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Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About Their Search for Self Paperback – May 5, 1999
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Shandler is as determined as she is a sharp reporter in chronicling the lives of these young women. To research the book, she sent out a mass mailing of 7,000 letters to high school and junior high school principals, counselors, and teachers explaining her book project and urging them to encourage teenage girls to contribute.
The topics covered run the gamut, but they include parental expectations, racial relations, and faith, among others. Sadly, eating disorders are an all-too-popular topic. The good news is that Shandler's contributors offer up some real insight for their peers. In one essay titled "Food Is Not My Enemy," Elizabeth Fales "calls us to a new feminism. In the old feminism, our mothers fought for the right to choose abortion. In our generation, we must fight for the right to eat."
The book also gives practical insight for parents who may find it hard to relate to their teenage daughters. In a nutshell, it appears that adolescent girls want unconditional love from parents who can be confidants without being overly critical. --Peg Melnick
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I got this book for my 14th birthday and left it in the bag for a few days, but then on a boring summer day when I had nothing else to do I picked up the book and started reading. I couldn't put it down! I fell in love with this book. It was such a relief to know there are girls out there going through the same things I am, things that other people might not even know about. Things only teenage girls will understand.
After reading the book and gave it to my friends to read. My best friend called me after reading it, in tears, because the book was so real to her. There are parts in there that are hard to read, especialy if you haven't expierenced it, but you should read it anyway, to try to understand fellow girls.
Ophelia Speaks is such a wonderful book, a great gift for any teenage girl. When I see the 1 star reviews of the book, I feel hurt because you're saying that they thoughts and feelings of these girls aren't real, but they're very real to me and all my friends. And probably to every teenage girl across the country. So even if you're a parent, try to understand and buy this book for the teenage girl you love. They will thank you.
What Ms. Shandler created was a collection of essays, submitted by middle school, high school and college age girls all over the country, from all areas, races, and social strata. The essays range over such subjects as physical appearance, eating disorders, parents, rape and molestation, sexuality, friends, feminism, school, and religion.
Though the voices Ms. Shandler presents here are candid and outspoken, Ophelia Speaks, nonetheless, manages to present a more hopeful outlook on the lives and futures of young females in America today. The problems are real, but the hearts and minds are strong, not fragile or weak. The hardships are mostly spoken of matter-of-factly, from the pens of the girls who have all ready adapted to difficult circumstances. Rather than promoting change in society, Sara Shandler sends her book out as a letter to all adolescent girls, simply to let them know they are not alone. The only thing that this book asks for in return is that the reader listen without judgement, to the young females in America who simply want to be heard and understood.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent companion book to Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia. Belongs on the book shelf of Mothers, Daughters and Fathers who want to validate and extend the crucial lessons of... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kangi Witko
I loved this book and the idea but took away a star because I think the editor didn't need to sprinkle her own essays which didn't have the same substance as the ones she received. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Gigi Blanchard
I liked this book. It had a wealth of information that I will use in my therapy practice. Thanks so much!Published 23 months ago by Nichol J. West
This book is excellent, however the condition of it was a pure joke compared to the claim of the seller. The cover literally looks like someone spread feces on it. Read morePublished on April 4, 2014 by Elijah Bishop
I really had hoped that this book would be just as good, if not better, than Reviving Ophelia. I did not feel that this book was very well put together. Read morePublished on March 27, 2014 by Dez Griffin
I bought this book to research a novel I am writing. I'm closing in on sixty, and I liked the stories. Some are very toughing, very sad. Read morePublished on January 6, 2014 by capt367272
A now-classic book, Mary Pipher's _Reviving Ophelia_ strived to convey the struggles of adolescent girls who were coming of age in "a girl-poisoning culture. Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by Deb