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TeenVirtue: Real Issues, Real Life    by Vicki Courtney order for
by Vicki Courtney
Order:  USA  Can
Broadman & Holman, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Being a teen girl today is more difficult than ever. The media is constantly telling young women to be thin, beautiful, smart, powerful and attractive to the opposite sex. Though there are tons of hints on how to make this possible, they are not always moral or honorable. When troubles occur - and you know they do - where do you turn for help? The Bible is the gold standard, with virtuous answers to any question or struggle, but how do you know where to look?

TeenVirtue, which looks like a magazine, is full of articles and advice, all based on God's Word. As with a typical magazine, this one has quizzes, pictures, interviews, and information. Seven sections cover a variety of topics: beauty, girl talk, today's issues (such as abortion, homosexuality, and alcohol), friends and family, all about guys, the scoop on sex, and 'souled out'. The articles are candid and very timely. Even though this is a Christian magazine, nothing is whitewashed. God's position - backed up by Bible verses where appropriate - is presented in a straightforward manner.

Article titles include: 'Beware of the Hook-Up Trend', 'Is Gay OK?', 'Top 10 Online Rules', 'When Your Best Friend Gets a Boyfriend', '25 Guys Tell All', and 'Are You the Eating Disorder Type?'; all fascinating topics. The subtitle on the cover - 'A Teen Girl's Survival Guide' - says it all. TeenVirtue is a helpful and intriguing offering, that you will turn to again and again.

2nd Review by Anise Hollingshead:

A couple of years ago, the BibleZine - an edition of the Bible in a magazine format especially designed for girls - was released. Many moms (including myself) bought it for their daughters, and it has remained a fairly popular teen Bible. This year brought another teen girl Christian book in magazine format. Vicki Courtney, author of several Bible studies and books, as well as the Virtuous Reality Ministries (directed toward mothers and daughters), has written a teen girl's guide to today's moral issues from a biblical perspective.

Teenvirtue is all about the hot topics and issues that girls face today, such as sexuality, online safety, and what boys really think of them. It's easy to just say to your girls, 'Hey, the bible says don't have sex until you're married', but the words fornication and adultery really don't have that much meaning to kids today. Teenvirtue takes the wisdom of the Bible and puts it into today's language, complete with slang terms, such as hooking up, to which kids can relate. It includes discussions on current popular teen magazines, and parents really need to read these. When I see young girls from families I know, with magazines like Seventeen and CosmoGirl, I can only assume that the moms naively believe the magazines are the same as when they were young. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The TeenVirtue layout is typical magazine format, with glossy pictures and short, easy to read sections. Topics include homosexuality, drugs, sex, the Internet, guys, and dressing modestly. Virtue is the name of the book, and being a virtuous teen is the main focus of the magazine. Each topic is presented from the Christian point of view, taken from the Bible. A worldly viewpoint is given in contrast. Practical advice on how to apply the Christian ideal is given each time, as well; girls aren't just left hanging. My 15-year-old daughter enjoyed the magazine, and I liked it as well. I'm not totally sold on the idea that everything has to be jazzed up in order to get kids interested, but this magazine is pretty solid and doesn't whitewash over sensitive issues. I especially liked the portions that dealt with modern dress, and the effect that dressing like a hootchie mama (my own term for a scantily clad female) can have on the male of the species.

This is a good choice for parents who want to get something that backs up what they've been saying all along, in a more hip fashion. This magazine is presented from a wholly Christian point of view, so while the advice can be applied to any teen, non-Christians may want to pick a more secular book that covers these types of issues.

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