Book Review: The Happiest Kid on Campus


What parents need to know….

Rising high school seniors, college students and parents looking for poolside reading may want to take a look at a new work developed by Harlan Cohen, author of the acclaimed 2005 book, “The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College.” The years have breezed by, but Cohen has been busy researching, speaking and writing, releasing his latest book, “The Happiest Kid on Campus: Everything a Parent Needs to Know to Help You and Your Child Have an Amazing College Experience,” in May 2010.

The same wit and style Cohen employed in his first book is evident in his current book, making “The Happiest Kid” a highly entertaining as well as thoroughly informative read. I received a copy of the book from Cohen’s publicist last week and have been thumbing through it over the past few days.

Yes, the book is aimed at parents but if you’re the “kid” you’ll want to find out exactly what your parents are reading. That way, you’ll understand changes in their behavior as they try to “help” you succeed on campus!

Cohen’s book is chock full of statistics, tips, quotes, anecdotal stories from parents and students in addition to advice from leading experts. I won’t go into all the details (yes, go buy the book!) but some of the topics include the following:

  • Keep tabs on your child, but don’t over do it. If you haven’t cut the apron strings yet, you need to do so NOW.
  • When dropping your child off at college, there are certain behavioral tendencies exhibited by parents that will mortify your kids. Resist those urges!
  • Plan your visits wisely and don’t make frequent visits. You’ll be visiting your child on their turf so don’t expect their living arrangement to parallel what goes on at home.
  • Safety is a big issue at college and there are some things you need to know about campus security.
  • You can still influence your child on how to make good choices and offer guidance on how to avoid bad ones.

Don’t be put off by the size of this book either. 600 pages seems like a lot to consumer, but the book is (large) pocket size and the pages are easy to zip through. Personally, I frequently found myself flipping to the Index where I found subjects of interest including homesickness, parent expectations, diet and other stuff.

Cohen has all the bases covered, but if you want to sample more of work before picking up your copy, then visit his “The Happiest Kid on Campus” website for his blog, a forum and related stuff. Also, check out the related Facebook page for related news.


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Categories: Book Reviews