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Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write about Bullies, Cliques, Popularity, and Jealousy Paperback – Bargain Price, January 19, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 199 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1st edition (January 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156028158
  • ASIN: B0013L8BQ0
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sequel to the controversial bestseller Odd Girl Out compiles pseudonymous accounts of bullying, backstabbing and other nastiness that girls say they have suffered or perpetrated on other girls, intercut with brief commentary from political scientist Simmons. Simmons argues that for "thousands of years, women have been barred from showing aggression," although feeling jealous, competitive or threatened are "natural, appropriate" responses to the world we live in. Furthermore, because "girls are taught that expressing anger directly is wrong, many girls (and women) have no choice but to resort to secret acts of meanness." Although there is nothing "secret" about most of the nastiness the girls in this book describe-they're very verbal in their abuse, very obvious and deliberate in their shunning of other girls-there are more fundamental problems with Simmons's model. Since she finds aggression universal, there's no need to look for the happy girls. She does not include accounts from kind young women, even though their insights into living a good life might be instructive. Still, this anthology's target audience is the girl in trouble, and Simmons has some decent advice: e.g., don't take offense right away, don't assume you have an exclusive relationship with anyone, don't try to IM (instant message) your way through a fight, don't accept a bad relationship, get involved in positive activities, be kind when ditching an old best friend, etc. It's not much different from what teen advice manuals have always offered, but some readers may find Simmons's presumption-of-wickedness approach more disarming than the conventional, presumption-of-goodness literature.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Sara Shandler's Ophelia Speaks(1999) responded to Mary Pipher's watershed title Reviving Ophelia (1994) with teens' own comments about the difficulties of growing up in a "girl poisoning" society. Now Simmons releases a collection of teens' words that builds on her own groundbreaking work, Odd Girl Out (2002), about the secret culture of aggression among adolescent girls. In this collection, Simmons draws from her workshops with teens, offering anecdotes, poems, and letters written by teens as well as her own insightful commentary. The chapters are loosely organized and examine bullying from a variety of angles: the voices of the bully, the victim, and the not-so-innocent bystander all speak here. Simmons also explores the more subtle hurts that come from shifting friendships and simmering jealousies. A section about "finding your inner strength" closes the book on a hopeful note. Parents, teachers, and social workers will find this revealing, but the book's most obvious audience is the young adults who will find support, direction, and even a community in their peers' words. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

I also suggest that parents read this book as well.
J. Aragon
There's an odd girl inside all of us and the stories told in this book tell the tales.
Mrs. Nadine Drucker Antopol
Sometimes I would stop and read a story, and realize that happened to me as well.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Matthews on April 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
When someone say's to you, "Oh! They're just jealous. Give them time. They will come around, 'Do you question your sanity?'"
And, isn't this another way of telling you that you are flawed, that you should feel ashamed of yourself, and that you need to give up being who you are - or else?"
"Odd Girl Speaks Out," is a wonderful book, written with 11-22 year-old girls in mind. But, every woman can get something out of this, because by age 8, and for the rest of our lives, we are socialized with these 3 unspoken rules:
1. Don't Compete;
2. Don't Outdo; and,
3. Make the guys more valuable to you, than girls could possibly be.
We are also socialized to not directly confront conflict, especially with other girls.
And we learn, at an early age, to base our worthiness upon hanging onto our best girlfriends, at the price of our own worthiness.
I'm so glad to have read this book, because each letter, written by the 11-22 year-old contributors, reminds us that Girl Power is not about seeking legislative rights, although I wouldn't want to reverse what our foremothers have given us.
Girl Power also is not about blaming men for what we haven't succinctly communicated to them.
Girl Power is about facing the reality of the darker side of being girls. It is where we stop seeking targets in other women/girls, to make them look worse than we feel about ourselves. Allgirls are socialized to believe that power for girls is limited, and that if the other girl has it, she has taken away all the possibility for her to have power.
What troubled me, though, about this book were 2 things:
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Seaman on February 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's obvious that the ODD GIRL books have helped dry the tears, and restore the equilibrium, of millions among the undeserviedly abused. Thanks to Rachel Simmons, we pick ourselves up from the floor and soldier on.
But there is more. ODD GIRL SPEAKS OUT has the power to unleash a spring of creativity in those who " make art." whether it be writing, music, painting, or theatre.
True story: Several children in a fourth grade class volunteered to write an opera. But they were stumped. One girl happened on a copy of ODD GIRL SPEAKS OUT. She couldn't put it down . She instantly got the idea that "betrayal" could be their operatic theme. All of the kids" got it,' and the more they looked in the book the more great ideas they had for the plot, the characters, the music, the stage sets. : BUBBLING BETRAYAL was the name. It was a big hit, and many in the audiences said that it was like a grown- up opera in its depth and emotion, yet it dealt with the real life experience of kids.
So for those among you who want to write truthfully and from your heart, -first read this book!. ODD GIRL SPEAKS OUT could "light your pilot" as it already has for one fourth grade class.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Odd Girl Speaks Out" is a book of short stories by teen and preteen girls about their experiences with relationships between other girls. Opening the beginning of each section is commentary by the editor relating to what the section will be about.

What's Good-

1) Certain authors make powerful statements of self realization at the end of their stories. Ex-In "Who My Friends Really Were", the author states, "No longer do I judge or label...And most importantly I want everyone to know that no matter how bad things seem, they do get better...I got better." In "I Was the One Word that Everyone Fears: Alone", the author says, "Through my experiences I became a stronger person. I learned so much about myself and about others."

2) Some authors prefer to express themselves in poetry. Their poetry tells a story just like those who write in article format but is more direct. Those who like to read stories in article format but also enjoy poetry might find this refreshing (like I did).

3) The editor offers commentary about each of the sections of the book and some of it is helpful. Ex-In a snippet about talking to a friend about a problem, she offers three tips definitely worth using: Listen, Stay with the issue, and if need be, Apologize. In a snippet about losing trust in relationships with girls, she says not to give up on girls forever.

4) Certain stories can be inspiration for performing. Ex-"Just to Make You Happy" is written in monologue form and with a few changes is perfect for a drama performance.

What's Not So Good-

1) The story entitled "Friend Trouble". It feels like the whole story is the author complaining about her two friends for various reasons without offering any substance.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dee Hodson on July 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is inevitable that our daughters will experience some sort of emotional bullying. Prepare yourself and the ones you love by reading this book and understanding the dynamic.
This book helped me to see how my natural reactions
"Well Ill just speak to her parents" WRONG
"Honey Just talk with her and it will work out" WRONG
"She is such a rotten kid! How can she do that?" WRONG

It hasn't changed since we were young- its only better enabled by technology. In any case- information is the best weapon. Read this with your daughter before it happens- you may be able to avoid heartache.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Rachel Simmons is the author of the New York Times bestseller Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence. As an educator and coach, Rachel works internationally to develop strategies to address bullying and empower girls.

After graduating from Vassar College, Rachel won a Rhodes Scholarship from New York in 1998. She attended Oxford University, where she began her study of female aggression.

The founder of the Girls Leadership Institute, Rachel currently serves as a consultant to schools and organizations around the world. She has worked as a classroom teacher at Miss Hall's School in Massachusetts and the Roedean School in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Rachel is the host of the upcoming PBS television special, "A Girl's Life," and writes an advice blog for girls at TeenVogue.com.

Rachel has appeared on Oprah, Today, and other major national programs. Odd Girl Out was adapted into a highly acclaimed Lifetime television movie. Rachel lives in Brooklyn with her West Highland Terrier, Rosie, who is currently taking private workshops with Rachel to learn how to stop bullying other dogs.