep even reluctant teen readers turning the pages.

Book Details

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