Monday, December 13, 2010

The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything

The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything

Author: Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
ISBN: 978-0978952-0-3
Publisher: Enchanted Self Press
Source: Pump Up Your Book

“This is my secret diary, not the one that says “Girl Scout Diary.” I leave that around just to fool the grown-ups. This is the real truth. This is where I will write everything I don’t want to forget, starting tomorrow!”

The Truth is a diary of a young girl who shares her intimate thoughts and feelings with the reader. This girl is every girl at some phase in her life. The phase normally hits during the age range of nine to fourteen, but varies upon situation. Her thoughts are simple and pure yet true and enlightening. Reading this diary will make a young reader feel understood, knowing there is someone out there going through the same things, thinking the same thoughts and fearing the same fears. An older reader will be transported back to a day when they too felt the pressure of transformation from girlhood to teenager/woman. It is a book with a fresh perspective, a vivid reminder and is simply a wonderful read.

There are a few things I learned from this short diary. While I know them to a certain extent the book made them stand out. First was that all children need the essentials. The essentials are security, trust, kindness, love, acceptance, attention, knowledge and understanding. Not only do children need these things they crave them! You’re child might not say I need more attention or I don’t feel loved enough or I am insecure, but they will act out or try to draw attention to themselves, they will search for love and they will have self doubt and fear. This simple diary points this all out from a child’s point of view.

The second thing I learned was the common denominator between children. All children have insecurities, doubt, fear, opinions, wishes, hopes and dreams. Regardless of popularity status, age, family income and other factors all children have the above qualities because they are human. It is natural. They are looking for guidance and understanding.

Third, I noticed some common issues that bothered the girl who wrote this diary and thought to myself that it is not unlike my children, me or others to dislike or be negatively affected these issues/qualities. The things that negatively affected her were fighting, criticism, meanness or bullying to any degree, and being singled out negatively. As a parent, friend, co-worker, daughter and more this part of the diary made me think. People notice the world around them for better or worse, simple actions have an effect on others even when we think they don’t. I appreciated being reminded of this fact through this simple book.

The last thing I learned from this book was that all children have specific events that can make them uncertain. Life is full of change and changes such as moving, going through puberty, adding a sibling or the unknown can affect a child greatly. It made me realize that I had some of the same feelings the girl in the book has when I was younger and it reminded me to watch for these feelings and help move my daughters through times of change with a sensitive and open mind.

This was a wonderful book and is great for girls ages ten to fourteen. I was transported back in time to my much younger self with the same thoughts, interest, fears and dreams. The diary has the power to remind you of this time in your life or help girls in the target age group to not feel alone. I think every female can learn something or enjoy this book in their own way. It was easy to read and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend this book and plan to keep it for my daughters to read when they get older. The author does a wonderful job with the topic and the reality of life for a pre-teen who is stuck in limbo between a young girl and a teenager. The book has a wonderful set of discussion questions for individuals, book groups or mothers and daughters to ponder.


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