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Review of "We're Not Monsters"

By Sabrina Solin Weill
HarperTempest, 2002
Review by Courtney Young on Oct 30th 2003
We're Not Monsters

            With my teen years in the not too distant past it is hard to believe just how out of control kids have become.  In her book, We're Not Monsters, Sabrina Solin Weill talks with teens as well as experts in the field about the major issues teens are facing today.  Teen killers, suicide, sexual offenders, teen-adult affairs, infanticide, and self-injury are all discussed in great detail.  Weill received tremendous feedback from teens expressing their views on the problems facing them today.  Hearing what they have to say should prove beneficial to parents and teachers as well as other teens.  While many of them are quite eloquent and speak out against what their peers are doing, some seem to think violence between each other, abandoning babies, and date rape are justifiable.  Disturbing as it may sound they can empathize with each other.  Each chapter addresses a new area of concern.  With the help of psychologists, teachers, and other teens she tries to discern who is likely to be doing these things, why it is on the rise now, various warning signs, and finally how we can stop it.  Reading some of the statistics in this book may seem alarming, but we are also given encouraging advice.  It seems that the common denominator in all of this is the family relationship (or lack thereof).  No longer is poverty being pointed at as the reason people are committing crimes.  Teens from middle class families are increasingly responsible for these heinous crimes, and calls for attention.  Perhaps this will force parents to learn how to communicate with their kids, and instill ethics and morality in their lives from an early age.  Weill points out that the nation is not addressing these issues which will affect all of our lives and the future of America.  It's conceivable that if teachers had their students reading this book in school, it could open the doors for a much needed discussion; but maybe some people aren't ready for that.


© 2003 Courtney Young


Courtney Young is currently working at Dowling College as an assistant in the Department of Visual Arts.  She is considering her future. 

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