Kelly Hager's Reviews > Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers

Not Much Just Chillin' by Linda Perlstein
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's review
May 10, 2010

really liked it

I haven't read any non-fiction in a while, and this caught my eye in the bookstore last year, so I'm glad to finally get around to it. It's set in a Maryland middle school (Wilde Lake) and follows a few middle schoolers around for a year. I liked it, and it's probably much less alarming than you'd think. There're relationships involved, but nobody's having sex and there's nothing in the way of drinking or drugs.

One thing I did think was interesting is the fact that it seems like parents (even involved parents who make an effort to talk to their kids) are pretty clueless when it comes to what their kids are up to. The theory goes that kids are at least one step beyond what you think they're up to, so (for example) if you think they've skipped one class, they've probably skipped several; if you think they might've kissed one boy, they've probably done more there, too.

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