Having a million-plus copies of the bestselling Who Moved My Cheese?
in print hasn't stopped Spencer Johnson, (The One Minute Manager
) from repackaging his homily about adapting to life changes for a teenage audience.
The core of this teen book--a cheesy (literally) allegory about four characters navigating a maze in pursuit of happiness (cheese) with varying success--is identical to the cheese-quest story told in Johnson's grownup book. The only difference is that the opening and closing backstory that pads out Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens involves a group of teenagers kibbutzing in the cafeteria, not a group of adults attending their high school reunion.
Of course, it's hard to argue with the essence of Johnson's commonsense message: one of the few constants in life is change, and the sooner we learn to anticipate and adjust to change, the happier we'll be. But most criticisms of the book (and there have been many) boil down to the fact that Cheese is just too reductive and simplistic, and sometimes change in our lives can and should be resisted. (It hasn't helped that the book's popularity among corporate managers has come to be associated with layoffs... er, cheese removals.) But whatever your take on Johnson's philosophy, you'd do well to keep it to yourself. Otherwise, you can count on your teenager to form the exact opposite opinion. (Ages 12 and older) --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
Spencer Johnson, M.D., adapts his bestselling adult title for a teenage audience, in Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens. Here a teenage student presents the parable (identical to that featured in the adult version) in the high school cafeteria: two mice and two "Littlepeople" (Hem and Haw) who search for cheese in a maze and react to change in distinctly different ways ("The Cheese stands for whatever's important to you like getting on a team, having a boyfriend or girlfriend, getting into college..."). In a concluding discussion, the friends apply the parable to specific situations in their lives. The author's message about the importance of anticipating, accepting and using change to improve one's life can surely benefit this audience. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.