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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.
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
This should be required reading for every parent and especially the husbands. It was an eye opener for me. I come from a family of five sons. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Wei C. Wong
I didn't really like the book because it was kind of disturbing and wrong. Otherwise, it was kind of interesting to hear all of these stories, because they were interesting. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ponypal
This book really spoke to me in a detailed way not on the inside but out I learned not only advice for certain situations but also what types of relationships there are.Thank YouPublished 14 months ago by Ziah D.
Excellent book for mothers with tween daughters. Really a scary age. They are all very cutthroat. I am hard pressed to think of another book that can prepare you to deal with... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Deborah G.
In today's age of social media, cliques - this is a must read. I thought the way Rachel presented the ideas and theories around situations and what causes these behaviors was very... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Jill J Cordoni
This should be required reading for every girl/woman - the stories of these girls are both tragic and uplifting in their courage.Published 22 months ago by Célja
As a parent, I read this book in order to help my own daughters. The stories took me back to my own struggles in middle school. Read morePublished on September 21, 2013 by MomCeo
I actually bought this for my daughter who has looked at it but that is about it. I am hoping that it is because she really hasn't faced bullying as of yet. Read morePublished on June 27, 2013 by Amazon Customer
great book I'd recommend for any teenage girl. high school is a rough time for young people and they need any tools we can give them to help them deal.Published on February 20, 2012 by c.kay