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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is a practising Positive Psychologist. In her book The Truth: Diary of a Gutsy Tween, she sets out to help young girls growing up to understand why they feel the way they do, reassure them that they are not alone, and that it is normal. She suggests coping mechanisms for a wide selection of problems and traumas, such as bodily changes, suffering bullying, parents edging towards divorce, suicide, and the death of a loved relative. It is presented as an illustrated “diary,” designed to appeal to YA readers and also serve as a vehicle for parents to open up lines of communication with their developing youngsters. It closes with a list of questions for YA readers to think about and an invitation to contact Dr Holstein.
The presentation of The Truth: Diary of a Gutsy Tween by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is superb. The lilac cover is simple, but the fastener implies secrets hidden within; the entries are “handwritten” on lined paper with frequent sketches expressing the girl’s mood or interest that day. Through what she confides to “Dear Diary,” the reader learns a lot about her, from her favourite colour, pink, to how her tummy feels when her parents argue. “She” lives, and everything she experiences rings a bell as Dr Holstein takes adult readers back to their own childhood. She demonstrates in a fun, readable way that communication is the key. Mothers, buy this book for your daughters, whom I promise will treasure it, but to get the best out of it, read it yourself too. Dr Holstein lets “the girl” take over and her diary is as helpful as it is fascinating, “and that’s the truth.”