Friday, December 5, 2008

ridiculous/hilarious/terrible/cool: A Year in an American High School

I recently had the pleasure of reading the book ridiculous/hilarious/terrible/cool:
A Year in an American High School
by Elisha Cooper.

Elisha spent a year at a Chicago high school chronicling the lives of eight students – six seniors and two juniors. And then he wrote ridiculous/hilarious/terrible/cool: A Year in an American High School about these students’ big games, bad dates, and applications to college – basically, about their lives.

The author says "A teacher friend at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, in downtown Chicago, introduced me to the students. The students – six seniors and two juniors – were kind enough to let me follow them around with a notebook. We talked about upcoming games, drama with friends, pregnancy scares, and college applications. Their stories made the book what it is: part documentary, part sketchbook, part something else. The book is also a journal of the day-to-day life of a high school, from Phys Ed to prom. Lastly, this being Chicago, it’s a story about weather.

I have a great deal of appreciation for the students’ openness in sharing their lives with me. I had fun writing this book (though I still have trouble saying the title!). Mostly, though, I loved the reporting – going to football games, homecoming dances, or just talking with a student in the halls after English class."

I ,for one, really liked this book. I enjoyed getting to know the students, their likes, fears, and joys. I think the book was so much more enjoyable knowing that these were real people and not just made up characters.

This book would make a perfect Christmas gift for a tween who is about to go to high school to get and inside glimpse of what that life is like. Or the parent of a child who is in high school. Please visit the authors website at to learn more about this book and others he has written.


Lisa C. said...

What a great review... I actually can be gift challenged, especially for my niece, but this sounds like a GREAT gift for her.. Thank you.. and just in time..

BTW you've been tagged over at my site... So, if you wanna play along.. just drop in..

Lorie said...

Very interesting! I will have to check that out!

Unknown said...

Great review