The Drama Years
Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School -- Bullies, Brands, Body Image, and More
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
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TODAY’S MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS HAVE IT ROUGH.
In a few short years, they go through an incredible number of biological and emotional changes, making this the most formative—and riskiest—time in their lives. Groups turn on each other, a trusted childhood friend can reveal secrets by sending a text message or updating a Facebook status, and deciding where to sit in the cafeteria can be a daily struggle. As any tween will tell you, life for a middle school girl can be summed up in one word: drama.
Haley Kilpatrick’s own turbulent middle school experience inspired Girl Talk, a nonprofit organization in which high school mentors offer a “just been there” perspective to tween girls, helping them build self-esteem and develop leadership skills. Here, Haley delivers the definitive guidebook, packed with anecdotes from real girls around the country, who offer their insight into:
Why her friends’ approval is suddenly vitally important
Why she feels pressured to be perfect
Why she’s no longer telling her parents everything
What three vital things adults can offer to the girls in their lives to downplay the drama
Filled with practical strategies from tweens and teen mentors to help adults understand what girls today are facing, The Drama Years is a must-read for anyone struggling to help girls navigate the often difficult transition into adolescence.
Haley Kilpatrick started Girl Talk, a program to help middle school girls deal with the pressures and anxieties of being a young teen. Haley graduated from Kennesaw State University with her B.S. in communication. She travels the country speaking and motivating youth, teachers, and administrators on the importance of mentoring.
Whitney Joiner is a former features editor at Seventeen and has contributed to a number of newspapers and magazines, including Teen Vogue, Glamour, Redbook, The New York Times, TIME, and more.
“The Drama Years is a great overall primer for anyone with a young teen girl in her life. And the girls will love reading it too! I will highly recommend it to the parents, teachers, and girls I work with.”
—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes
“The Drama Years is a wonderful, compassionate, and extremely helpful book. It is a must for any parent with a middle-school-age daughter. Haley Kilpatrick tells it exactly – word for word – as it is. She understands what they are going through, and she gives truly helpful and specific advice. The book is upbeat while at the same time it deals with all of the toughest issues that young teenage girls must face. All parents of young teen girls will love it.”
—Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D., author of Get Out of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall?
“Even the closest of parent-child relationships can benefit from this book. The more we listen, the more we help to raise a generation of self-empowered, confident women.”
—Lucy Danziger, SELF Magazine editor-in-chief and author of The Drop 10 Diet and The Nine Rooms of Happiness
“The Drama Years is filled with heart-stirring stories, just-been-there advice from recent teens, and practical, actionable tips for parents. It's full of real girls talking about everything from stress and body image to love and materialism. Reading this book, I cringed in recognition of my own drama years, just wishing this book had been around back then and so grateful I'll have it as a guide for my own daughter.”
—Melissa Walker, cofounder of I Heart Daily and author of Small Town Sinners
“A must-read for any parent struggling to understand her tween daughter and all the ‘drama’ in her life. Haley Kilpatrick tells it from a girl's perspective with real solutions for grownups.”
—Chandra Turner, executive editor, Parents magazine
"Pre-teen years are so tough for girls, and adults often aren't sure how best to help. Thankfully, we have the middle school and high school girls who share their hearts and minds in these pages to guide us, telling parents exactly what will help them survive The Drama Years."
—Julie Foudy, former captain US Women's Soccer Team and Founder of Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy