6 Reasons We Wrote This Book
1. Now that the world is completely wired, there are more choices and opportunities—and information—available to almost everyone. Making lists is a way of organizing information, a skill everyone needs in order to participate in today’s action-packed world.
2. We wanted you to read about the lives of other people in the hope that this will make you sensitive to their experiences—and their cultures. So we’re hoping that when you read this book, you’ll pay special attention to the lists that don’t apply to you. You may not have a fear of public speaking, but some people do. Read the list called “14 Tips if You’re Nervous About Public Speaking” on page 177 to find out what life is like for them. Maybe it will change how you behave during lectures and speeches.
3. Our previous book, The Book of Lists for Kids, which was first published in 1985 and reissued in 1995 and 2002, has been a popular book for kids from 9 to 12. This book addresses the next group up—teens—and covers subjects that are more relevant to the many new experiences that await you.
4. We believe that Truth and Fun are central in our lives. So we’ve included plenty of both.
5. We know that, as a teen, you are busy and stressed. Yet there’s so much you need to remember to cope with it all. This book dispenses with the lectures and tells you only the stuff you need to know.
6. For the money—although it’s hard to believe that we got paid to have this much fun!
9 Reasons to Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is easy. You can use anything from a cheap notebook to a fancy leather volume that comes with a key you wear around your neck for safekeeping. Regardless, you need only follow three rules. Write freely and honestly, and don’t worry if your entry doesn’t make sense. Make it a habit to write something every single day, even if you think nothing happened that day. Finally, make sure it’s kept as private as you want it to be, so you always feel safe saying anything.
1. Your journal won’t talk back to you, criticize, or get bored with anything you say. It doesn’t forget your birthday, lose your phone number, or invite you to the mall and then decide to go to a movie instead. It’s always there for you, and it’s always on your side. Keeping a journal lets you express your feelings without having anyone judge you.
2. Even if your life may not seem very exciting now, you’ll love having a record of it later on, when you’ve forgotten so many details that you now take for granted. Imagine your grandchildren, 50 years from now, reading about what it’s like to go to a movie. (Do you think we’ll have movie theaters in 50 years?) A journal is a living part of history.
3. If you write honestly, you’ll be able to go back and read entries that will help you learn from your mistakes. At troublesome times you can look back and see what went wrong. Do the kids you want to hang out with ignore you? If your journal has entries in which you’ve bad-mouthed these people, maybe you don’t really want them for friends. If everything you write about seems sad and negative, maybe you have an attitude problem you should think about. You can use your journal to solve problems.
4. Your journal will be a record of your best memories, and you will always have access to events that may seem unforgettable now but that do fade with time. It will be fun to look back one day and relive your first date, your graduation, or how it felt to see your pet for the first time.
5. You will learn things about yourself. If you write down everything—your dreams, your problems and their solutions, even gifts you’ve given and received—you will be able to use your journal to see patterns in your behavior. If you always seem to be troubled around school vacations, maybe you need to plan ahead and think about how you really want to spend that time. If you find repeated nasty comments about someone who’s supposed to be your friend, there are probably some issues you need to talk about together. And if all your entries seem general and boring, maybe you’re not paying attention to everything that’s going on around you.
6. Write about your favorite people. Talk about their special qualities and what you learn from them. What’s your grandfather really like? What is it about Aunt Jane that makes you so happy when you know she’s coming to visit? These people may not always be in your life. Your journal entries will keep their memories alive.
7. A shared journal is one that you and a friend write together—you take turns making entries. It can be an exciting way to explore a relationship. It’s easiest to do online in a file you can both call up, bbut if that’s not possible, passing a book back and forth and making copies of the pages from time to time so you both have complete sets also works.
8. A journal allowwwwws you to experiment. Have you ever thought of expressing yourself in poetry? You can try it in your journal, and if you think it’s a complete failure, no one but you ever has to know about it. Try sketching some of your thoughts or even writing them in another language.
9. You can use it to give people messages. If you’re dying for a new computer but are afraid to ask your parents, leave your diary open to the page where you talk about all the great educational benefits of having it. This can also work if you want your little brother to know how you really feel about his geeky behavior. Of course, you can’t guarantee that they won’t also read the stuff about you and you-know-who!
7 Ways to Make Sure Your Private Journal Stays That Way—Private!
1. Disguise your diary as something else. A bright pink leatherbound book with DIARY emblazoned in gold is going to attract attention. A simple notebook like the one you use for school won’t.
2. Don’t make journal entries when other people are around. Write in private so you don’t arouse curiosity.
3. Don’t leave it lying around and then complain when your brother posts your secrets on the Internet. Even if everyone in your family is trustworthy, your journal should remain between you and yourself.
4. If you hide the book, don’t always hide it in the same spot. Switch hiding places from time to time.
5. Get a book that has a lock and wear the key around your neck.
6. Keep your journal on your computer in a specially protected file.
7. Respect the privacy of others, and ask for the same consideration in return.
10 Ways to Stay Safe at Concerts
Going to concerts with friends can be great fun, but dangers abound, and for this reason parents will often hold out on this privilege as long as they can. Maybe they’ll feel more confident if you let them know you’re aware of the following guidelines:
1. Always tell your parents which concert you are going to and who you’ll be with. Make sure you have a ticket with an assigned seat.
2. Go with a friend and stay with your friend the whole time. If one of you has to go to the bathroom, you should both go. If the crowd is dense, hold hands so that you can stay together. Choose a place to meet if you get separated.
3. Get to the concert early enough so that you can find your seat while the place is still well lit. But don’t get there so early that there’s nothing to do for three hours except hang out in the parking lot.
4. If you find yourself in a crowd that begins to surge in one direction, don’t resist it, but as soon as you can, find your way out....