I found this to be a really interesting book that offers down to earth advice for teens coming of age in today’s harsh world. The advice is based on the basic principals of Buddhism but it is done in a way that would not infringe on anyones religious beliefs. When with author does talk about Buddhism he frames it in a way that the reader knows that it is his beliefs and that he is just stating how it has helped him. He does talk of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, but he does not do so in a manner that is pushy, instead he mentions it only when it is relevant and explains the reason behind chanting in relation to the problem being addressed and how chanting has helped him. He never talks about chanting as a must do for the reader.
The “Way of Youth” has 9 Chapters each covering an important part of life and the difficult issues that arise.
Chapter 2: FRIENDSHIP
Chapter 3: LOVE
Chapter 4: LEARNING
Chapter 5: WORK
Chapter 6: DREAMS AND GOALS
Chapter 7: CONFIDENCE
Chapter 8: COMPASSION
Chapter 9: THE BIGGER PICTURE
I liked that the advice that was given, focused more on helping the reader learn and grow as a person instead of giving an answer that would be a temporary fix, something I see more and more. The book empowers young people to take charge of their actions and to work on themselves as a way to help themselves and others.
The only problem I encountered with this book was not due to his giving bad advice, but the relevance of some of his advice to how I live and am raising my son. We are homeschoolers, closer to unschoolers, because of my view on how children learn and my de-emphasis on attending public or private school to get a complete education. This makes a few parts of chapter 4: Learning, irrelevant. That said, by the time the teenage years roll around most homeschoolers/unschoolers know that they are recieving a different education from their main streamed peers. So the fact that this book addresses a few issues that relate primarily to students in a traditional school setting, is not a big deal. I would still give this book to my teenager.