Authors: Martin Oliver and Alexandra Johnson
Publisher: Zest Books
ISBN: 978-1-936976-34-8

But be warned: The smoother you handle life’s little moments of chaos, and the more adept you become at managing all of life’s little obstacles, the more likely people are to turn to you for help,” the introduction states in Martin Oliver and Alexandra Johnson’s book, The How-To Handbook: Shortcuts and Solutions for the Problems of Everyday Life.

This one hundred and twenty-eight page small paperback targets ages twelve years old and older looking for a quick resource book of how to do things. Geared toward the teenager learning about life, its black and white pages with sophomoric designs are easy to decipher.

After the table of contents and introduction, the book is divided into six sections, with the authors’ biographies and other Zest books listed in the end. From eight to sixteen topics per section, each is covered in one to three pages with numbered instructions. Small warning and tip icons cover the pages, alerting the reader to important information.

With over fifty examples, the sections include Everyday Essentials, Looking (and Smelling) Good, Get to Know Your Kitchen, Clean Up Like a Pro, Do It Yourself, and Emergency Skills 101.

From simple advice regarding how to prepare for a test, brush your teeth better, chop an onion, rake leaves, test a smoke alarm, or take a pulse, more complicated tasks involve wrapping a gift, preventing shoe odor, cooking superlative pasta, unsticking chewing gum, tying a bowline, clove hitch, or reef knot, and extracting a splinter.

Here are some interesting tidbits gleaned from this resourceful book:
Soak a hand in ice water if a ring is stuck, working with lotion, slip the ring off.
If a pimple has a white or black head, do not attempt popping it but use anti-acne cream.
Place all knives with blades pointing down in the dishwasher.
Use nail polish remover to remove a glue stain.
Use a toothpick when sewing on a shirt button to keep it straight.
Ice cubes help alleviate swelling of a bee sting.

Although some may disagree with the depiction of pants being folded, the tent example using only bendable poles, and changing a bicycle not automobile tire, it is a good read for a newbie to the adult world.

This would make an ideal gift to tuck in a care package for a middle-schooler going to summer camp, a teen going away to college, or a young adult moving into his or her first apartment.

Thanks to Zest Books and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

Follow Here To Purchase The How-To Handbook: Shortcuts and Solutions for the Problems of Everyday Life