If you and/or your teen enjoy Daily Show-style humor, this is the civics book for you. It's terrifically funny while grappling with some very serious issues, both historical and present-day.
Warning: If you are religiously observant, you will probably be ticked off by something in chapter 5, "God Bless This Mess: Peaceful Religions and Why They Fight." I'm not
religiously observant, and I was a little irritated by some lack of rigor in this chapter. Jesus did not "hang out with a hooker." Mary Magdalene was one woman of many Jesus hung out with, and nowhere in the Bible is she called a prostitute -- that's an idea that became a tradition later. Also, Jesus is not the guy who "didn't think you had to be a fellow Jew to have a unique relationship with God." That was Paul.
So, yeah, okay, this book isn't perfect. But it's very readable, and gave my son and I some good jumping-off points for discussions and "homework" assignments. And my annoyance from chapter 5 melted away in the brilliant chapter 6, "Hot Buttons: The Issues Americans Like to Yell About Most." Which, come to think of it, will probably push some buttons for you. But at least you've been warned.