"In her new book, inspired by her AP story of the same name, Harpaz (The Girls in the Van) focuses on a year in the life of her 13-year-old son, nicknamed Taz. After his bar mitzvah, Taz crosses the bridge from the innocence of childhood into a world of iPods, baggy clothes, lewd song lyrics, questionable peers (he calls them ‘peeps’) and poor grades. Harpaz takes the change in stride, rifling through her son’s room for contraband (she’s not disappointed, finding a locked box of condoms and alcohol later revealed to be a ‘plant’), peering over his shoulder as he surfs MySpace and trying to figure out whether her rebellious child is normal or the result of her being a ‘Terrible Mother.’Readers follow Harpaz as she wrangles with such familiar topics as dragging a teen along on a vacation, homework and the all-consuming desire to be cool. Though the antics of an annoying teenager can be tedious-even for readers sympathetic to her situation-Harpaz has an engaging voice, and her outlook on everything from teen fashion to Facebook is fresh and funny. In spite of her insistence that she doesn’t fit in with the ‘Perfect Mommies,’she and Taz get through a challenging year without major mishaps and plenty of laughs."
“Ever wish you could see inside the mind of your teenager? In 13 is the New 18, Beth Harpaz tells it like it is. Her poignant and acute look at what happens when her kids’ rush to grow up crashes into her need to hold on to the little darlings is a hopeful roadmap for all of us obsessed, befuddled and anxious parents.”
—Anne Kreamer, author of Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity and Everything Else that Really Matters
“ Beleaguered mothers of teenagers are not meant to take this book as a literal guide, but somehow I don’t think I’m the only one carrying around a dog-eared copy full of passages underlined with a yellow highlighter. Even if Beth Harpaz were not so funny–but thank God she is–this book would have been worth every penny just for her tips on how to survive those painful phone calls from your child’s guidance counselor.”
—Michelle Slatalla, author of The Town on Beaver Creek
“An engaging, moving, and ultimately uplifting story of parenting young teens in contemporary America. Conveyed with humor, insight, and warmth, 13 Is the New 18 reminds us that, despite its challenges, there is much about raising our teens that should make us proud, enthusiastic, and even hopeful.”
—Richard M. Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Good Teen
“The story of how a confused teenager taught a smart women some important lessons about life…Take the wisdom of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, fast forward a decade and a half, add a soupcon of candor, an endless stream of love and a dash of worry. Now shake. That’s Beth Harpaz’s parenting memoir 13 Is the New 18. Harpaz is a warm and wise new voice.”
—Peg Tyre, formerly, a senior writer at Newsweek and author of The Trouble with Boys
“Hilarious, perceptive, and poignant…Harpaz’s voice is a refreshingly candid one that entertains even as it reassures us normal, imperfect moms that we’re not alone and that everything’s gonna be okay.”
—Susan Borowitz, author of When We’re in Public, Pretend You Don’t Know Me
From the Hardcover edition.