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Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned (Chicken Soup for the Soul) Paperback – October 18, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the New York Times and USA Today best-selling coauthors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional success of others.

Kimberly Kirberger is the author of the New York Times best-selling Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul series as well as Chicken Soup for the College Soul and Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul. Kirberger is also the author of the successful Teen Love series and is president of Inspiration And Motivation for Teens, Inc. (I.A.M. for Teens. She frequently speaks to, and in support of, teens nationwide

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Our Song

You asked me to sing to you. I complained, "Aw, Mom, I'll wake people up." Once again, I let my ever-present stage fright come before you. Looking back, it's hard to believe I was so selfish. But you persisted, and eventually I caved.

I sang our favorites—Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt and Bette Midler. My voice was quiet and hushed, commiserate with the dim light in the room. I made sure the sound didn't penetrate the walls. You listened with your eyes closed, then thanked me, and told me how lovely and peaceful it was.

When we brought you home that last week in January, I would sit with you in the evenings. I read to you from The Tragedy of Richard the Third, knowing it was your favorite. Of course, I made sarcastic comments along the way. "Lady Anne was the biggest idiot in the world." My eyes searched yours for a response, hoping they would open and smile at my glib attempts.

I read you poetry from Robbie Burns and Walt Whitman, and rubbed lotion on your hands. Finally, I worked up the courage to sing to you again. You weren't able to ask me this time. Grandma peeked through the door and gave us a tearful smile. I stopped. "Keep singing to your mother," she said. When I finished Dad asked me, "Would you sing at the memorial service?" You were lying right beside me, and suddenly it seemed so perverse to have this conversation in front of you. "I don't know if I can. I'll try." We didn't speak of it again.

That Saturday, after you were gone, I went home and practiced with a little help from the Absolut bottle. I needed you to hear me one last time, beautiful and unblemished.

And then there I was, standing at the podium. I didn't tell anyone what was planned in case I chickened out. While the minister told me when to come up during the service, Shirley, who was giving the eulogy, asked, "But what if someone stands up before Jennifer?" I shot back, "Well, now, they'll just have to wait, won't they?" She laughed, "You are just like your mother." I smiled and thanked her for the compliment.

My hands shook as I faced the microphone. I spoke a few words to gather my courage and compose myself. Then, very quietly, I sang "Somewhere over the Rainbow."

I thought back to when I was a little girl. You would call me on the phone during one of your trips to watch The Wizard of Oz with me on TV. Miles apart and racking up the long-distance charges, we would both squeal during the tornado scene. We sang duets, and trios when Ashlea rode in the car with us. It was our song.

I finished the last line, "If happy little bluebirds fly, beyond the rainbow, why oh why can't I?" Then I whispered, "Mom, you have beautiful wings now. May they take you wherever you want to go. . . ."

At least a hundred people witnessed the most difficult moment of my life, but only one person mattered. Of course, I will sing for you, Mom. Feel free to ask me any time.

—Jennifer Dalrymple-Mozisek

What She Doesn't Know

My friend has a problem, and sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who notices her when she's lost and she's tormented and she's alone in the world. And when she's high. She comes to me and she tells me what she's done today, whether it's speed or cocaine or something bigger and faster, something harder and louder, something else that takes the person I laugh with and depend on somewhere she can't stay.

She is ripping herself away from her truth, and the only way I can reach her is to let her know that I care about her. All I can do is listen to her babble when she's high and weep when she's coming down, because I can't fix her. All I can be is a friend to her until she realizes she has a problem, until she stops running from her daytime self to the lure of things that make her worries rest. I can't make her stop. So it's been hard to have her pass out and the line go dead. To have her come to my house running on speed—not to be with me, but so that she doesn't get caught.

It is my right to help her. And to point out to her how strong she is, how real and breathing and clear she is to me, and to everyone. Because she is calling for help, but doesn't know it yet. She is yelling and swallowing her tears, because somewhere she knows that she can't keep packing herself away. Sometime this anger or fury or sadness will find her, and she needs to stand in its torrential downpour and get filled by it, because somewhere inside her she is empty. I can't be her mother, and I can't be with her all the time, telling her what she can put in her body and what she can't. So she has gotten lost somewhere in the deep end, and I can't pull her out, but I can show her how she can do it herself.

I am watching her, and I am hugging her and trying to remind her of the countless reasons why I am so much better from knowing her. I can listen to her when she needs me, and when she doesn't. I can let her know that no matter what she does she is my friend, and nothing will change that. I can take a step back and see what's taking parts of her away. I can encourage her to answer honestly when I ask how she is. I can remind her about moderation. I can point out the people who love her. I can show her how much she needs to stop for herself. I can be a positive influence on her. I can listen to her when her voice hints of this thing that she is missing and can't find. She needs to see for herself that her daytime self is alive and beating and multi-colored. I can help her remember what her life was like before the dealers and the midnight fixes. I can help her stand tall and strong, on feet and legs and ankles she trusts. I can help her see that life is not about three-hour solutions that make her wake up feeling dead. I can be someone safe to her. I can care about her so much that I point her to the exit and hold her hand as she gets there.

