Growing Up to be Happy

Young Adult - Non-Fiction
60 Pages
Reviewed on 02/02/2014
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Teodora Totorean for Readers' Favorite

Growing Up to Be Happy by Toneal M. Jackson is a coming of age inspirational book. It can be read by adolescents and their parents alike to generate conversational topics specific to this age: bullying, depression, overcoming difficulties, choosing the right path in life, etc. The book starts by going through an array of professions that adolescents could think of, from doctors, lawyers, and teachers to musicians, astronauts, and priests. All jobs are accompanied by their positive outcomes such as curing cancer, touching people’s hearts, or helping students. The pages on bullying offer both perspectives (the bully can also have his own torments) and the pages on depression show the symptoms and the solutions to get out of it. The book also contains a learning centre which is a good exercise to master some words and concepts discussed in the book.

The leitmotif of the book Growing Up to Be Happy is a quote by Abraham Lincoln: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” The quote is meant to make readers think and they can also debate this idea with their peers and their parents. This is the kind of book that most adults would have liked to have when they grew up, including myself. It is inspirational and easy to read and understand. Whenever an adolescent feels sad or depressed or whenever they face bullying, they can read this book and instantly feel better while understanding that this is just a phase in their life. The book ends with recommendations and a short paragraph about each of them, a great addition to the book as well as the Spanish and French versions, making it accessible to a wide audience.