Author Debra Beck is a mentor to teenage girls through several national programs and is also the parent of two teenage girls. Through these experiences and the experiences of her own teenage years, she addresses the issue of self-esteem in young women.
Much of the material here reminds readers of things they have heard or read before. There is material on eating disorders, nutrition, drugs, and teen suicide. However, there is also new material here about stress, integrity, developing positive relationships and being your own best friend.
Following each of the nine chapters is an opportunity to journal the readerís response to what they have read. The reader is encouraged to think about what has been read and then to respond in a private but significant way through journaling.
Whether your teenager is struggling with weight issues or not being popular or just getting through the teen years, this is an excellent gift book. The introduction to journaling can also be a lifetime gift as the reader adopts this method of self-feedback and remembrance.
With the abundance of Internet websites, as well as television and movies, pushing young girls to be paper-thin and self-centered, this entry into the written world is a welcome one. The only missing ingredient is a listing of helpful websites or further reading recommendations for those who need additional information. Because young people spend so much of their time with a computer, suggestions for sites about types of nutrition or exercise, as well as knowledgeable sites on suicide, drugs and teen pregnancy would be helpful.
This is a welcome addition to the middle school and high school library collection as well as making a great gift. Although the author addresses spiritual fitness, there is no reference to religion in this section. It simply addresses mental health. Those buyers seeking religious guidance in the materials would need to look beyond this title.