SOURCE: Cognosco Learning Publishers

Cognosco Learning Publishers

November 15, 2010 17:54 ET

Cognosoco Learning Has Just Released the First Self-Empowerment Book for Teens, Written by a Teen

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - November 15, 2010) - In 2009 Americans spent more than $11 billion on self-improvement products; the average American clearly believes he has room to grow. Brain Snacks for Teens on the Go! 50 Smart Ideas to Turbo-Charge Your Life by Alex Southmayd, 12th grade student at Groton School, Groton, Massachusetts, has just entered the fight vying for a piece of this large pie. At the tender age of seventeen, the author finds himself fighting behemoth brands such as Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by Sean Covey, (who actually gives Brain Snacks for Teens on the Go!, two thumbs up), as it turns out, he fares quite well.

Compared with titles like Women are Crazy, and Men Are Stupid, Mr. Southmayd's book is understated avoiding both aggressive Maureen-Dowd-like sassiness and spiritual-healer earnestness. The author is not selling any revelations or divinely inspired epiphanies. He collects useful wisdom and helpful tips -- the aforementioned Brain Snacks -- and unassumingly shares them with the world. The book's humble premise sets it apart from the solipsism of The Secret and other life-changing books; as the author himself acknowledges, he is "turbo-charging," not remodeling, the reader's life.

The book's hook is simple: "Written for teens, by a teen," and the author stays true to his promise. He understands the wide variety of "teen issues" and jumps around covering all of them, from time management to acne, and from improving SAT scores( the author nearly has perfect SAT scores himself) to how drugs and alcohol damage the teenage brain. Luckily, the author never falls into self-seriousness thereby losing his connection with his audience.

Each pithy Brain Snack brings together a variety of sources, from "my Headmaster at Groton School, Mr. Commons" to the American Medical Association, to illustrate a greater point. The author's eclecticism ultimately sets Brain Snacks apart as an authentic book. By handling all these different sources from completely different contexts, Southmayd weaves a fabric that clearly shows the mind of an adolescent at work. The book is devoid of ideology because it puts together so many different stimuli -- research studies, interviews, books -- with the author compiling them rather than structuring them around a thesis. The reader could almost imagine a day in the life of Alex Southmayd by reading the book: class with "[his] English teacher Mr. Fry," squash practice with his coach Mr. Taylor, training for crew, peer tutoring, early bedtime.
The book is simple, direct, and well-documented. Mr. Southmayd offers a rich picture of all of his stimuli and influences creating a very readable product. Since the book's message cannot be summed up by a catchphrase, it is a worthy read from "Brain Snack #1: How to Feel Great" to "Brain Snack #50: Make-a-Difference Day."

"Brain Snacks for Teens on the Go!" will certainly make a great holiday gift for any teenager, and can be found at and 

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