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My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey through the Thicket of Adolescence

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My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey through the Thicket of Adolescence Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"As the mother of a newly minted teenage daughter, I approached Lauren Kessler's new book, My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence, with a mix of eagerness and trepidation. It should be noted that this was my exact mindset nearly 14 years ago when opening that ubiquitously pastel bible, What to Expect When You're Expecting. (The answer to that question — two months of colic and the dizzying if temporary decline of my mental health — went mercifully unrevealed until Mia was 4 weeks old.)" Christine Selk, The Oregonian (Read the entire Oregonian review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A veteran journalist navigates the mother-daughter relationship at its most crucial moment.

With the eye of a reporter, the curiosity of an anthropologist, and the open (and sometimes wounded) heart of a mother, award-winning author Lauren Kessler embeds herself in her about-to-be-teenage daughter's life. In seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms, at home, online, at the mall, and at summer camp, Kessler observes, investigates, chronicles- and participates in-the life of a twenty-first-century teen.

As she begins to better understand and appreciate her mercurial daughter, their relationship-at first a mirror of the author's difficult relationship with her own mother-lurches in new directions. With the help of a resident teen expert (her daughter), as well as teachers, doctors, therapists, and other mothers, Kessler illuminates the age-old struggle from both sides, gracefully interweaving personal experience with journalistic inquiry.

Funny, poignant, and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf explores the fascinating and scary world of today's teen as it comes to grips with the single most important relationship in a woman's life.

Review:

"Kessler, the author of five narrative nonfiction books, explores the mother/daughter relationship at a particularly vulnerable point — the cusp of her daughter's entry into adolescence. At 12, Lizzie is often at odds with her author mom, who describes her 'chilly' relationship with her own mother. Not wanting to repeat a distant and dissatisfying relationship with her offspring, Kessler decides to dive into her daughter's world. She embeds herself in middle school, following Lizzie from class to class, probing her peer relationships, online pastimes and cyberfriends, athletic and summer camp life. She also immerses herself in current literature on the mother/daughter relationship and interviews a number of experts, including a female shaman/teen educator and a mental health counselor who plays on a roller derby team. While Lizzie goes along with her mother's role as a 'cultural anthropologist,' she is often prone to hostility and 'random acts of meanness.' But as Kessler digs deeper and begins to recognize her daughter's need for power over her own life and choices, this mother/daughter relationship ripens with compassion and mutual understanding. The author (also the mother of two boys) downplays the conflicts between mothers and teen males, convinced that the steps to the mother/daughter tango are far more complicated. Mothers of girls in particular will be alternately amused, horrified, and entertained as they view the turmoil and triumphs of adolescence from Kessler's insightful perspective." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"...a hilarious and insightful read that's sure to resonate with any mom." Ladies' Home Journal

Review:

"Readers who live with Lizzies of their own will enjoy this glimpse into the adolescent brain, which is 'not yet open for the business of wise and measured living.'" More

Synopsis:

Funny, poignant, and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf explores the fascinating and scary world of today's teen as it comes to grips with the single most important relationship in a woman's life — the relationship between a mother and her daughter.

Synopsis:

A veteran journalist navigates the mother-daughter relationship at its most crucial moment

With the eye of a reporter, the curiosity of an anthropologist, and the open (and sometimes wounded) heart of a mother, award-winning author Lauren Kessler embeds herself in her about-to-be-teenage daughter's life. In seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms, at home, online, at the mall, and at summer camp, Kessler observes, investigates, chronicles- and participates in-the life of a twenty-first-century teen. As she begins to better understand and appreciate her mercurial daughter, their relationship-at first a mirror of the author's difficult relationship with her own mother-lurches in new directions. With the help of a resident teen expert (her daughter), as well as teachers, doctors, therapists, and other mothers, Kessler illuminates the age-old struggle from both sides, gracefully interweaving personal experience with journalistic inquiry. Funny, poignant, and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf explores the fascinating and scary world of today's teen as it comes to grips with the single most important relationship in a woman's life.

Synopsis:

A veteran journalist navigates the mother-daughter relationship at its most crucial moment

With the eye of a reporter, the curiosity of an anthropologist, and the open (and sometimes wounded) heart of a mother, award-winning author Lauren Kessler embeds herself in her about-to-be-teenage daughter's life. In seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms, at home, online, at the mall, and at summer camp, Kessler observes, investigates, chronicles- and participates in-the life of a twenty-first-century teen. As she begins to better understand and appreciate her mercurial daughter, their relationship-at first a mirror of the author's difficult relationship with her own mother-lurches in new directions. With the help of a resident teen expert (her daughter), as well as teachers, doctors, therapists, and other mothers, Kessler illuminates the age-old struggle from both sides, gracefully interweaving personal experience with journalistic inquiry. Funny, poignant, and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf explores the fascinating and scary world of today's teen as it comes to grips with the single most important relationship in a woman's life.

About the Author

Lauren Kessler is the author of five works of narrative nonfiction, including the Washington Post bestseller Clever Girl and the Los Angeles Times bestseller The Happy Bottom Riding Club. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, O magazine, and The Nation. She directs the graduate program in literary nonfiction at the University of Oregon and lives in Eugene, Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, October 5, 2010 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Worried that she was losing touch with her teen daughter, author Lauren Kessler did what few moms would be willing to do: immerse herself in middle school classrooms, locker rooms and cafeterias, taking notes all the while to turn into a nonfiction book. The result, My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, A Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence, is a revealing work that will both concern and give hope to moms everywhere.

My Teenage Werewolf’s universal appeal comes not only from Kessler’s personal experience, but also from research and information offered up by experts regarding the world teen girls currently inhabit.

