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Be True to Your School

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  364 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Today, Bob Greene is a celebrated, nationally-syndicated columnist. In 1964, he was a seventeen-year-old Ohio high school kid. And he kept a diary.
It's all here. The teenage girl who got away. The twenty-seven-year-old woman who didn't. The first beer. The first job. A series of bad haircuts. Friendship and betrayal, griping and groping, a daily account of one boy's strugg
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 12th 1988 by Ballantine Books (first published 1987)
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Aug 02, 2007 Tressa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
This is one of my favorite books to re-read. I read it every few years in order to get that old nostalgic feeling back again, even though this guy was in high school before I was even born and I didn't particularly like high school!

Bob Greene has a wonderful flair for words. When he was in high school in Ohio, he kept a journal for a school class. As an adult, he ran across this journal and made it into a book.

It's filled with his wonderful memories of cruising with his friends, pining over a gi
Feb 13, 2008 Lavinia rated it liked it
This book is the reason I started keeping a journal in 1989. I thought it was so cool to hear about this kids life through his journal entries. I'm so glad I did it too.
David Wrubel
Apr 06, 2009 David Wrubel rated it really liked it
Bob Green had to keep a diary for a class during his senior year of high school. Decades later he found it, and being the reasonably famous and successful columnist and author that he had become, he turned it into a book.

And what a book it is. For those of us of a certain age, it really resonates, and is the closest we will ever get to time travel. Details and people differ, the situations aren't EXACTLY the same, but the mood and tone and sense of innocence and confusion and excitement and wond
Jun 05, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
This book inspired me to write in a journal, every day, for one year.
Jan 04, 2011 David rated it it was amazing
love it...I didn't put this book down, I read it cover to cover in one stuff
May 11, 2008 Jodie rated it liked it
Bob Greene, the author is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, so we know the man can write, and these are his high school memoirs. It's a nice light, relateable read.
May 28, 2017 Amanda rated it liked it
When I was a senior in high school, this book was assigned for one of my classes. I remember enjoying it so much - but because I had so much going on I never actually finished reading it. For over 10 years I've kept this book in the back of my mind, and I'm so glad I finally read the whole thing! Bob Greene's real-life account of being a junior and senior in high school in 1964, told through daily journal logs, proves how universal some adolescent experiences are - whether you graduated high sch ...more
Jinny Chung
Apr 10, 2013 Jinny Chung rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love-love-love
"Chuck Shenk and I cruised all day; for a few hours this afternoon we watched the Browns and the Packers on TV, but most of the day we just drove around Bexley. He did a great thing with his car. He got a portable record player, put it on the front seat and somehow ran a wire through the dashboard and connected it to the battery under the hood. We took a copy of 'Little Deuce Coupe' with us and played it for four hours straight as we cruised. For the first time, we don't have to listen to what W ...more
Paul Baker
Jun 16, 2016 Paul Baker rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
In 1964, future journalist Bob Greene kept a diary, detailing his life from January through December, a time when he was 16 and 17 years old, a Junior and Senior in high school. He had been told that it was a good habit for writers to follow, so he gave it a try. Lucky for us. Be True to Your School is an authentic and amazing time capsule, capturing in great detail the year that the Beatles descended on the United States and changed the face of music (and the hairy heads of enthusiasts) forever ...more
Apr 16, 2009 Steven rated it liked it
Rose-colored look at high school in 1964, through the eyes of a pretty average kid with an eye for detail and the occasional pithy description.

I first discovered this as a journal example that I could read to seniors in order to help them make their own journals more interesting. The book turned out to be a huge hit, and with some exceptions, I often found I had read a good bit of it to the classes by the time May rolled around. It's a great story, not so much because it chronicles a pretty com
Feb 16, 2012 Alphawoman rated it really liked it
It has been a long time since I have completed a book. I think I may have just burnt myself out reading so much the first half of the year. Then again, I think I was using it as an escape mechanism. I have finished one other book besides this one. I will have to find it document a review.

BTTYS was written in 1964, well for the first time. It was a diary kept by the famous Bob Greene, who has a column that was read in over 200 newspapers. I use the past tense due to the book being published in 19
John Orman
Sep 28, 2012 John Orman rated it really liked it
This book is a diary of 1964 recorded by Bob Greene during his senior year in high school in Bexley, OH. Witty and amusing, it contains many personal anecdotes that have a universal flavor of high school back in the good old days.
Girls! Mainly striking out.
Tests. Barely scraping by.
Homecoming. Got a date!
Tennis. Pretty good player.

