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I Passed As a Teenager Paperback – 1969

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Paperback, 1969
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: LANCER BOOKS INC (1969)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,292,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Arena TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 11, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"What in God's name do you have to do to be an individual?" That's the question Lyn Tornabene asked herself after surviving what must have seemed like a lifetime disguised as a teenager. In a distant city, far away from family, friends, husband and professional associates, a very young looking but experienced and multi-published writer in her 30's enrolled in high school to find out what teenagers were really like.

Her experiences appeared first as a story in Ladies Home Journal, and later fleshed-out to this detailed revelation of adolescent life. The gap between social classes seemed greater than she remembered. The pressure to have the best clothes, hair, car and house was more intense than Ms. Tornabene experienced in her own day. The pain of being an outsider was "much sadder, much more complex" than she imagined possible.

As a baby boomer, I feel vindicated by Lyn Tornabene! How comforting to know that a woman of my mother's generation exposed, by virtue of first-hand experience, the horrors of disinterested or overburdened teachers, pointless exercises of "academic" busy-work, and occasional exposure to the teacher who struts his intimidating-stuff in an attempt to bolster a justifiably weak sense of self-esteem.

How is it that we all get older and fail to see that children are a reflection of us and the world we made for them? The author asserts that she has discovered the precise moment that we can be called old, "it's the first time one starts complaining about the sinful behavior of the young."

The pain of being an adolescent is most poignantly revealed in the author's discovery of why she is glad to be herself, with no desire to be young again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just re-read "I Passed as a Teenager," by Lyn Tornabene; I first read it almost 40 years ago as a young person. I found it amazing, then and now, that the author was able to pull this off; she almost got found out a couple of times, and this was a constant fear throughout her experiment. I am a baby-boomer and have to say that her conclusions were accurate: over-crowded schools, over-burdened and sometimes uncaring teachers, students who were more interested in dating and seeing their friends, and of course, in accumulating material possessions, than in learning anything. Having just the "right" clothes and automobiles was more important than ever before, Lyn noticed. And speaking of material possessions, the author noticed that the gap between the rich and poor was much more pronounced than in her day, the 1940's. Lyn found a group of girls who befriended her, which this was the heart-warming part of the book, and has a friend manufacture a "boyfriend" for her, which was the hilarious part. This book is still timely today, I think, because having just raised teenagers myself, their schools of today don't sound any different. Not at all. Read this book; you'll love it! On another positive note: Lyn Tornabene is an accomplished writer; this book is insightful and very well-written.
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