top of page

Voices from an American High School

From  the FOREWORD to the book

"Nancy Rubin is a legend in her own time. Her Social Living class at Berkeley High school is famous among local teenagers for being a place where no question is too embarrassing to be asked, and where every individual is respected and heard. Nancy taught several young people in my own extended family who really appreciated her candor, her humor, her acceptance of them, and her willingness to extend a hand and offer advice.

Ask Me If I Care is a book that works on all levels. It is good sociology, good “best practice” for teachers and parents, and a fascinating look at the private stories that put today’s policy issues in perspective in the most eloquent way possible."

- Loni Hancock

Secretary’s Representative,

United States Department of Education, Region IX

Mayor of Berkeley, 1986 - 1994


Nominated for 1996 American Library Association list of Best Books for Young Adults

Selected for the 1996 Books for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library

Back cover of the book - click to read and enlarge

Now it's time to hear their side of the story...

What do teenagers think about? Why not ask them - Nancy Rubin did:

- sex, my parents, my appearance, my future, the weekend.

- my girlfriend, my religion Islam, Kung Fu, school work.

- my heritage, that's what gives me power.

- my abortion tomorrow.

For over seventeen years, Nancy Rubin has been teaching Social Living classes at a large public high school. She bases her class, and this book, on her students' own writing journals that cover an incredible array of issues. Ask Me If I Care combines these journals, teacher insights, and the latest statistics with Letters from former students, guest speakers, and parents for a compelling portrait of contemporary American youth.

Including honest, frank discussion of sexuality, STDs, homosexuality, substance abuse, AIDS, racial identity, self-image, suicide, violence, television (and much more), Ask Me If I Care is by teenagers, about teenagers, for teenagers, and for everybody - students, parents, teachers, counselors, family, friends.


Whether they're writing to their parents ("Mom, I wish I could forgive you..."), addressing parts of their bodies ("To My Dearest Tits..."), or listening to a soliloquy on pregnancy by Chuck "The Diaphragm Man," the voices in Ask Me If I Care offer an unashamed, uncensored look at a much-discussed but not well-understood generation.

bottom of page