Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers' Favorite
"Drugs Make You Un-Smarter" is written by a remarkable fifteen year old girl, Savanna Peterson, and her grandmother, Jill Ammon Vanderwood. To say I am impressed would be an understatement. MS Peterson has penned a unique book. Too often I find myself reviewing books where the author is bemoaning the fact that he or she used drugs, why he or she used it and all of the terrible things in their life. That is not what happens in "Drugs Make You Un-Smarter". Peterson does not and has not used drugs. However, she has witnessed the effects it has had on others. It her words, “Doing drugs can change all the good things about you.”
At the beginning of the book is a “Drug Free Pledge.” At the bottom of the page is a statement from 18 year old Kristen. “When I was sixteen I was offered drugs by my mom.” This statement grabbed my attention. It angered me. As a parent we are supposed to guide our children, love them and protect them, not lead them to drugs.
"Drugs Make You Un-Smarter" begins with Peterson’s story. She frankly discusses her own family: mother, brother and dad. Her father was a drug addict and had served time in prison. One part of her story is how her dad taught her to steal. Savanna Peterson wants more for her life, “I am going to graduate, go to college, and have a great-paying job . . . Doing drugs runs in the family, but it stops with me.” Most of the book is filled with essays and interviews with other teens. Each one has their own story to tell. They are organized by types of drugs: Alcohol, Marijuana, Crack, Cocaine, Crystal Meth, LSD, Heroin, Inhalants, Ecstasy and Prescription Drugs. Section 13 addresses 'Rehab'. Section 14 addresses 'Taking A Stand'. I am amazed by the pluck of Savanna Peterson. I know her grandmother is very proud of her. She is an award winning author but more importantly she is wise beyond her years. "Drugs Make You Un-Smarter" is one of the most important books written against drug abuse. I know it will have a positive influence on many teens and their families.