A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
For a book about puberty, surprisingly little, and what is referred to is delicately oblique. A mention of examining the reproductive organs of a dead cat in science class.
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One use of "ass," used to mean acting foolishly.
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Products & Purchases
A fast food chain is mentioned.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, for a book about puberty, this has surprisingly little problematic content, and the subject is handled with delicacy and humor.
Is It Any Good?
If only all adolescents could be as light-hearted and fatalistic about the mess they're enduring as Duane, the narrator and main character. Suffering embarrassments and humiliations that would strain the self-confidence of a reality-show contestant, and getting little help from family or friends, Duane soldiers on with wit and a good heart.
Author Gary Paulsen maintains a light touch, doing no more than hint at some of Duane's problems and using witty euphemisms and circumlocutions for anything that Duane doesn't really want to talk about. Unfortunately his touch is not so light when it comes to slapstick -- it's funny, but ultimately strains credulity. Still, for kids who are in the throes of change, this might help lighten the mood.
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Our Editors Recommend
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