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*The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything* by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein- young readers book review
The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything
by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Ages 9-12 112 pages The Enchanted Self Press January 2008 Paperback    

A very slim, diary-like book, The Truth (I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything) is the sort of book that appeals to girls and grown women alike. It is sweet and somewhat sadly nostalgic. Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein lays out this story in the form of a young girl’s diary, with all the high emotions, fears and joys of that time of life. It brings us back to remembering small happinesses, allowing them to make us glow - instead of steeping the all-importance of bills, chores and work. This is a very different kind of self-help book.

Each page is dated and begins with the expected “Dear Diary….” Each page offers an insight or a note of something to remember for when she is an adult. The Girl, whose life we get to peek in on, begins with an entry on September 20th, after a foreword scratched into the first page of the book: “….This is the real truth. This is where I will write everything I don’t want to forget, starting tomorrow!”

She writes her fears about growing up, the physical and emotional realities she faces. She writes of her confusion and pain as her parents fight. She writes about her first crush, of being in love for the first time with a boy named Paul, whose name is doodled in her diary in a little heart. It is an almost daily commentary in a painfully familiar and immature voice about the things that we, as adults, have forgotten really do matter.

Right from the beginning are big truths that can bottom out an adult heart. The sincerity and simple reality of the statements cannot be ignored.
“I hate my mother sometimes. I finally asked her how I will know when I need a bra? She just walked back into the kitchen saying, 'You’re too young. You should be out playing or doing chores.' I shouldn’t have bothered.”
It seems that too often the important questions of life are brushed off for any number of reasons. Reading the frustrations of this one girl, we can be reminded that regardless of the answers, the questioners deserve attention and respect.

Simpler truths are laid out as well: “The truth is people shouldn’t make fun of you. It really hurts.” and “If you feel pretty, then you look pretty.” These are little things in life that can have a profound effect on how we live on a daily basis, and big things we can teach to encourage our girls as they grow from child to woman.

The sheer veracity and real importance of the youthful feelings in The Truth cannot be denied. It should be woven into every girl’s world, whether she is just beginning in life or being reminded when she is much older. From personal experience, it is also a wonderful book for mothers and daughters to share.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Carolynn Evans/2008 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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