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Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: November 2004
ISBN: 0-06-054424-4
Format Reviewed:
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Genre: Teen - Young Adult / Self-Help / Advice
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Carisa Weeaks
Reviewer Notes:  Audio book review

The O'Reilly Factor for Kids
A Survival Guide for America's Families
By Bill O'Reilly and Charles Flowers

       All teenagers have to grow up in circumstances that are confusing, aggravating, and sometimes even painful, but one factor remains the same -- those experiences are part of Life's wicked way of giving those teens the chance to find out just how strong they are. Using his experiences as a teenager growing up, O'Reilly gives teens (as WELL as their parents) objective advice and constructive criticism about the world they're growing up in.

      There are emails as well as instant messages (there is an index of IM terms in the back of the book for those of us who are "IM impaired") from teens, who were brave enough to email O'Reilly with their thoughts, questions, and comments about being a teenager in today's world. O'Reilly uses these emails as well as his own life experiences to give teens a way to understand the chaotic world they're being propelled through.

      There are stories about his experiences as a teenager that are incredible and very candid, which back up his advice and "straight-talking" commentary. There is one story in particular that really reached out to me about when he was bullied at school. In the story, he explains that he attended a private school, but unlike his rich classmates, his parents didn't make enough money to buy him expensive uniforms and new equipment. His jackets were worn, and he had a clip-on tie (mainly due to the fact that he couldn't have cared less about ties and didn't want to learn how to tie them). These factors caused the some of the more "well-off" guys in the school to bully him. They'd rip his tie off and mess with him. Finally he decked a kid who was ganging up on him with another kid, only to get in trouble for it and be given detention, even though he explained what had happened. His dad, who usually allowed his son to deal with things himself, told his son not to worry about it and that he'd take care of it. The next day, O'Reilly's detention was cancelled and the kids never picked on him again. This is a good foundation for the argument about parents being allowed to intervene when it comes to their child's safety in school.

      It's safe to say that everyone who owns a TV and has cable has a love/hate relationship with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, host of the "O'Reilly Factor". The reason for this being because O'Reilly isn't afraid to speak his mind, and this book is no exception. He has an incredible way of making things simple and easy to understand without making anyone feel ignorant or dumb. He's got amazing advice and explanations for everything a teenager in today's world has, is, or will encounter. From drugs, alcohol, sex, love, and friendship to divorce, abuse, self-esteem, and honesty, O'Reilly covers each at length and gives teens who were brave enough to email him a chance to be heard. I recommend this book to those who are looking for advice about their parents, children, siblings, or friends or are naive about the trouble teens face in the steadily growing, unstable world we live in today.