Book Summary & Review,
"Queen Bees and Wannabes"
Full title: Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence (2002)
Written by: Rosalind Wiseman
Review by: Julia Ransohoff, high school student writer
Wiseman offers parents a guide to navigating the social minefields of female adolescence. Acting as a liaison between "Girl World" and "Planet Parent," Wiseman helps parents understand their daughters' friendships, the power of cliques, and the roles of girls within them (including Queen Bee, Sidekick, Torn Bystander, Messenger, and Target).
Wiseman founded a nonprofit company dedicated to empowering teens and she calls on her extensive face-to-face research with teens in this book. She outlines parenting styles (from the "Lock-Her-in-a-Closet Parent" to the "Loving-Hard-Ass Parent") and offers tips on talking to teens ("Don't use the slang your daughter uses").
The second half concentrates on boys, sex, and drugs – as well as what to do if your daughter needs professional help. She also offers groundbreaking insight into these issues that will be invaluable to any parent, teacher, or other adult struggling to help a girl get through her teens.
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This book is written for fathers, mothers, teachers, or guardians of adolescent girls. The author does a great job of incorporating quotations from girls and parents – as well as including tips on communicating with your daughter.
There are diagrams of stereotypical schools and information on cliques, racism, bullying, fitting in, and much more. There are even a couple of chapters on boys. These chapters help parents of girls understand how boy-girl relationships develop at the end of elementary school and in junior high and high school.
I think parents and other adults should read this book so they have a better understanding of every aspect of modern cliques. A very clever feature is the "Landmines." These are little boxes that warn the adults what not to do or say to their daughters if they want to be taken seriously.
I would rate this book a 4 out of 4 because it covers so many aspects of adolescent relationships and struggles both in and out of school. Adults who read this book will have a much clearer idea of how times have changed, but still realize how they can contribute with their past experiences.
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Reviewed By: Adolescent Interest Group
Last Reviewed: August 2013