*Power, Beauty and Legitimacy of Adolescence was sent to me for the sake of review
As you may very well know, I like to read, but not often. I find that life hits me hard and I end up starting a book but not finishing it, or I get a few pages in and think, “I’ll read more tomorrow night” and fall asleep by 7pm the following night, having not read a single page – luckily, this was not the case with Power, Beauty and Legitimacy of Adolescence. Maybe it was because it’s based on a topic that interests me, maybe it’s because it’s a gripping none-fiction or perhaps: because I too, want to understand teenagers despite only not being one for two years.
So, what exactly is Power, Beauty and Legitimacy of Adolescence all about? Well the summary for the book talks about how the author is writing about understanding the teenage years, “from their complexity in reality to some fictional representations in Anglo-Saxon, French and Italian literature.” Susan Jane Broda Tamburi has written this book based on her own real life experiences from teaching, pedagogy and being a parent herself. She’s written this book to help adults, whether they’re parents or teachers understand their teens and help them blossom into becoming the best adults they can possibly be.
I was a difficult teenager, and being my parents second daughter out of three, they got lucky the first time. My sister was head-strong, determined and well behaved. Probably every parents dream, they rarely had any problems with her and the school was never ringing up about her, so when it was my turn, the page completely flipped. I was rebellious, didn’t care about my education and the school definitely rang up about me a few times. I was never quite on the same page with my parents and there was a lot of arguing, so a book like this would probably have benefitted everyone, because it explores in-depth the many faces, phases and even the science of teenagers into quite some impressive detail.
From the offset, you can clearly see the vibe of this book: the cover is of a young girl with her arms crossed and a pout on her lips, something often associated with difficult teenagers, or rather: misunderstood teenagers. I like the cover, I think it’s funny as it’s relatable and very telling. The book opens up with a touching thank you note to her parents, children and partner who have been a helping hand in Tamburi’s life experiences then quickly dives into asking: What is adolescence? Tamburi talks about understanding teenagers and explains the physical and psychological changes that happen throughout puberty, how it impacts teenagers and explores subtle, less noticeable changes to the more obvious, world changing growth that teenagers go through.
The book has 161 pages which are full to the brim of information which is well organised, thought out, and clearly: researched. Tamburi knows what she’s talking about and expresses her research through being clear and concise, she isn’t patronising nor is she over explaining, she keeps her points and research easy to read and to understand, even drawing in a table at one stage to explain three parenting styles and four identity statuses.
This is a very well written, thought out and researched book which all parents can benefit from, no matter what your parenting style is or how well or badly behaved your teenager is, there’s a fit for you with this book. You’re going to come to an understanding that you probably wouldn’t have come to so easily, and so clearly with a Google search.
After reading this book, I felt like my opinion on teenagers had shifted once again, as a teenager you feel like nobody understands you, it’s probably one of the most lonely periods of time in your life, when you become an adult you seem to forget that feeling, you think you understand the world and kids, but the world is ever-changing, and you forget what it’s like to be a misunderstood teenager. This book clearly, eloquently and interestingly helps bring you back down to earth, to realise what it is about teenagers that you need to know, and you come out of it feeling like you can be better.
This is the perfect self help guide for parents, teachers, carers and grandparents too. If you’re having a hard time with a moody teen right now, this is the best book for you.
About the author:
I was born in Geneva from an English mother and an Italian father who both had come to Switzerland to work in international organisations. I travelled a lot when I was young visiting my two families in London and Rome. I went to school in Geneva and after one year spent in England in an Art School, I went to Geneva university where I got a masters degree in English, French and Italian literature. I started teaching during my studies and never stopped. I got married and had 4 children. Today I am still a teacher but am also responsible for teacher training in my school and at university. I have been living for 8 years with my American partner whom I had dated when I was a teenager. After having gone our separate ways we reconnected later in life and are living happily together in Geneva although we spend a lot of time in California.
My eldest son is an architect in Geneva, my eldest daughter has just obtained a bachelor at Brunel University in digital design, my youngest son is studying economics in Lausanne and my youngest daughter is enjoying a gap year doing voluntary work in Costa Rica and New Zealand before starting medical school.
We all get on well and are considered by friends and relatives as a “fusional” family, whatever that means…
I started writing articles at the age of twenty for an animal journal when part -time working in a zoo. A few years later I wrote a collection of children’s stories. I recently decided to write a book on adolescence in French which was published in November 2018, I then made a longer adaptation of it in English and have currently finished the Italian version.
I have written this article as part of a blog book tour, you can follow the tour through the banner below.