The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween
by Barbara Becker Holstein
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Crystal: Today I have Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein visiting. Welcome! I am so happy to have you here. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Sure, I'm a positive psychologist, determined to help girls, tweens, teens and women feel better about themselves. I believe it is very important to recognize our strengths and talents and to feel confident. I teach girls and women how to be strong and sure in many ways, and one of my favorite ways to uplift and teach is through fiction. That is what I have done with The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Yes, actually one of my favorite scenes from The Truth is early on in the book when the girl suddenly is shocked to discover she has a crush. This is what she writes:
"I am in love. I thought I would fall in love when I was much older, maybe 15 or 16. Not today.
I was sitting in class, reading a social studies chapter, trying to answer an awful question at the end of the chapter, “Which state has the most coal mines,” when the door opened and a new kid walked in.
There he was! I knew as soon as I saw him. He was wearing a cute plaid shirt and he had brown hair and brown eyes.
My heart felt like it turned over in my body. My pulse started to race. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt excited, like I suddenly had a big secret. “Our eyes locked.” I read that in a book that my mom had by her bed. It was true. When I looked into his brown eyes, I felt we had known each other forever. Looking at him made me feel all fluttery inside.
I wanted him to sit near me so badly I could have died. But he sat in the row in front of me, a little to the right. Not too bad. Now I can look at him all day. My best friend, Angela, sits beside him, to his right. I hope she doesn’t fall in love with him too. He’s mine! His name is Paul.
How will I ever be able to think about school work again with all these funny feelings in my belly and my heart beating so fast I can’t breathe?
I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow. Now I know how girls fall in love. It happened to me today and I’m still a kid. And that’s the truth."
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween?
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: The idea came from deep soul searching within myself and listening to the inner voices of many clients of all ages. I became more and more certain of the positive energy and wisdom that lurks in childhood than we tend to forget.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Currently I am working on getting ready to write the second installment in my romance/suspense novel: Around Every Corner, Romance & Mystery.... The second volume requires me to do a lot of research about fascinating and mysterious people that live in Israel. I love doing the research around a plot! I hope to go to Israel at least once as I do the research.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Usually I find myself writing late at night. I try to do at least a few pages at a time.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: The research that I did for this book, The Truth, was psychological. Understanding the human mind as we go from being about 10 to 14 required years of study and training on my part. However, the result is an easy, at times funny and poignant read for the reader!
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: I like to read Alexander McCall Smith. I also enjoy Dan Brown for a thrill ride.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Fantasy for sure. I am contemplating that one of the books about the girl in The Truth will incorporate some sort of fantastic experience on her part. Perhaps it will be a dream in the end, like in The Wizard of Oz. Stay tuned!
"I hate Angela and I wish she would move away tomorrow!" "I get so worried when I hear my parents fighting at night." "My mother thinks my crush is silly. I know I am in love!" "I have so many questions about growing up. Who will answer them?" "I feel so awful when Jake makes fun of me." "When I grow up I going to remember how to have fun with my kids and never look away." Growing up is tough. Adults don't always understand you (even though they were once kids), and children today face increasing pressure to be, look, or act a certain way. Written in the voice of a girl on the cusp of becoming a teenager, The Truth provides young girls with an opportunity to see how a girl, who is in many ways like themselves, handles her toughest problems and most personal thoughts. Each new page brings forth a discussion to help girls handle everyday problems: How do you survive a bully? How do you handle a crush on a boy? What can you do about relentless teasing by your peers? What really matters as you grow older?
In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, The Truth 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.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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. In particular, www.enchantedself.com, www.thetruthforgirls.com, on Facebook at Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Psychologist & Author, on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/barbarabeckerho/ and on You Tube. Just look for me on You Tube via Barbara Becker Holstein.
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