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by Michael Cart (Editor)
Simon & Schuster, 2001
Review by Elizabeth Batt on Nov 5th 2002
Love & Sex, ten stories of
truth, edited by Michael Cart, is a selection of stories and poems aimed at
adolescents and the various circumstances or predicaments they might face when
encountering love and sex for the very first time.
The stories within its pages were
collected with the intention of informing and educating young adults to the
moral and emotional difficulties teenage life presents. Based on the concept that because we as
adults can ignore the issue of sex when it comes to our children, that issue
does not go away. Indeed our very
silence has no bearing on what our teenage youth will encounter when facing
primary sexual issues and dilemmas.
The short stories themselves are
written by a variety of accredited authors who offer their insight as well as
their motivation for the stories that they have written. Covering a wide gamut of instances and
situations, the stories are forthrightly written, interesting and quite often
profound. They explore the ethical, the
positive and also the negative aspects of emotional adolescence, quite often
with complete honesty. The tales told,
carry us from first love and virginity to homosexuality and lesbianism. In essence, they cover the very issues that
we as parents would find difficult to discuss with our sons and daughters.
As a European, I am often told that
we are far more open and outspoken when it comes to the issue of sex. Although this label in general might very
well be correct, when it comes to one's own children, we are not as receptive
as we might have ourselves believe. The
discussion of sex between parent and child, might have progressed beyond the
"birds and the bees" stage, but we are still very hesitant to cross
the sexual abyss and thoroughly inform our children about what sex and love can
This book will certainly help you
to do that - but not standing alone.
Rather, the book will likely inspire many questions that as a parent
you'll have to feel comfortable answering.
Perhaps then the book has a dual agenda? To inform the child and to assist the parent in breaking through
the silence that we find so difficult to fracture when it comes to issues of
The book tells us
"Many adults seem to think
that if sex is not mentioned to adolescents, it will go away
decades have demonstrated, silence is no arbiter of behavior. Not only has sex not gone away, it has
become a quintessential perhaps even obligatory? rite of passage for
It is indeed a rite of passage that
all adolescents will face and it is the parents' choice as to whether to face
it with them. While knowledge is indeed
power, no book or parental explanation will completely cover every circumstance
your adolescent will face. We cannot
foresee the emotional impact on a child in a society as diverse as ours. However, we can prepare them and this book
can help you to accomplish that.
Love & Sex, ten stories of
truth is aimed at young adults ages thirteen years and up. As a parent of a thirteen year old, I would
have to caution you to assess your child prior to their reading of this
book. The age of thirteen, while seen
as the onset of adolescent youth is not set in concrete. Some youngsters, particularly boys, evolve
not to an established schedule but to their own individual timetable of
development. As their parent, you
should know where they stand in this development and whether at this time in
their lives, this book will benefit and enhance their knowledge.
If you decide to take the plunge
and wish to prepare your child's well for these complicated issues, then this
book will certainly assist you. The
stories enclosed provide a diversity of issues that create superb discussion
points for you and your teenager as he begins the inevitable rite of passage
into the world of love & sex.
ã 2002 Elizabeth Batt
Managing Editor Ancient & European History, Suite101.com