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Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World Paperback – October 13, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Wise, humorous, life-affirming advice for parents that is utterly respectful of girls. I recommend parents mark it up, turn the corners of pages, and heed Wiseman’s creative and practical strategies for guiding girls along the sometimes treacherous pathways of growing up today. Queen Bees and Wannabes is Mapquest for parents of girls, from fifth grade all the way to young adulthood.”—Patricia Hersch, author of A Tribe Apart: A Journey into the Heart of American Adolescence

“Who’s in? Who’s out? Who’s cool? Who’s not? Why is one girl elevated to royal status and another shunned? Queen Bees and Wannabes answers these unfathomable questions and so many more. Wiseman gives parents the insight, compassion, and skill needed to guide girls through the rocky terrain of the adolescent social world. This is such an honest and helpful book; we recommend it highly.” —Nina Shandler, author of Ophelia’s Mom and Sara Shandler, author of the bestselling Ophelia Speaks

“Laced with humor, insight, and practical suggestions, Queen Bees and Wannabes is the one volume that’s been missing from the growing shelf of girl-centered publications. Wiseman explains the inner workings of teen culture and teaches parents, educators, and peers how to respond.”—Whitney Ransome and Meg Miln Moulton, executive directors, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools

“Wiseman cuts through wishful parental thinking with a wonderful mixture of humor, facts, girls’ voices, and a healthy dollop of reality. No, the harm cliques cause is not a natural fact of life. Wiseman gives us both hope and strategies to help our girls (and boys) build a more healthy, nurturing world for themselves.”—Joe Kelly, author, Dads and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand and Support Your Daughter When She's Growing Up So Fast, executive director, Dads and Daughters

“Rosalind Wiseman invites us into the “Girl World” with insight, honesty, and humor. Based on the most thorough, helpful research I know of, this book should be required reading for parents, teachers, and health professionals.” —Edes P. Gilbert, acting president, Independent Educational Services

About the Author

ROSALIND WISEMAN is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership.

Wiseman is the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence (Crown, 2002). Twice a New York Times Bestseller, Queen Bees & Wannabes was the basis for the 2004 movie Mean Girls. In fall 2009, an updated edition of Queen Bees & Wannabes will be republished with a chapter on younger girls, insights on how technology has impacted kids’ social landscapes, and new commentary from girls and boys. Her follow‐up book Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads was released in 2006, and she is a monthly columnist for Family Circle magazine.

Additional publications include the Owning Up Curriculum, a comprehensive social justice program for grades 6‐12, and a forthcoming young adult novel, Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials, in stores in January 2010.

Since founding the Empower Program, a national violence‐prevention program, in 1992, Wiseman has gone on to work with tens of thousands of students, educators, parents, counselors, coaches, and administrators to create communities based on the belief that each person has a responsibility to treat themselves and others with dignity. Audiences have included the American School Counselors Association, Capital One, National Education Association, Girl Scouts, Neutrogena, Young Presidents Association, Independent School Associations and the International Chiefs of Police, as well as countless schools throughout the U.S. and abroad.

National media regularly depends on Wiseman as the expert on ethical leadership, media literacy, bullying prevention, and school violence. She is a frequent guest on the Today Show and been profiled in The New York Times, People, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, USA Today, Oprah, Nightline, CNN, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio affiliates throughout the country.

Wiseman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Occidental College. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and two sons.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 2 Original edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307454444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307454447
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Groovy Vegan VINE VOICE on January 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
Two paragraphs of disclosure will make my review more meaningful. I was a happy, well-adjusted 5th and 6th grader. New to my elementary school in the 5th grade, I quickly and easily found a best friend + nice group of friends. Then the following year in junior high, two "queen bees" came along and decided they wanted the same group of friends, best friend and all--without me in it. They invited the other girls to a sleepover party right in front of me, and suddenly I was friendless. Devastated, I came home that day sobbing, to parents who had no idea what to do except to send me to a psychiatrist, which did no good at all.

My "lunch tray moments" consisted of going from table to table, trying to sit down, and kids telling me I wasn't welcome to sit with them, and then eating by myself in the detention room, the only place that would have me. My "gym class moments" consisted of being the girl left over when the last team captain chose the second-to-last girl, and then the other team captain declaring she never picked me and that I was not on her team. I adapted first making friends with the neighborhood dogs who all accepted me with love and dignity, and then by getting involved with out-of-school activities and making lots of friends outside of school. By 10th grade, I had friends at school again.

It is with this background that I read "Queen Bees and Wanna Bees"--the book I wish had been around in the 1970s when I suffered the trauma of being a target. I am appalled that these dynamics continue to this day, and that targets have it WORSE than I did. When I got home, the bullying stopped, and I was free to do my homework, not to be bullied until bright and early the next day. Now the bullying of targets is CONSTANT, via Facebook, email, text message, etc.
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Format: Paperback
The roles within the clique were interesting, and somewhat accurate, but the book assumes that every girl fits neatly into one of them, when this is often not the case. Some girls are not in the clique, but not a target, either. Others may be friends with multiple groups and play different roles in each one. The teenage social scene is just not as clearcut as the book makes it out to be.

The first issue that I had with this book was with the "quotes" from teenaged girls. I'll just come out and say that I don't buy that they're authentic. Teenage girls don't talk this way. I got the impression that a lot of the quotes were either heavily edited to fit the points Wiseman wanted to make or fabricated altogether.

The next problem I had was with the shockingly bad advice given. Wiseman advises that girls being shut out or bullied should handle the teasing like mature adults by directly addressing it, telling the mean girl it hurts their feelings and they want it to stop, and then "affirming" the teaser and their relationship. Like someone else said, the mean girls would have a field day with this. They'd think it was hilarious and it would just lead to more humiliation for the target. For example, she encourages the target to approach the mean girl and say, "Hi, there's something I really need to talk to you about. Can you meet me during study hall in the library at 11:00?" In her scenario, the mean girl actually agrees, and the target proceeds to have a private meeting where she tells the girl she wants her to stop teasing her, saying things like, "[Teasing] really hurts me. I wanted it stopped. I don't know why you don't like me. I would like us to be civil to each other and respect each other.
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5 Comments 114 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition
I first read this book as a younger teen and now am reading it again at the age of 19 to see if my opinions have changed.

After watching Mean Girls and hearing about this book that was the basis for the movie I was immediately interested simply because the movie was hilarious and quite dramatic. At the time i had no idea that it was a guide for parents. Upon buying the book and finding this out, I felt like I was getting the inside scoop on what parents are thinking when they communicate and deal with their adolescents. I must say, the book is shocking. As a girl who has been living in Jamaica my entire life except for the two years i lived in Canada (at an age too young to compare to situations in the book), I have never really experienced any such horrid situations, and I have attended a public high school as well as a private high school. My friends and I often have conversations in which we express how baffled we are at the behaviour and thoughts of American girls. Based on images of American girls we are presented with in the media and books like these we are amazed at how mean, insecure, self destructive, lost, and/or weak these girls seem to be. This book can neither be applied to my own life nor the lives of any girl I know in Jamaica. We read about or see these situations on TV and go "What?! these girls are crazy!!".

I'm not saying this is the opinion of all Jamaican girls and I am not saying all American girls are like this, but I can definitely speak for all the girls I know who live here (excluding perhaps the girls at the American International School of Kingston because in my experience they are quite Americanized and cannot be considered as average Jamaican girls).
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