My friend has a problem, and I am helping her. I am listening and I am talking and I am working with her and I am learning how to be the best to her. I have unshakable confidence in her, and I know that she can stand where she is and she can stop. I can be the person she turns to, because she can't see right now that she can turn to herself. She can't see it yet, but soon.

Kate Reder

Our Song ©2000 Jennifer Dalrymple-Mozisek. What She Doesn't Know ©1998 Kate Reder. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff ©2001 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HCI Teens; 1 edition (October 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155874942X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558749429
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,275,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My mom bought this book for my sister, and me. I took more of a liking to it. The book covers a variety of topics... from losing a family member... to standing up for yourself in a tough situation. The stories bring out so many emotions in you. You'll either end up laughing, crying, smiling. Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul is a great page-turned, and it's hard to put the book down. In each story you get wrapped up in the situation, and it's hard to keep your mind off of it. You get a sense of what the writer was feeling during their situation. This book is definitely moving and emotional. I also recommend "Open Your Mind, Open Your Life: A Little Book of Wisdom" by Taro Gold. Excellent.
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Format: Paperback
This book is really an extension of "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul" except this one deals with "the really tough stuff." As a counsellor, this will be one book on my list that will be highly recommended to teens, particularly girls. It is not that the "tough stuff" mentioned here does not happen to boys but teenaged boys, generally speaking, are often more hesitant to put their thoughts in writing the way most teenaged girls will do.
Three topics are found in this book which are truly a sign of our modern times. The first is abuse, that thankfully is no longer a subject to be hidden in the closet. The second is teen depression and suicide, and the third deals with violence in schools. As a counsellor, I have seen first hand the havoc these problems can create. If you are a teen, you will realize that much of this "tough stuff" is univeral and you are not alone. It also helps if you are troubled by these issues, to discuss the topic(s) with a parent or trusted, responsible adult with whom you feel comfortable. Teens will be surprised that this is not a book which comes across as a voice of authority but, rather, one that speaks of compassionate understanding. It is highly recommended and, in my own opinion and based on feedback I have received from teens, the book is most deserving of a five-star rating.
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By A Customer on October 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read two of the other Chicken Soup books and enjoyed them very much. I have a teenager and when I saw this book I thought it would be good since we are all going through "tough times" right now. I sat down when I got home and decided to read a few of the stories and found mysled unable to stop. I cried for the girl who was made fun of and I cried for the students who expereinced such horror. But mostly I cried because I didn't have such a book to read when I was a teenager. I honestly beleive that if I had I would be a different person today. Each and every one of us needs this inspiration. Each one of us needs to remember our hearts and that we are all in this together.This book is a great tool for remembering.I suggest parents read it as well as their teens. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff was a book I feel all teenagers and for that matter adults should read. It really touched me. At times I cried, and at times I laughed. This book really touched home. It reminded me that no matter how bad my day was, there is someone that has gone through the same thing and maybe worse things that same day. I have all the Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul books and this is my favorite.
I hope others can recieve that same joy I recieved from it. This book like the others will serve as a devotional for me. Each story has some meaning or lesson that will touch home.
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Format: Paperback
The book I'm about to rate is Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. I rate this book 5 stars. The reason why I rate it like that is because it's a very good book. It talks about teenagers going through hard times. If you read this book you can probably relate to it. The book is mostly about hard times in life that people go through. There are some stories that talk about loved ones dying and trying to get over the death. There are some love stories about teenagers and their problems with love. Some stories are heartbreaking and can make you cry. You know how some teens in school do drugs and they end up thinking they are smart enough to do it, it talks about it in the book. Some teens have parent abuse going on in their life and end up killing themselves cause of it. This book is also base on the fact that some teens can't defend themselves on any type of abuse. This is a book that helped past teens that had the same situation. Now today's teens need the help of this book to get them throuhout their lives. Some teens have problems with alcohol. And the other half of the teens have problems with their own best friends. On the back of this book they give you phone numbers and address to get the help they deserve.
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By A Customer on April 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have recently read this book and my first impression was that it was kinda...plain??? This book doesn't have much description, but the stories are ...Spectacular!!! I dont think that 13 year olds like me would benefit from this book, because it's a little...should I say...old?? Even though I enjoyed the book, the authors would lose a lot of readers by only making a Chicken Soup for the Teen's Soul and the Kid's Soul. If I could suggest one thing to the author, I would suggest to make a Preteen's Soul. Also, I would suggest to have more kids write stories instead of the stories always being by either Kimberly or Jack. It would draw more attention to the books if they didn't take kids for granted. If we don't like a book, WE'LL TELL YOU!!!!
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