Monday 3 April 2017

The High School Survival Guide

The High School Survival Guide by Jessica Holsman (Mango Media) PB RRP $24.99   ISBN 9781633533967

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Subtitled Your Roadman to Studying, Socializing and Succeeding, this is a nonfiction book for readers aged 12 to 16 years written by Jessica Holsman. Teens who check out social media are likely aware of YouTube’s Study with Jess and Nickelodeon’s Awesomeness TV both of which attract millions of viewers, will doubtless have seen Holsman’s channel (

Holsman, who has a degree in Psychology and whose mother was a high school teacher for 25 years, is based in Melbourne. Her debut book is crammed with practical information for high school students, starting with three money-saving tips and how to get a head start. Holsman examines a wide range of school-related matters with a comprehensive table of contents that includes advice on igniting one’s school spirit, creating an ideal study environment, goal setting, structuring study sessions, being organised and tackling major assignments. She also includes advice such as how to deal with disappointment, stress, exams, even how to think positive. To this end, she includes a page of positive palm cards.

Towards the end of the book there are sections on how to meet exams head-on, including a pop quiz and dealing with exam anxiety. Holsman provides information on choosing the right university, even suggesting that the final year student consider a gap year.

Though the font in the book is smallish for this elderly reviewer, the book is well-designed and easy to access. For example, there are regular pages with Top 5 Tips. In tips for staying organised, there is a list of five ways in which to do so, such as ‘keep a planner or school diary to write down your homework and important dates and events throughout the year.’

This is an inspiring and comprehensive handbook, just right for a parent to give to his or her offspring. It is certainly recommended for the student who wants to get ahead in their studies. 

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