AT THE OTHER END of the age spectrum, there are even self-help books for budding adolescents. One unexpected title in this line is Stand Up, Shake Hands, Say "How Do You Do" (McKay, $8.95) by Marjabelle Young Stewart and Ann Buchwald. If you were wondering why the manners of American children seem to be derived from baboon colonies, it is not Stewart and Buchwald's fault. In a book which may already be as culturally dated at Lord Chesterfield's letters, the authors explain to young men the rudiments of such social graces as introductions ("You always say the woman's name before the man's, because a man is always presented to a woman"), letter-writing ("Dear Grandmother, Thank you for the book ends"), making your bed with hospital corners ("as long as you're going to do it, you might as well do it right") and proper dining ("Peas are eaten with a fork, not a spoon").
Perhaps the longest title in the entire self-help line-up goes to another young people's book, "Will I Like It?" - Your First Sexual Experience: What to Expect, What to Avoid, and How Both of You Can Get the Most Out of It, by Peter Mayle (Corwin Books, $9.95). Mayle is the author of Where Did I Come From, a successful sex education volume, and has now turned his attention to the perils of young love. Mayle is no romantic: he tells his young audience that the first time will probably be dreadful, conducted in the back seat of a Volkswagen, with the the result that "He embarrassed. She's upset. They're both bewildered. Is that what all the fuss is about? They get dressed." The author sets out to remedy that, in a book which manages to be simultaneously graphic, tasteful and touching - if there are any kids out there who don't know this stuff already.