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How Rude!: The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out Paperback – September, 1997

75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up?From its intriguing title to the tongue-in-cheek ideas for dealing with many kinds of situations, teenagers will find this manual humorous, nonthreatening, entertaining, and educational. The narrative is light and lively, and the advice is realistic and practical. The situations covered in the question-and-answer format far exceed those found in standard etiquette books, with section headings such as "Sex-Ediquette" (realistic rules for relationships with the opposite sex), Toiletiquette, (polite bathroom-sharing), and Netiquette (cyberspace behavior codes). The correct way to answer an invitation, which fork to use at a formal dinner, and all of the standard protocols for life in what once was called a "proper" environment are included. Yet there are many scenarios, from sexual situations to in-line skating, that will be relevant to today's teenagers, and questions that many would not be able to ask an adult, yet for which they urgently need answers. They will certainly find guidance here. Charts listing options for correct or incorrect behavior with probable outcomes appear throughout, as are anecdotal snippets entitled "True Stories from the Manners Frontier." Survey results that show what teens think and then what parents and teachers think about the same issues are presented. This volume should be considered ahead of any traditional etiquette book for YAs. They will return to it again and again as they face new and different situations.?Marilyn Fairbanks, East Junior High School, Brockton,
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 6^-12. Although manners aren't high on any teen's list of things to read about, this volume not only uses humor to make the subject palatable but also makes good sense in terms of most young people's everyday lives. Whether the topic is rude noises, table manners, or squabbles over the TV remote, Packer has a word or two to say, managing to get the point across without scolding or haranguing. He also has some advice on a few issues not usually covered in books on manners--like in-line skating, computer hacking, and "sex ediquette" (it's "beyond rude" to give someone HIV, get someone pregnant, or ignore the word "No"). The text is nicely broken up by cartoons, boldface headings, goofy chapter quizzes, and survey results (no background on how these were obtained is given), but the book is still a formidable 400 pages. For reference, however, it's first rate: teens can turn to it when they have a specific problem (both the index and the table of contents are good) or use it as an adjunct to the study of human relationships or contemporary culture. Stephanie Zvirin

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing; 1 edition (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575420244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575420240
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As "Manners Guru to the Youth of America," I welcome you to my author page with a firm handshake and good eye contact. I am an educator, psychologist, and substance abuse prevention specialist with a passion for nurturing healthy kids, healthy families, and healthy schools. I've written 10 books for adults and teenagers on such topics as manners, creativity, "wise highs," child raising (for parents), and parent raising (for children). I have been an independent school head, president of a leading substance abuse prevention non-profit, children's museum education director, and school consultant. My work with parents, teachers, administrators, and students as a speaker and workshop leader has taken me to schools and conferences around the world. I welcome your interest and inquiries. Please feel free to contact me with questions about books, speaking engagements, and/or Proper Behavior.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
Question: What teenager would be interested in reading a 465 page book on manners? Answer: Just about any one who is holding a copy of "How Rude!"
I'm so delighted by this book. I'm a father of four, and as I read "How Rude" I asked myself, "What is it that makes this book so effective?" Perhaps it's the simple practicality of its message. The main point is that it's in your own best interests to use good manners. One of the places it says this is on page 109: "Adjust your requests and behavior to the emotions and needs of others. This is not only a cornerstone of politeness, but also a way to increase the chances that your requests will be granted."
Perhaps it works so well because it concerns the things teenagers obsess about, such as how to be popular, how to get your parents let you do what you want, what to do about braces, how to handle friendship problems, and how to get a date. It even talks about when it is OK not to use good manners. The section headings reflect the fascination youth of all ages have: "Things you do to your body" and "Things your body does to you" and "The blended, shaken, stirred or mixed family, " and "Sex-ediquette."
Maybe what makes this book work so well for kids is Packer's dead-on humor, with just the right amount of grossness so that you can't quite turn away. It's a fast-paced kaleidoscope of quips, anecdotes, lists, jokes, and chummy advice. There's no way to lose interest, because it's so juicy and fun. I challenge anyone to open the book to any page and not find some undeniably useful tidbits.
It's a great book for teens, of course, but it's also a great book for parents who are looking for ways of talking about manners with their kids.
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166 of 176 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my 12 year old son. I found the majority of the book acceptable, entertaining and informative . However the book also had sections geared towards older teens (I assume). I was surprised to find information regarding who should bring the condom on the date and other sexual issues. The book states that wether or not teens should be sexually active is not a topic of this book but if you are sexually active it is beyond rude to....and goes on to list a number of sexual situations.
I was hoping to share this book with my son as I think he could benefit from it. However, I'll be putting it aside until I feel we have discussed some of the sexual issues addressed by the book and he is mature enough to handle it.It's too bad because I think he'd be more likely to want the other information now while he is excited about starting junior high and wanting to be treated as an adult.I
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful! Very witty, quite clever, and presents etiquette in a non-threatening, humorous, but also very honest way. While some might challenge the author for saying things like "good manners will get other people to more willingly give you things", the truth of the matter is that it *is* true, and youth wil be more prone to listen to the advice if they realize that they will benefit materially (the restaurant manager will be willing to let you stay at the table a little longer and provide better service), not just abstractly (you'll earn the admiration of the elderly people in your church). The appreciation for the abstract awards will come when they hit college, assuming they can be convinced to follow etiquette before they go to college.
If only all teens (and adults) would read this and relaize that eating iwth your open is rude, gross, annoying, and unecessary, we'd be a much better world.
All teens should have a class/course/book on ettiquette, and of the books I have read (admiteedly nowhere near as many as are out there), this one is my favorite so far for depth of information, and presentation of it. Many good pictures, and a pretty straightforward and logical format. I also very much appreciate that throughout the book are some real-world etiquette questions that youth have asked, about addressing friend's step-parents, how to go on a date, saying thnk you for gifts, dealing with problems in school and at home in a civil and gentlemanly/ladylike way, and even some sexual situations (how to say no, how to talk openly, how to respect one another...). Teens will definitely appreciate that the book isn't working only in the abstract, but has many eamples of real-world problems. Problems that never fit nicely into any one category, either, which is where pretty much every real world problem exists. That's why we have etiquette!
I suggest this book for all teenagers.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
At 465 pages, this nonfiction book is longer than many fiction books. Who knew there was so much to say about manners? But apparently, there is, and Dr. Packer deals with it in a light, amusing way that had me laughing so hard I actually fell on the floor. It also includes some valuable information known to few -i.e. "don't floss your teeth before having sex".

However, some of the opinions expressed in this book are rather immoral. I was somewhat dismayed when Dr. Packer praised the reader who sent in the comment detailing how she and a friend swap answers when doing homework. That is not "efficiency", as Dr. Packer says, that is cheating. And it was dispiriting to see him list the only reason to be nice to "ignorant jerks" as "one of them might turn out to be a Hollywood talent agent". What about compassion? What about politeness? What about an ability to see inside the person? No, the only reason you should be nice to them is for personal gain. That is not a good message to send to teenagers.
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