Sunday, April 27, 2008

One Hundred Young Americans by Michael Franzini

One Hundred Young Americans is a compilation reflecting todays youth in America. With ages ranging from 13 to 20, a diverse group of individuals is presented to readers. Every state and nearly every clique is represented by this group as readers will see each individual's story through pictures and writing from author Michael Franzini. The stories from these young people show the width that the American cultural spectrum has stretched. Readers will meet avid skateboarders, high profile athletes, farmers, and even a vampire. Though the youth depicted in the book may present the extremes in our society, they share many things in common. Their generation has been immersed in an era of mass communication. What makes them different is what each person has done with that power.

My initial reaction when I finished this book was: We have come a long way in our cultural development. I really liked how the author gathered an extremely unique group of young people and still managed to tie them all together. Though they may seem to have little in common, readers will be able to see how they all have been affected in a generation of mass communication. My one reservation I have with the book is its validity. Some of the stories from these youth often made me hesitate and think, Is this really how he/she is? It is very difficult to have a complete understanding of each person from the short text regarding each individual, but Franzini's photography definitely enhances the stories. I really hope the book presents these youth as they see themselves and as they wish to be seen. Despite this concern, readers will be able to connect with certain individuals from the reader's own experiences at a certain part in his/her life. This makes each reader's experience different and special in its own right. That said, I recommend this book for readers who will relate to these young people, not to draw conclusions and personal judgments.

Sexual and Drug references

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Eden Prairie, Minnesota United States

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