A collection of devotional readings for teenagers, Wake Up and Smell the Pizza by Todd and Jedd Hafer, is not what you might expect. If you have read Snickers in the Front Pew or Mischief in the Back Pew by this set of preacher’s kids, you know how funny and nutty the authors are. Yet, even though the book is filled with humor, it successfully presents wisdom and guidance in a way that should appeal to teens. It speaks in a teen lingo about the love, grace, and mercy of God. The authors have attempted to give real answers, sugar-coated with laughs, but nonetheless real answers to the trials and realities of today’s teen culture.
The book has forty “recipes” for a “super supreme life.” Each presents an “ingredient,” something that will enrich the reader’s life; the “meat” or lesson; a “slice of advice,” Bible verses; “easy on the cheese,” a segment that exposes pop culture myths; and a “deliver on this,” which is an action step the teenager can take. The lessons touch on subjects ranging from fighting depression, dealing with death and divorce, to finding joy, making good friends, getting rest, and avoiding temptations. The last sections of the book offer lists of good books to read, music that glorifies Christ, and Bible verses listed by topic.
The authors of the book are both people who care about teenagers and want to speak to the issues that kids face today. Jedd is a stand-up comedian and the director if Children’s Ark, a home for troubled teens in Colorado. Todd is the author of more than twenty published books and is editorial director of Hallmark Inc., books and music division. He also is the father of two teenagers.
Although many of the subjects are tough to broach--sex, violence, internet pornography, teen suicide, etc.--the authors did an effective job of covering the points and offering useful and timely advice. The book could be used by church youth groups and home studies, and would make be a good book for any teenager or for people who work with youth. – Elece Hollis, Christian Book Previews.com
Are you this close to getting intimate with your main squeeze just because “everybody else is doing it”? Do you think you’re not attractive enough to fit with the crowd? It’s time to wake up and smell the pizza! Get some perspective and then evaluate those monster life issues. No one is perfect; God made sure of that. But you know what? No matter how you look or what you do, God loves you. Tempted to try drugs? God loves you. Struggling with thoughts of suicide? God loves you. You don’t need to jump through hoops to conform to something you think is acceptable—you’re already acceptable to Someone.
The Hafer brothers discuss topics your parents might cringe at, but hear them out. They’re two hilarious guys who know what you face every day—and they actually want you to face it. Don’t let mold cover your brain while you let your peers make all the decisions. Take some time to swallow this advice. The spiritual nutrition in this book will help you through your tough teen years and beyond.