Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Teenage Werewolf: I loved this book! And a giveaway!

I'm reading: My Teenage Werewolf: I loved this book! And a giveaway!Tweet this!

My interest piqued by the real-life story of a mom who followed her adolescent daughter around for the better part of a year, I accepted a review copy of Lauren's Kessler's My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence.

Even though I have boys, much of what Kessler wrote about her middle schooler daughter applies to my son of the same age. The book's premise is shocking at first- Kessler shadows her daughter (with permission, but still...) at school, online, in the wrestling ring and on the athletic field. It sounds horrifying! Like she's one of those overparenting, helicopter "smothers" who lack boundaries and is completely controlling. Only Kessler pulls it off for the most part.

The book starts out with information on adolescent development with a focus on brain growth (or lack thereof) and how it affect teen behavior. As you might recall, the emotional life of a teenage girl is quite a roller coaster ride. And I can see how it's even trickier to negotiate a second adolescence via a daughter than a son (though, believe me, it's still no picnic).

I found the early chapters informative and reassuring. Kind of like when a friend's toddler has blowout tantrum in front of you and you are relieved to know that it happens to other moms, too. Honestly, I wanted to hug Kessler at times, which is maybe why I trusted that her intentions were good, that she truly set out to be more Margaret Mead than Mommy Dearest.

True, at times she crossed the line between observer and participant, but I was on her side, so I forgave her. Plus, I know how hard it is to walk that line.

My Teenage Werewolf is at turns an interesting companion, an insightful friend and a fun read.

Edited to add: I received word that I've been cleared to give away three copies of this book. The first one goes to SoCal Mom who commented even before I offered up a book (and has a teen daughter).

The other two are up for grabs. To enter to win a copy of this hardcover book, leave a comment and make sure I can reach you via email. Enter by 2:00 PM CST on Friday, Sept. 10 and I will randomly choose winners and notify them by the same time on September 13.

Congrats to book winnders Daisy and Michelle!


Donna said...

I had heard good things about this book. Now you've convinced me I *have* to read it. Thank you!

Lauren said...

Thanks so much for the comments. You can hug me any time! Mothers of teen girls need hugs badly.

Urban Tykes said...

I feel like this is so relevant for me right now! My daughter started Junior High Monday! I need advice! Yikes! I am not ready for this! I think I need to read this book. Thanks for posting the review.

Assistant Thief said...

Loved, Loved, Loved this book! Funny, insightful, honest. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and you'll feel as if you are right there commiserating in the coffee shop w/ Lauren...just what I needed when I needed it!


Daisy said...

It sounds great! I have a post-teen daughter (23) and I still think I'll love it.

Demi said...

Great title. My daughter starts middle school next year. I am already worried!

Michelle said...

Interesting. This is the stage of life I fear more than anything else - and while I don't yet have a teenager or a preteen, it often feels as though I do with Little Miss. Eek!

Kim Moldofsky said...
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