Synopses & Reviews
"I know I can't erase the searing loneliness of being an odd girl out. Yet I hope this book will give girls a sense of community, an opportunity to share strategies and solace, and most of all, the knowledge that even the worst kind of heartbreak improves with time."-Rachel Simmons
Odd Girl Out, a breakout bestseller by Rachel Simmons, has become "required reading for young girls and their mothers."* In the wake of its success and as part of her ongoing work with girl aggression, Rachel invited her readers to describe their own experiences of being bullied or bullying. The letters, essays, and poems in this book are culled from the resulting submissions from girls across the country. In addition to their stories, Rachel offers advice throughout the book, giving girls both voice to their feelings and strategies for the future.
"I would go to the bathroom and cry in the stall for twenty minutes or so. It was like I was in a never-ending nightmare. I was buried in a cold black hole where no one cared or understood."-Age 14
"We did other little ‘harmless stuff, like make up rumors and whine to teachers … to make it seem like she was horrible. She still doesnt know why I was so mean to her."-Age 13 "I want to help people who are experiencing what I am, and most importantly I want everyone to know that no matter how bad things seem, they do get better … I got better."-Age 17
RACHEL SIMMONS, best-selling author of Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl, is an educator, coach, and cofounder of the Girls Leadership Institute. She has appeared on Today, Oprah, and other major shows, hosted a PBS special, and writes frequently for Teen Vogue.
Praise for Odd Girl Out
"[Simmons] peels away the smiley surfaces of adolescent female society to expose one of girlhood's dark secrets: the vicious psychological warfare waged every day in the halls of our middle schools and high schools."-San Francisco Chronicle
"This is the book we have been waiting for. . . . Simmons has given voice to the girls who struggle everyday with friendships. She has uncovered a hidden world of aggression that unfolds behind adults' backs."-Susan Wellman, president of The Ophelia Project
"Thought-provoking . . . Probes the emotional underpinnings of girls' aggression."-Newsweek
"A heartening book, and tonic for these politically polarized times."
"She's motivated by the victim's pain, but also aware of the pain of the perpetrators and believes they can change."
"Revealing.... Young adults will find support, direction, and even a community in their peers' words."<br>
The national bestseller Odd Girl Out exposed a hidden culture of cruelty that had always been quietly endured by American girls. As Rachel Simmons toured the country, these girls found their voices and spoke to her about their pain. They wanted to talk-and they weren't the only ones. Mothers, teachers, counselors, young professional women, even fathers, came to Rachel with heart-wrenching personal stories that could no longer be kept secret.
Here, Rachel creates a safe place for girls to talk, rant, sound off, and find each other. The result is a collection of wonderful accounts of the inner lives of adolescent girls. Candid and disarming, creative and expressive, and always exceptionally self-aware, these poems, songs, confessions, and essays form a journal of American girlhood. They show us how deeply cruelty flows and how strongly these girls want to change.
Odd Girl Out helped girls find their voices; Odd Girl Speaks Out helps them tell their stories.
I'm always the odd girl out
No one talks to me
I try to be friendly and speak out
But I'm invisible, see?
You know, gossip is a natural thing in high school. I'm one of those girls that will
do it right in front of you. I'll whisper at my friends and look at you the whole time.
Then we'll all cut up laughing. You know we're talking about you.
My best friend and I started being friends with this other girl. But she was fat. It was hard because she always wanted to go down the slide second and she would crush us. We didn't want to tell her she was fat, so we decided to drop her. Her mother called my mother and
told her we were being mean. But we just couldn't be friends with her anymore.
-from Odd Girl Speaks Out
About the Author
RACHEL SIMMONS, author of the bestselling Odd Girl Speaks Out and The Curse of the Good Girl, is an educator, coach, and cofounder of the Girls Leadership Institute. She has appeared on Today, Oprah, and other major shows, hosted a PBS special, and writes frequently for Teen Vogue.
Table of Contents
A NOTE FROM RACHEL SIMMONS o vii
THE SOUND OF A GIRL'S VOICE
"WHY IS IT MY FAULT THAT
I DON'T WANT TO BE HER FRIEND?":
Moving On, Growing Apart
"A NEVER-ENDING NIGHTMARE":
When Friends Turn On You
"IT'S THE WAY GIRLS SURVIVE":
Aggression, Fear, and Revenge
"I WANTED TO FIT IN SO BADLY":
Life as the Odd Girl Out
FINDING YOUR INNER STRENGTH