This book, ostensibly a collection of letters between Tony Campolo and his adult son, Bart, has a lot going for it. At times it's funny, at times sad, but it's always honest in its portrayal of the challenges of growing up and parenting in the latter half of the Twentieth Century (I expect things are not so different here at the beginning of the Twenty-First).
It also has a lot of good information on raising a Christian family. If anything, it may have too much because this is where the book stumbles slightly: Either the letters were written with an eye to evangelize/enlighten its public readership or things were tweaked during the editing process. For example, the Campolos are constantly explaining the plan for salvation to each other (I'm not anti-evangelism, but it seems odd that these two strong Believers would need to make sure the other was clear on the process of becoming a Christian). At another point Tony Campolo relates an anecdote to his son wherein an employee of his is conned by an unscrupulous motorist (Chapter 8). In the process Campolo writes, "Ralph, one of the inner-city missionaries who works with our organization, the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education (EAPE), in Philadelphia...". Is Bart really unaware of his father's organization and its location? Granted, Dr. Campolo has many irons in the fire, but here and elsewhere in the book parts of the letters seem written for an unknown reader rather than for father or son.
In the grand scheme of things, these are but minor nits (and what's up with the red underlined passages?). The book is filled with a lot of great 20/20-hindsight observations and suggestions for raising children. It has value for older teens to read, too, especially in the second half of the book where college and careers are discussed.
I don't know if this book will appeal to everyone as much as it did to me. As the father of a 4-year-old son, the book really expanded my perspective on Fatherhood. Regardless of where you are in your life, Chapter 10 ("Figuring Out What Really Matters") really boils down how to create a great relationship between Parent and Child. If you buy this book and feel that it isn't for you (it gets a bit Sociological here and there), please jump to the last chapter before giving up. It may inspire you to go back and read what you skipped, but if not it will at least present you with great information on how to strengthen your family.
While this isn't a perfect book, I highly recommend it for anyone seeking to build a strong relationship with their children. Dr. Campolo and his son were very courageous in allowing us this peek into the foundations of their family life; reading this book was a privilege and a blessing.