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Reviewed by Carine Engelbrecht for Readers' Favorite
To the title 13th Grade: Real World 101 author Daniel G Hofstein could have added an additional qualifier - American Edition. That might have opened the way for the creation of a franchise that would have included a UK edition, a European Union edition and several Asian editions. The concept for a book that somehow fills in the gaps of formal education is very well conceived, and the book does include tons of useful information. Within its pages, it offers advice on topics as wide ranging as finance, taxation, employment, parenting, sex, drugs and the legal system. Different chapters have been peer reviewed by individuals who are considered experts in those fields. Also contained within is a manuscript on the development of a personal philosophy, written by the author's grandfather, Alvin Chester.
Since the book covers such a divergent selection of topics, the degree of intensity varies. On college education, the author offers great cost-cutting tips. Prepare to be amused by the chapter on the generational gap, which illustrates that different generations have always been separated by opinions, and the political advice from ancient Rome seems eerily applicable to today's power mongers. Another chapter, which deals with the American constitution, cites interesting examples of what certain rights include and exclude. In another of the legal chapters, the author analyses personal brushes with the law with unflinching honesty.
You will find the most attention to detail in the chapters that deal with economic matters, but the greatest strength of 13th Grade: Real World 101 is its consistent neutrality. This is particularly well handled in the chapter on politics, but is also evident in other topics. Daniel G Hofstein doesn't tell you what to think, but instead offers pointers and guidelines in determining how to think. What could have been included? A chapter on travel perhaps. Many young people include travel on their bucket lists and may even want to work or volunteer abroad. However, even in its current form, this e-book is enormously interesting.