Read an Excerpt
Challenges. We all have them. Big ones, little ones,
seemingly insurmountable ones. They're a part of everyone's life. It may seem like some people have more challenging lives than others, and while this may be true, it's not how many challenges you have or how intense they are that matters—it's about how you deal with the challenges that come your way.
They say that you can never know what someone else's life is like until you've walked a mile in their shoes.Well, I think that's true. Everyone has their own thing going on.We're all unique—
from our DNA and our upbringing and home life to our way of looking at the world.And what might be no big deal for one person might be a huge challenge for someone else, and vice versa.
Challenges don't have to be the end of the world (and it's a good thing, too, or the world would have ended a long time ago).With the right perspective and the right tools, we can get through life's challenges in style.We might even come out the other side of a challenge in better shape than we were before the challenge arose. Don't believe me? Well, I have an example that might change your thinking. Ever heard of Lance Armstrong? At the top of his game, cyclist Lance Armstrong was faced with a huge challenge—he was diagnosed with widespread cancer and given less than a 50 percent chance of surviving. But not only did Lance Armstrong survive, he came back to make sports history by winning the grueling Tour de France a record six times in a row and making his mark as one of the most gifted athletes of all time.
While this is a pretty extreme example, the moral of the story is one worth remembering. Even when challenges seem like more than we can take, we can face them, and we can overcome them. And that's where this book comes in. In the pages of this book are real stories and real poems from teens like you—teens who are facing challenges like eating disorders and broken families and natural disasters and low self-esteem.Woven in among these moving stories and poems are tons of sidebars on everything from movies to see and books to read, to ideas for handling your own challenges and quizzes to help you figure out where you stand when it comes to tough issues. And just like the other Real Deal books, you'll get my point of view throughout too, as I write introductions to each teen-written contribution. And who am I, you ask? My name is Deborah Reber, and I'm a writer living in Seattle with a special interest in working with teens.Why? Because I used to be one, and I know how difficult it can be.
We've worked hard to put this book together for you, and we hope that it becomes a handbook to help you get through the curveballs that life throws you. We hope that no matter what your challenges are, you can see your experiences through the words in this book and discover useful strategies for coming out on top.