The Life of Teenages Ain’t No Joke is filled with Teen Truths meant to illustrate to teens how to appreciate what they have, stress the importance of family and a good education, and empower them to make a difference – both in their own lives and in the world. The author, Keith G. Wright, uses his own life and anecdotes from his own family to prove his points. Keith was raised in Chicago by a single mother who worked her way through college while raising her son. The summers were spent with an equally influential grandmother in a small town in Florida. While he appreciated everything his mother sacrificed for him, he also understood the benefits of the simple life that he found with his grandmother.
The truths emphasized in Keith’s book are ones that all teenagers have heard countless times; however, when Keith expresses these truths, he expresses them from the heart and with the power of experience to back his words. He emphasizes the power of the bond between parents and teens, gives sensible advice for keeping the lines of communication open, and stresses that teens need to set goals that will advance themselves and allow them to make a difference in the world.
Keith tells about his summers at his grandmother’s home in Florida where there was no indoor plumbing. He recalls trips to the outhouse in the middle of the night and shared tubs of water in the middle of the hallway where he and his cousins took baths. What seems to stand out the most is that in spite of the poverty, everyone was always happy. Money was not what held the family together, but rather a strong sense of the family bond. This bond was the foundation, the glue and the substance of Keith’s upbringing and the importance that he found in his life in later years. In fact, this sense of family was so strong that Keith gave up summers in Chicago in a condo on the water and even talked his mother into allowing him to stay in Florida to finish the school year (on two separate occasions) when he visited at Christmas.
“Being real” is one of Keith’s fortes, as he writes about the challenges faced by teens and the battles they must wage in order to succeed in life. He is clear about the choices they will have to make and how their peers will not always be supportive of their choices. Interestingly, he reminds us all that we are all unique and that the idea of facing our “equals” is a myth, for being unique, we have no equal, and thus, no peers.
The Life of Teenagers Ain’t No Joke is an excellent read for teenagers, but before you hand it to your teenage son or daughter, I suggest strongly that you read it yourself. It is a book that empowers our youth, and in their empowerment, these youth will need continued guidance – guidance which will best come from their parents. I suggest that you read this book first so that you are prepared to offer the support and the openness that they will need.
Keith has written two other books in this series: The World of Parents Ain’t No Joke and The World of Women Ain’t No Joke. The World of Parents is currently available and The World of Women is a forthcoming text. I am looking forward to reading them both.
To find out more about Keith Wright, his philosophy, and his books, please visit Ain’t No Joke Publishing at www.aintnojoke.com. He is truly a man with the betterment of our youth and our world in his heart.