Following in the footsteps of The Truth, Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen begins as the thirteen-year-old protagonist makes a move with her family to a new town. She has grown up a lot over the past year—and has made a list of everything that’s important to her now that she doesn’t want to forget when she gets older. But now, as she enters her early teen years, she begins to write down the secrets she wants to keep—and the ones she has no one to tell about. From new school experiences to a new baby in the family to a new crush, this new teen finally feels empowered on making her own decisions with confidence and keeping those secrets she holds dearest for herself.
In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween and early teen girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, Secrets is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.
Date: December 2
I have a secret and it’s been eating me up inside, so I have to tell you. I lied to Angela. I told her I had a terrible sore throat and couldn’t come for the weekend. She said she was sorry and that she would invite me again.
I felt terrible, and then my throat really began to hurt. But I just couldn’t go to Springport for a whole weekend_even though I miss being around Angela.
Now that I have best friends here, I don’t feel the same way I used to about going back to visit. And I didn’t know how to tell Angela that. I could tell when we talked on the phone that she really wanted me to come. And she sent me a new selfie, holding a sign that reads I Miss You! She even told me that she doesn’t have a new best friend since I left. She really misses me. She also told me that Paul is in lots of her classes and he asks if she’s talked to me. How could I tell her I’m in love with Rob and don’t care about Paul anymore? How could I tell her that I have new best friends and want to stay here with them?
I did go to Sally’s instead, and we had the best time. Her mother ordered pizza for us and we drank Coke. We watched television and made popcorn and did each other’s hair with all of Sally’s older sister’s hair products we found in the bathroom. I look silly with curly hair. We kept laughing and falling on the floor and giggling, and we played this fun game that Jackie learned in camp last summer. We all lay down on the floor and we each put our head on someone else’s belly. Someone says, “Ha-ha,” and then the next person says, “Haha-ha,” until everyone is laughing. Then you can’t stop laughing because the belly you are on is bouncing all around under your head.
Sally’s mom got really angry at all the noise we were making, and we had to turn off the lights and pretend to go to sleep. I hardly slept a wink, though. I was so excited and having so much fun with my new friends. I was tired the next morning and really did have a sore throat when I went home, but I didn’t care. It was worth it to have so much fun.
What I would like to tell writers about the inner workings of myself! Barbara Becker Holstein
One of the major themes that has become a cornerstone of my writing career is that once we are adults we often loose some of the most fabulous traits and capacities that we had as children. For example, the ability to laugh easily and have fun. Do you remember as a kid how easy it was to enjoy yourself? I can remember all sorts of happy moments that are much harder to create now. Catching fireflies and running around on the grass with the bottle that had a couple of them inside at twilight, seemed to be an endless delight. And if I fell while I ran it was all the more fun. After all, no scabs when I fell on the grass. Laughing with my girlfriends in junior high was an endless treat. We sometimes only had to look at each other. Now that I know laughing is so good for mental health and is like an internal massage, I wish the chuckles came as easily. Also, as I child I was able to feel competent so easily. I may have been blessed with good parents, but after being in education and psychology for over 30 years, I can say it is innate in most children. Most of us as kids would strive to learn a game and play it well. We would strive to roller skate and endure many falls in the process. At lot of us were proud of all the household and academic tasks we could do successfully.
As a child I was also aware of many of the limitations of the adults around me. Teachers didn’t always listen to kids’ questions and remarks. They played favorites. Parents didn’t listen and were too busy to bother with important things to kids. Parents got angry too easily. Grown-ups had silly fights that spoiled the day. Grown-ups accepted terrible news on TV and radio and still went about their business without really trying to change things.
So as a writer I have chosen to try to highlight some of the things we loose as adults. Why? For two reasons: to help us better understand and listen to the kids in our lives, and to help us light a fire inside of ourselves so that we recapture the best of what we left behind. Just because we have grown up doesn’t mean we have to close down! We can have more fun. We can laugh more. We can do hobbies and have adventures that make us feel special and bring excitement and learning into our lives and the lives of our kids and grandkids.
We can do it. We just need to remember how! That’s one of the reasons why I suggest to you not to just have your kids read The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween or Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen. Read them with your kids and you will find the beginnings of your own pathway to the best of your younger self!
I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!
Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years. The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.
I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web.
Barbara will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.