Not Much Just Chillin' by Linda Perlstein
The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



A report from the front lines of the most formative-and least understood-years of children's lives

Suddenly they go from striving for A's to barely passing, or obsessing for hours over "boyfriends" they've barely spoken to. Former chatterboxes answer in monosyllables; free-thinkers mimic their peers' clothes, not to mention their opinions. Bodies and psyches morph under the most radical changes since infancy. On the surface, they're "just chillin'." Underneath, they're a stew of anxiety and ardor, conformity and rebellion. They are kids in the middle school years, the age every adult remembers well enough to dread. No one understands them, not parents, not teachers, least of all themselves-no one, that is, until Linda Perlstein spent a year immersed in the lives of suburban Maryland middle-schoolers and emerged with this pathbreaking account.

The book traverses the school year, following five representative kids-and including the stories of many more-as they study, party, IM each other, and simply explain what they think and feel. As Perlstein writes about what she saw and heard, she explains what's really going on under the don't-touch-me facade of these critically formative years, in which kids grapple with schoolwork, puberty, romance, identity, and new kinds of relationships with their parents and peers. Not Much Just Chillin' offers a trail map to the baffling no-man's-land between child and teen, the time when children don't want to grow up, and so badly do.


About Linda Perlstein

See more books from this Author
Linda Perlstein spent six years covering education for The Washington Post and is the author of the acclaimed Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers. She speaks nationwide to educators and parents. She grew up in Milwaukee and now lives with her husband in Baltimore and western Virginia.
Published September 4, 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 256 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Young Adult, Parenting & Relationships, Education & Reference, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Not Much Just Chillin'

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

and YM, but Perlstein delves deeper into how boys and girls view life by tracking five students at Wilde Lake Middle School in Columbia, Md., a "rough" suburban school in an affluent area.

| Read Full Review of Not Much Just Chillin': The H...

Reader Rating for Not Much Just Chillin'

An aggregated and normalized score based on 32 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review