3 out of 4 stars
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Seven Essential Things Needed for Relationships to Succeed by Todd Corabi is a non-fiction educational guide geared toward teenagers, parents, educators, and others who work with middle and high school students. The author's goal is to provide a framework of what healthy relationships look like and how to help teens best navigate the unique situations with their various relationships.
Author Todd Corabi has been a high school teacher for nearly 20 years and used his experiences with teens as the basis for this book and the high school class he teaches that covers the same material. He builds his thesis by drawing a basic simple house and shows how the house's foundation, walls, and roof are all like important parts of a healthy relationship. The first part of the book talks about our inherent need for relationships and the different types of relationships throughout or lives. The main part of the book talks about the Seven Things referred to in the title. Corabi describes the importance of trust and honesty, respect and communication, and friendship, loyalty, and love. The practical examples he gives make the material very applicable and I could easily see how my past healthy and unhealthy relationships did or did not meet the requirements of this framework.
I thought this material was interesting and useful. I could see teachers and parents finding the information in this book helpful and relevant to the teens they encounter every day. There were some really good chapters about love and obsession as well as love and sex that deal with these mature topics in a no-nonsense, direct way and I found that approach refreshing and honest. I also appreciated all the real-life examples the author gave from his decades of teaching.
I also really liked the author's conversational writing style and found his thought process easy to follow. However, the overuse of unnecessary quotations became annoyingly distracting and formatting and spacing irregularities made the book feel not as professional as it could have been otherwise. While I don’t doubt Corabi’s claims, I would have appreciated the author citing some published, peer-reviewed studies to back up his claims.
I rated this book 3 out of 4 stars. The material covered was interesting and practical, but the lack of polish in the editing left the book feeling not quite finished. I would happily recommend this book to my teacher friends as well as parents of teens and tweens. While the author specifies that this book was not created to meet common core curriculum standards, it can be adapted to meet those requirements rather easily and I think teachers would appreciate that. I could see this book serving as a catalyst for some heartfelt and in-depth conversations between parents and their teen children.
Seven Essential Things Needed for Relationships to Succeed
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