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Home-Made Kids

Home-Made Kids: a journey through adolescence. By Peter Gilchrist. Troubador Publishing pound;9.99

At first, this looks like a canter through the familiar growing-up problems - divorce and children, unsupervised holidays, drugs, sex. But the author knows well that many parents need to be told straightforward things in plain language: "The vast majority of youngsters will have their first exposure to drugs before their twelfth birthday. Training in drug awareness needs to begin remarkably young."

Then there are the insights that you might not have thought of - that the children of single parents can have enriching experiences as well as those that may damage them. (Gilchrist is particularly good on divorce, separation and step-parenting.) Based partly on the author's Daily Express columns, and aimed at teenagers and their parents, this is an excellent book for teachers, too - particularly the many who encounter adolescents before they have had any of their own - thanks to its clear layout, excellent case studies and theoretical underpinning.

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