In the Mail: family troubles edition

–> An Intimate Understanding of America’s Teenagers: Shaking Hands with Aliens by Bruce J. Gevirtzman

Description

Alicia is so obsessed with being popular, she does things that would shock her parents, if they knew. Hector is aware the gang that wants him to join may be the death of him, but he will not decline. Sam was a baseball star, but can’t play the sport he loves anymore because he is wracked from football injuries, a sport his father will not let him quit. These are just a few of the teenagers readers will “meet,” in this candid book authored by a 34-year veteran high school teacher. Voted Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year, Bruce Gevirtzman shares with us the results of his years spent talking with teenagers about topics from life and lust to depression and death. Revealing honest, poignant words shared in conversations, classroom talk, interviews, surveys, and journals, Gevirtzman takes us inside the minds of today’s youths, and also contrasts them with teenagers of decades past. Topics include teen thinking and secrets on issues from sex, drinking, and drugs to peer pressure, self-imposed standards, and beliefs about what is important, and painful, in life. Including interviews with fellow teachers, Gevirtzman’s book is threaded with one recurring truth: “Sadly, instead of parents and teachers and lawmakers and the public looking out for our kids, today’s kids are largely left to fend for themselves,” he concludes. Not only will general readers and educators find great insight in this work, it will be of interest to students and scholars of adolescent psychology, clinical psychology, and social work.

–> Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Sergeant Drew Peterson by Joseph Hosey

Description

In October 2007, twenty-three-year-old Stacy Peterson vanished from the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, leaving behind her husband and children. Retired Police Sergeant Drew Peterson, thirty years Stacy’s senior, steadfastly asserted his innocence and maintained that his wife had simply fled their tumultuous marriage and run off with another man.
Throngs of journalists and camera crews besieged Peterson’s quiet suburban cul-de-sac, but the ex-cop seemed to relish in this newfound limelight. As exhaustive searches for Stacy’s body turned up nothing and suggestive clues led nowhere, questions were raised: about their unusual marriage, about Stacy’s past vocal concerns for her safety, and about Drew Peterson’s bizarre public behavior in the wake of Stacy’s disappearance.

Then, in February 2008, came a startling development. After a second autopsy, the unusual death of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, was ruled a homicide. Three and a half years earlier, Savio had been found dead in the bathtub of their home,but in light of Stacy’s curious disappearance, Kathleen’s body was exhumed and the case was reopened.

Two of Drew Peterson’s four wives, it appeared, had met untimely fates tragic and unexpected but hardly coincidental.

Drawing upon exclusive interviews with Stacy’s friends and family and even Drew himself, Chicago-area reporter Joseph Hosey presents the most researched account of the Stacy Peterson case yet. Still, as the charges against Drew Peterson mount, one haunting question remains: Where on earth is Stacy?

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season – oh, and watching golf too).

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