Kessler also reveals her own flaws and insecurities, and she doesn’t elevate herself as the perfect mother who is trying to understand an imperfect daughter. Instead, through Kessler’s experience with her daughter and from the details she reveals of her strained relationship with her own mother, we see a sincere struggle to understand the complicated mother-daughter dynamic.

Kessler’s honesty, her wit, her insights, and her straightforward writing style combine to create a fascinating study of parenting today’s female adolescent. I highly recommend it for any mother who has raised a teenage daughter, is raising one now, or knows that one is part of her future.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
David Brass, September 30, 2010 (view all comments by David Brass)
I'm thinking it's Lizzie that deserves the medal of valor.........
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
jessmacblaine, August 5, 2010 (view all comments by jessmacblaine)
When I first picked up this book, I thought to myself: wow, what a bold way to ruin your relationship with your kid. But then I read it. Not only did I totally fall in love with Lizzie and Lauren, who are both smart, human, flawed, loving, brave people, but I learned some very basic (and surprisingly difficult) things about being a better person, a better family member: Be brave, be honest, respect each other, look your flaws and questions in the face. That's big stuff, and not limited to mother-daughter relationships. AND, never once did it feel cloying or preachy. This book is wise and funny and impressive, both in its skillful execution and its emotional depth. Brava!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 8 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670021697
Subtitle:
A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence
Author:
Kessler, Lauren
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
Parenting - Motherhood
Subject:
Life Stages - Teenagers
Subject:
Life Stages - Adolescence
Subject:
Teenagers
Subject:
Child Care and Parenting-Parenting Teens
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20110830
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.20x6.18x.95 in. .96 lbs.
Age Level:
18-17

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Mothering
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Parenting Teens

My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey through the Thicket of Adolescence Used Hardcover
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$9.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Viking Books - English 9780670021697 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Kessler, the author of five narrative nonfiction books, explores the mother/daughter relationship at a particularly vulnerable point — the cusp of her daughter's entry into adolescence. At 12, Lizzie is often at odds with her author mom, who describes her 'chilly' relationship with her own mother. Not wanting to repeat a distant and dissatisfying relationship with her offspring, Kessler decides to dive into her daughter's world. She embeds herself in middle school, following Lizzie from class to class, probing her peer relationships, online pastimes and cyberfriends, athletic and summer camp life. She also immerses herself in current literature on the mother/daughter relationship and interviews a number of experts, including a female shaman/teen educator and a mental health counselor who plays on a roller derby team. While Lizzie goes along with her mother's role as a 'cultural anthropologist,' she is often prone to hostility and 'random acts of meanness.' But as Kessler digs deeper and begins to recognize her daughter's need for power over her own life and choices, this mother/daughter relationship ripens with compassion and mutual understanding. The author (also the mother of two boys) downplays the conflicts between mothers and teen males, convinced that the steps to the mother/daughter tango are far more complicated. Mothers of girls in particular will be alternately amused, horrified, and entertained as they view the turmoil and triumphs of adolescence from Kessler's insightful perspective." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "As the mother of a newly minted teenage daughter, I approached Lauren Kessler's new book, My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence, with a mix of eagerness and trepidation. It should be noted that this was my exact mindset nearly 14 years ago when opening that ubiquitously pastel bible, What to Expect When You're Expecting. (The answer to that question — two months of colic and the dizzying if temporary decline of my mental health — went mercifully unrevealed until Mia was 4 weeks old.)" (Read the entire Oregonian review)
"Review" by , "...a hilarious and insightful read that's sure to resonate with any mom."
"Review" by , "Readers who live with Lizzies of their own will enjoy this glimpse into the adolescent brain, which is 'not yet open for the business of wise and measured living.'"
"Synopsis" by , Funny, poignant, and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf explores the fascinating and scary world of today's teen as it comes to grips with the single most important relationship in a woman's life — the relationship between a mother and her daughter.
"Synopsis" by ,
A veteran journalist navigates the mother-daughter relationship at its most crucial moment

With the eye of a reporter, the curiosity of an anthropologist, and the open (and sometimes wounded) heart of a mother, award-winning author Lauren Kessler embeds herself in her about-to-be-teenage daughter's life. In seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms, at home, online, at the mall, and at summer camp, Kessler observes, investigates, chronicles- and participates in-the life of a twenty-first-century teen. As she begins to better understand and appreciate her mercurial daughter, their relationship-at first a mirror of the author's difficult relationship with her own mother-lurches in new directions. With the help of a resident teen expert (her daughter), as well as teachers, doctors, therapists, and other mothers, Kessler illuminates the age-old struggle from both sides, gracefully interweaving personal experience with journalistic inquiry. Funny, poignant, and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf explores the fascinating and scary world of today's teen as it comes to grips with the single most important relationship in a woman's life.

"Synopsis" by ,
A veteran journalist navigates the mother-daughter relationship at its most crucial moment

With the eye of a reporter, the curiosity of an anthropologist, and the open (and sometimes wounded) heart of a mother, award-winning author Lauren Kessler embeds herself in her about-to-be-teenage daughter's life. In seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms, at home, online, at the mall, and at summer camp, Kessler observes, investigates, chronicles- and participates in-the life of a twenty-first-century teen. As she begins to better understand and appreciate her mercurial daughter, their relationship-at first a mirror of the author's difficult relationship with her own mother-lurches in new directions. With the help of a resident teen expert (her daughter), as well as teachers, doctors, therapists, and other mothers, Kessler illuminates the age-old struggle from both sides, gracefully interweaving personal experience with journalistic inquiry. Funny, poignant, and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf explores the fascinating and scary world of today's teen as it comes to grips with the single most important relationship in a woman's life.

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