Picks and Pans Review: Changing Bodies, Changing Lives

updated 04/06/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/06/1981 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Ruth Bell and others

As John Ciardi has expressed it so aptly, "You don't have to suffer to be a poet. Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone." Bell and many willing and candid teenagers have worked diligently to put an end to at least the suffering that stems from ignorance or, worse, misinformation. Not a moment too soon, either, for a generation whose needs have changed faster than its parents could possibly keep up with. The book deals forthrightly with such subjects as sex, love, relationships and health. While dealing with sex, Bell, mother of a pre-teenage boy, proves nonjudgmental yet reassuringly informative. She offers the latest medical data on birth control, venereal disease and drugs in a humane and personal manner. (Bell and some of her co-authors worked on the feminist classic Our Bodies, Ourselves.) Also included are enough teenagers' essays, poems and experiences to reassure even the most neurotic adolescent that he or she isn't alone in his or her uncertainty. (Random House, $14.95 cloth, $7.95 paper)

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