Do You Remember Being a TEEN? Rough, wasn't it?

JayeByrd By JayeByrd, 4th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Mind, Body & Spirit

TEEN's Guide to NOT Being Perfect, by Tom Krause, has some answers to a teen's questions of "Am I normal?" and "Will I Make it?" Teens will be glad to know the answers can be "Yes, I am!" and "Yes, I will!" This book can help teenagers learn about themselves, and find there is a way through the teen years.

The First Two Things to Learn

1. “No copy is as valuable as an original. "
2. "Each teen is an original—a real deal.”

There are many books for teens--some good, some bad, some rather indifferent. Occasionally a book comes along that is in a class by itself. Such a book is “Teen’s Guide to not Being Perfect.”

What places it in this category is that Tom Krause remembers. He remembers how it was when he was a teen; he remembers how it was for his students through the years. He knows how it will be for teens this next year, and how it will be for teens the year after that. Anyone who is, or has been, a teen will recognize the truth of Tom Krause’s memory. Remembering means he understands.

Mr. Krause starts with the truth that teens never change. They are “the same wonderful vessels of hope” that teens have been down through time, however “...society has changed and made the teenage years much more difficult, but not impossible.”

He's Been There, He Remembers

Speaking on a positive note, Mr. Krause states teens have two main questions: “Am I normal?” and “Will I make it?” This book will help teens answer these questions with “Yes, I am!” and “Yes, I will!”

One chapter explains why, when a teen looks in a mirror, it is good to see a seven. The author tells what a seven is and speaks of the freedom being a seven can provide.

He knows how teens feel when ignored, when picked on, when having too much expected of them, and when they expect too much of themselves. He explains that much of what they “feel” is just that—feelings, and what is really happening and what is perceived as happening can be very far apart.

He tells teens that the freedom to make decisions they have at age twenty-eight will give them a sense of empowerment. Mr. Krause gives them what they need to get to twenty-eight. He says, “It is truly an awesome time of life.”

The author doesn’t give a lot of advice. Instead, he lets teens know they are not alone; there are other people who know how hard it can be. He tells how teens can take action to help themselves. He also gives tips on avoiding stress and dealing with stress.

Goal Setting Can be a Part of Gaining Self-Esteem

In the chapter on goals, Mr. Krause tells a story about shopping for a new car. He fell in love with a bright red sports car. The salesman, on learning the author taught in a public school, tried to talk him into a less expensive model, leading to an abrupt departure from the car lot without a purchase. Some days later, he returned to the dealership. He was looking at the sports car when a different salesman came up and asked him if he liked it. The answer was a resounding yes. His purchase, while maybe more expensive than prudent at the time, was a happy experience he enjoyed for many years.

This leads to the question Mr. Krause has for teens when they are setting goals. “What kind of car do you want to drive?” The question may be metaphorical; the answer could be a teen’s goal in life.

Teens, whether young men or young women, can gain a great deal of insight from this book written by a former teen who remembers.

More about the Author

Tom Krause is a retired coach who lives in southwest Missouri. He took up writing and motivational speaking toward the end of his coaching career. He has some great inspirational quotes online.

Two of the other books by Tom Krause are Go Big Blue and The Little Boy’s Smile. He has had at least twenty poems and essays published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. For more information about Tom, his books, and his motivational speaking, please go to his web site at

This review first published in The Boonville Daily News, October 2008.


Alone, Depressed Teenagers, Depression, Lost, Misery, Need For Privacy, Sadness, Self-Esteem, Teenage Angst, Teenage Life, Teenager, Teenagers

Meet the author

author avatar JayeByrd
I'm well into my fourth career. I write Opinion pieces, usually political. I write eclectic poetry, short stories, and essays. I also edit and teach writing.

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author avatar A.M>CrewsAnita Crews
5th Aug 2014 (#)

Very insightful!

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author avatar Retired
6th Aug 2014 (#)

Teens think they need to conform to fit in while their differentiating personalities are developing. Tom Krause addresses some important issues.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
8th Aug 2014 (#)

Great review on a time in life that isn't always easy.

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author avatar JayeByrd
8th Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks to all of you for your comments.

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