For three fascinating, disturbing years, writer Patricia Hersch journeyed inside a world that is as familiar as our own children and yet as alien as some exotic culture--the world of adolescence. As a silent, attentive partner, she followed eight teenagers in the typically American town of Reston, Virginia, listening to their stories, observing their rituals, watching them fulfill their dreams and enact their tragedies. What she found was that America's teens have fashioned a fully defined culture that adults neither see nor imagine--a culture of unprecedented freedom and baffling complexity, a culture with rules but no structure, values but no clear morality, codes but no consistency.
Is it society itself that has created this separate teen community? Resigned to the attitude that adolescents simply live in "a tribe apart," adults have pulled away, relinquishing responsibility and supervision, allowing the unhealthy behaviors of teens to flourish. Ultimately, this rift between adults and teenagers robs both generations of meaningful connections. For everyone's world is made richer and more challenging by having adolescents in it.
"A contemporary masterpiece."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer
"[A] BREAKTHROUGH PORTRAIT OF ADOLESCENT CULTURE . . . It is here--not in the pages of dry psychology books--where parents and educators will find the secret, painful truths hidden by modern-day adolescents."
"SPLENDID AND POWERFUL . . . [Hersch] doesn't preach and doesn't sugar-coat. But boy, does she shake us awake."
"AN INSIGHTFUL, MOVING AND STRIKINGLY HONEST LOOK AT TODAY'S ADOLESCENTS . . . Hersch has allowed the teenagers themselves to tell their stories. . . . While A Tribe Apart should be required reading for all parents and educators, it is also a must-read for anyone who desires a greater understanding of a generation standing on the brink of adulthood."
--San Diego Union-Tribune