In this book, a diary entry mentions a visit to a record store where Bob bought a new Jan and Dean vinyl. A few years after the book was published, in the early 1990's
Dec 03, 2015 fuminator rated it really liked it
I believe this was the first book I bought and read that was written in English. As a college student learning English in Japan, the diary format made it easier to read and it also kept me curious about the life style of America. (although the story was staged 25 years earlier from when I found this book in 1989ish).
After reading this book, I started to keep a journal in English and developed my love for writing as well. Little did I know I ended up majoring in journalism once I got to Californ
Ernest Koneck
Mar 29, 2016 Ernest Koneck rated it it was amazing
Bob Greene was a newspaper columnist in Chicago when I lived there in the 80's. This memoir was published in 1987, and is based on a daily diary Greene kept during the entire calendar year of 1964, when he was a junior and senior in high school in Bexley, Ohio. He was inspired to keep the diary by a speaker at a high school press convention he attended. It proves to be a precious time capsule of highly detailed memories of suburban high school life - anxieties over grades, girls, putting out the ...more
Chloe Shay
May 21, 2012 Chloe Shay rated it really liked it
Shelves: 9th-grade-2012
When I first laid my eyes on this book, I was unsure of how I would feel about it. It was a boys diary, I didn't know if could be extremely interesting or boring beyond compare. I actually really liked this book, I didn't think boys had much depth, but going through the thoughts of one really helped me undertand better. I think it was really amazing how Bob listened to the Beatles for the first time and watched how famous they became. You could get the insiders look of the time. Even though I th ...more
Isabela Caetano
Apr 04, 2013 Isabela Caetano rated it did not like it
Shelves: grade-10
Really, really boring. This was just another typical book about adolescence issues in high school. The fact the story composed of several diary entries was what I enjoyed the least. The diary entries seemed, to me, to not flow and were really choppy. The days in which the entries where written had to many gaps, and I felt like I was missing out on information. I found myself a few times going back to try to understand what happened. But on the upside, the story is written from the view of a teen ...more
Barbara Greene
Apr 02, 2014 Barbara Greene rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All teenagers
Recommended to Barbara by: A friend
I admit one of the reasons I got a copy of this book was, well, the author and I have the same last name. (No, we're not related). I'd also spoken with someone who grew up in Chicago who was a big Bob Greene fan. I really enjoyed this book. Bob Greene's voice is earnest and he's not afraid to lay his emotions onto the page. Also it offered a view of another time period in America, before "tweeting" and the Internet and LOL ruled. (Although I admittedly do all those things). Still, it was a great ...more
Isaiah Counts
Oct 27, 2016 Isaiah Counts rated it really liked it
Be true to your school is a interesting tale. I've never read a book as story telling or involved in so many characters as this one. many times the book was slow but the rest was fantastic and well built. even though the book was slow at times it kept the reader coming back More than a new ice cream store. Be true to your school is a book I would recommend to that of the patient type and easily interested in simple taled
Jun 23, 2008 LindaM rated it really liked it
I have read this book several times and it always gives me something back. So fascinating to read thru the diary of a high school boy, his life and friends and the world as it was back in 1964! Its very easy to put yourself in his place and if you were in high school in that era, put yourself back in time to your own school days.
Oct 05, 2012 Linda rated it liked it
Being I am the same age as Bob Greene I could relate very easily to his entire year. I especially loved the Gem Beach episodes as that is where I spent much of my time and have wonderful memories from that era. Some portions of the book dragged at times. To me this is snot a good read but it is a very fun read.
Not rating this, because I read it more than 20 yrs ago, when I was a teenager. Can't remember why or what I thought of it, but "dialing for cake" has (for some unknowable reason) always stuck with me as a phrase, and I finally just connected it to this title. Obscure, even to me...putting this review in so I don't lose it again.
Wendy Summers
Apr 04, 2012 Wendy Summers rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teenagers especially, but also adults
Recommended to Wendy by: A teacher
Shelves: memoir, heartfelt
I read and reread this throughout high school, and will continue to do so. A wonderful and touching and "naked" portrait of a year in the life of a young person. Even though times have changed, the emotions of finding one's self in a sometimes chaotic, cruel, and also wonderful world haven't. Bob Greene nails it, and doesn't pull punches.
May 17, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing
My friend recommended this book to me. Author Bob Greene kept a diary during his junior year in high school in 1964 as a class assignment. I like Bob Greene as an author and his diary is a real coming of age story. I really rnjoyed this book. It had me laughing in places! This book is not for children due to some of the language and content.
David Ward
Be True to Your School: A Diary of 1964 by Bob Greene (Athenum 1987) (Biography) is a time capsule view of the author's diary from 1964. One will recognize the concerns shared by all teenagers during this querulous time of life. My rating: 7/10, finished 3/12/13.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Oct 10, 2013 Andrew Welsh-Huggins rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Fascinating: a sentimentally cut-throat autobiography. Sentimental because of its heartfelt portrayal of central Ohio ca.1964. Cut-throat because of its exposure of Greene's friends' private teenage lives without their permission.
Feb 12, 2008 Tracy rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorite books. I can quote the passages about turkey dinners upon command.
Oct 01, 2015 Kathy rated it liked it
It felt like time travel.
alaskaem Boling
May 07, 2009 alaskaem Boling rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book
Jan 19, 2008 Aaron rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 17 year old males
read this senior year of high school as a guide to keeping my own "senior book" journal. Was pretty great.
Apr 24, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it
I picked this up because the author has ties to the local area (Bexley, OH). It was good, but not as good as And You Know You Should be Glad.
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Robert Bernard Greene, Jr., who writes as Bob Greene, is a journalist.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
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