Friday, September 29, 2017

The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans by Josh Shipp aims to show us how to decode their behavior, develop unshakable trust, and raise a respectable adult. And overrall it delivers.

Josh Shipp was a troubled teen himself. I heard him speak in Orlando a few years back at the Christian Alliance For Orphans conference. His presentation was powerful, funny and loaded with compelling information. 

Josh spent most of his young life in and out of foster homes and was so used to being rejected, he made it his goal to get booted out of each foster home as quickly as possible—and by any means possible. He was good at it. Until one day, one person changed everything. Rodney, an ordinary guy was catalyst to changing this troubled teen’s life so simply and yet so drastically that Shipp became an an expert, an authority and an advocate for teens.

Drawing from his own experience, education and humor as well as a myriad of resources, Shipp’s book TheGrown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans covers many relevant topics including: stages of growth, identity, relationships, communication, education, drugs, sex, depression, eating disorders, sexting, cutting, hormones, pornography, bullying…

He seems to hit on just about everything pertinent to today’s teen culture, and provides guidelines—including potential scenarios and coversations—on how to navigate it and best reach the teens in our lives.

Josh Shipp’s book almost covers it all. Almost. But there is something lacking—at least from my perspective as a child advocate working with troubled kids (Orphans First),  and as an author of a biblical parenting book. The most important ingredient for teens and adults investing in teens seems to be missing from this book: the God factor.

If Josh Shipp’s goal is to provide practical guidelines across the spectrum for those of us who love the teens in our lives, the book is a fabulous tool—a fabulous handbook of wisdom. But if Shipp wants to help us the caregivers, and help them the teens, to have a higher chance of true success – eternal success – then  bringing God into the picture would seem a no-brainer—especially coming from a Christian perspective.

Still, The Grown-Up’sGuide to Teenage Humans clearly pinpoints how to get teens and supplies excellent pointers and pity key comments on how to help them thrive.

The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans (Harper Wave) can help any parent, foster parent or caring adult navigate mentoring the teens in their lives.  Check it out here

This article also appears in Assist News

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © September 2017

Friday, September 01, 2017

The House of Blood & Tears

Vista, CA—Most of us have heard of Corrie Ten Boom are awed by how she and her family risked (and lost) their lives to help Jews. But few have heard of Anje van Tongeren. I had not heard of her until I read The House of Blood and Tears, a compelling, scary and true story of Anje van Tongeren and her mother who helped save hundreds of Jews in Holland during Hitler’s takeover during the second World World.

Anje van Tongeren’s mother, Hillie, was an extraordinary woman with great kindness and compassion. In spite of a difficult family situation, she never lacked a positive word to say and was always available to help those in need. It is not surprising, then, that she did not hesitate to join the underground resistence against the Nazis in the 1940s Netherlands. And since 12-year-old Anje was all too eager to help, Hillie’s strong convictions led her to bring her daughter into the fight too.

Lenore Eidse, newswoman turned novelist and author of The House of Blood and Tears (Westbow), uses her clear writing style to recount the story of the Netherlands under siege in the 1940s. She craftfully introduces the reader to several points of view, Hillie’s and Anje’s being at the forefront. But Anje is our antagonist and our greatest sympathies lie with her (which makes sense since Eidse wrote her specific story after spending many hours with her).

Says Eidse, “The dreaded word ‘Occupation’ began to rule the Dutch people’s existence. Secrets, lies, the concealment of Jews, were all considered acts of treason and could condemn their fates. The consequence of their involvement was costly in Hitler’s Holocaust; but the cost of losing their homeland to the Nazis was higher.”

Given the turbulence in the world today, the brewing hatred and threatening wars—as well as the push to “erase” history—The House of Blood and Tears is relevant. I highly recommend it. The book is well-written and a page-turner—and it also provides a much needed visit back into to History to remind us of what could still happen today and that God must be our ultimate focus to get us through.

For more information about The House of Blood and Tears,  visit: and also

This article also appears in Assist News

Janey DeMeo M.A.

Copyright © September 2017