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High School Dance (How to Raise a Good Kid)…

High School Dance (How to Raise a Good Kid) (Volume 2)

by Starbuck O'Dwyer

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High School Dance is the follow-up to O'Dwyer's How to Raise a Good Kid. This is also a book of essays, and while it is a sequel, it could easily stand alone. High School Dance centers more on O'Dwyer's adolescence, and I found it more vulnerable and raw than his previous book of essays. There is still humor and levity, but it is the universal moments of teen angst and disappointment that make this book shine. ( )
  porcupines | Jan 3, 2019 |
This is the third Starbuck O'Dwyer book I've read, and every single book is fantastic. O'Dwyer has a frank honest way of writing, almost like he's speaking directly to the reader, however the stories being told can be felt by all genders, ages, financial background, or upbringing. I'm interested to see what the future holds for this young father, but if you want to read another great book by Starbuck O'Dwyer check out Goliath Gets Up. It is my favorite of all his works. ( )
  kristincedar | Aug 15, 2017 |
I did not expect this book to be an autobiography. It was funny and memorable. A young man growing up in what appears to be upper middle class. He talks about sports, his relationships with his parents, family and friends. For some reason I expected some advice for parents, but it is really the antics of a young teen growing up. Good story. ( )
  chutchi | May 29, 2017 |
We all have memories of our high school days, some good and some producing groans. Starbuck O'Dwyer brings his memories back in a funny way. We can relate to those times when everyone stared at us because we did something stupid. I enjoyed laughing along with him at the embarrassing times, since I've had them, too.
The desire to pass along parental wisdom to your children motivated the author; I'm sure they'll smile as they read his stories too.
A funny, clean book! ( )
  Karen_Hoerath_Meyer | Apr 15, 2017 |
Starbuck O’Dwyer had a mission in writing High School Dance. In his preface, he writes that he had made, in list form, things he wanted his son to know. He wanted to share life experiences so that the younger one might not make the same mistakes. Good luck with that. Later, after looking at his list, he thought he could flesh out the list a bit and turn each of his thinking points into stories. Here is the result. Twelve chapters of reflection on surviving from grade seven through senior high school.

There are chapters on the music of the time, starting with Pink Floyd. There is more than one chapter on competitiveness, winning, and losing. Most of them revolve around tennis. There are tales of heartbreak, puppy love, crushes, and immense romantic disappointment. Refreshingly, there are no tales of initial sexual conquests. That is sort of logical if we remember he is writing a book for a son to read. Attempts at a first kiss don’t count. There is a tale of an unusual after prom party. And one about trust. That chapter is about a parent’s trust of a child. But the theme of parent-child trust runs throughout all chapters.

There are sample chapters of How to Raise a Good Kid at the end of this publication. Two chapters The Value of Fathers and Love and Marriage impressed me more than the novel they are attached to. Which means I have something else to purchase and add to the TBR list. Love and Marriage is especially poignant and could possibly bring tears to the eyes of many readers. I guess that is a warning.

There is a lot of understated humor throughout. No violence (except for throwing some tennis rackets). No vulgarity (maybe a few hints at words with things like %&*@ inserted). No sex (except the first kiss). No excessive obeisance to the PC police.

It was a refreshing read, something my son can read, and I liked it. ( )
  ajarn7086 | Oct 9, 2016 |
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Welcome to High School Dance, the sequel to How to Raise a Good Kid. I’m glad you’re here. This book is the culmination of a project that began shortly after my wife and I welcomed our son to the world. Like most first-time fathers, I felt a new and profound sense of responsibility and immediately became determined to pass along every lesson I believed was important. So even though my pride and joy was only drooling, pooping and sleeping at this point, and was years away from absorbing his dad’s hard-earned wisdom, I refused to let any of those pesky details get in my way. First, I made a list of the events of my childhood that taught me the most, the ones that made the biggest impressions, both good and bad. This exercise forced me to revisit many harrowing experiences such as batting zero in little league baseball, my chronic addiction to a blanket, my disastrously unsuccessful try-out for the role of Winthrop in The Music Man, and the time I mooned the entire sixth grade. I wanted to let my son know whatever hardship he might face; his father had already been there, learned something of value and survived. I also wanted to let him know about all the fun and joy I experienced as a child and the love my parents showed me. After compiling my list, however, I realized it wasn’t going to be enough. What if, God forbid, I wasn’t around to tell him the full story behind each enumerated item? I couldn’t bear the thought so I decided to turn the list into a book of stories about my childhood. Over time, the project evolved into two books: one about my grade school years, How to Raise a Good Kid, and one about my junior and senior high school years, High School Dance. I truly hope you enjoy these collections. Few times in life are more memorable than our school years. Humiliation, heartbreak and failure are abundant, and that’s on a good day. No matter who you are, coming of age is exciting, confusing and sometimes downright dangerous, and I’ve tried to capture both the agony and the ecstasy. My wife and I were fortunate enough to add a daughter to our family in the intervening years and my great hope is that she and her brother will someday read these stories, learn a few lessons, come to know their father even better, and above all, remember how much I love them.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 06 Aug 2016 21:51:03 -0400)

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