She had me at the title, I confess. How Not to Be a Dick is a book that begs multiple purchases. How many people in your life need this lesson? Really, it could be a blank book you fill in yourself and still seem value added. This book was pulled from my hands and passed around the local middle school within moments of receipt. (How Not to Be A Dick is almost certainly sold at Urban Outfitters. Let me Google that… and… called it!)
So, setting aside the clever title is there any value here? I’d argue yes. Covering situations as basic as overindulgence in (ahem) soda pop and as complex as toxic relationships, Doherty offers useful information with a light hand. The clean layout has an early 1960’s feel deliberately borrowed from school primers. Mixing text with illustration, Doherty’s characters trade off situations in an effort to avoid the gendering the advice. Forget all the Fun & Puberty books pushed on tween and teen readers. Far more important than yet another graphic about tampon insertion is a book that addresses social anxiety, setting boundaries and calling out racist humor. How Not to Be A Dick is the book that fits multiple gift giving needs. Hipster teen? Dick at work? You’re good to go. And remember these words:
The first rule of not being a dick to others is: Don’t be a dick to yourself. – Meghan Doherty
Final Assessment: Clever etiquette guide with a sense of humor. A
Source: Copy provided for review.