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Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned
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Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned

4.5 86
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen

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This latest offering in the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul series explores a host of challenges faced by today's teens. Teen contributors share their thoughts and feelings on difficult issues, ranging from poor self-image to thoughts of suicide, from family discord to coping with the loss, from peer pressure to school violence.


This latest offering in the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul series explores a host of challenges faced by today's teens. Teen contributors share their thoughts and feelings on difficult issues, ranging from poor self-image to thoughts of suicide, from family discord to coping with the loss, from peer pressure to school violence.

Product Details

Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
Publication date:
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

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.

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield is co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Brief Biography

Santa Barbara, California
Date of Birth:
August 19, 1944
Place of Birth:
Fort Worth, Texas
B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973

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Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff: Stories of Tough Times and Lessons Learned 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi my name is Brittany, I live in North Platte, Nebraska. I used to live in Valentine ,Nebraska untill we moved here to North Platte about a month ago. I was telling my mom and grandma that i wanted to move back to Valentine because I really missed my boyfriend Joe and all of my good friends. They would not let me, so they told me I couldn't, and then the next day I was in bed and they woke me up to go to school,but I said that I would not go to school because i was mad, and I wouldnt aslo go unless I could move back. So they just said that they took my cell phone and computer away from me, that got me even more angry, so they asked me ' We took your phone, and your computer away from you..now what else do you want tooken away if you keep acting like this??!' and I just replied back 'ME!!!' and my grandma said ' ok whatever do what you want'.. she did not think that i would kill myself.. So she and my mom went to work while I just stayed home from school cause I was mad...It was about 9:00am in the morning, I wasnt thinking and I just got up out of bed, grabbed a new bottle of iv prfien and took the whole thing, it was about over 70 of them. After I took them, I layed back down into bed, and I felt really sick, then I just threw up right there on my bed. My mom came home yelling at me to go to school now, and it was about 10:00am when she came home. Then she saw I threw up, and after she saw that, I accedently left the bottle out, so she asked me how much I took, and i didnt reply because I was to weak to even talk..So she took me to the emergency room, and they got me in a room quick and started taking tests on me, and i was in the hospital for about 6 days, and I had to go to an in patient treatment center for about 1 week, and then went to an out patient treatment center for about 1 week. I'm alot better now, but I was just realiezing while I was in the hospital and thinking..'If I die now, I'm going to be missing out on alot of things in my future, and I will never beable to see my family and friends ever again!'
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book changed me in many ways it made me look at things in different perspectives...i love chicken soup books they're just so amazing...i hope these books never end
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Honestly Hate reading But This Book Really Caught My Eye When My Friend Showed It To Me. When I Was Done Reading I Felt Like I Really Needed To Change And I Am Now Im Changing Little By Little Which Is Great Cuz I Used To be Very Deppressed And Stuff And Now I Have A Smile On ALOT And I Love Doing Stuff With My Friends And Family ALOT More!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is from teens all over the U.S. and I'm sure that most of us can relate in one way or another. I urge everyone going through hard times to read this book. It shows how that there is always a way to heal.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is no lie. and it teaches you alot of lessons. it shows you what people went threw and shows you how to get threw it if ur going threw the same thing i recommend you READ THIS BOOK B4 ITS TOO L8!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great. It teaches people to do the right thing, always have faith in God, never give up and always be happy in what you've got.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book saved my friend from commiting suicide. she didn't do it because she noticed that there were people out there that were worse off than her. so i thank all the people that saved her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am the typical teen. i recently lost two of my family members. i was so sad. this book is good for people who are going through a hard time in their life. like me, believe me, this book gave me hope and happiness that i didnt find anywhere else
Guest More than 1 year ago
What I have read of this book it is good. I think that all CHICKEN SOUP for the TEENAGER SOUL are good books because someone could be going through the same thing you are and you read about it in one of the books. Then you don't feel alone and why does this only happen to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff¿ is a very good book, especially for teens in need of emotional help. There is no one particular author of this book. It contains hundreds of short stories and poems written by all different people on tough stuff that they¿ve had to go through and deal with in their lives. The book is categorized into different issues that teens commonly have to deal with: family matters, drugs and alcohol, death, tragedy, suicide, eating disorders, friends, and abuse. Each one of these issues has many different stories and poems written by teens that share their experiences, how they feel about them, and how they learned to deal with them. The book was very enjoyable to read. It gives teens something to lean on when they are feeling down on a particular issue that may be bothering them. "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff" is a self-help book. Readers will find that the book's theme and purpose, (which is virtually every teen has to deal with one issue or another, and there is help out there) is well achieved in helping the teenage world with difficult issues. There are no complaints about this book. "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul" is recommended to all teens across the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was really good. It made me think about how my life is going and made me realize that I need to live life to the fullest and stop messing it up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on Tough Stuff is an awesome book! it talks about Self-Acceptance, Family, Tragedies, Courage, Growing up, Drugs, Abuse and many other topics that relate to many students everyday lifes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I received this book I started to read it and couldn't put it down! I took it with me to my youth center and everyone liked it. It is inspirational because we young people know where many of the authors are coming from because we have been there. I think it's great these people had the courage to write about their experiences and hopefully it will become a life-saver, or at least an inspiration to all the young people who read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book on helping kids become inspired to deal with the difficulties so present in today's world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was able to get a copy of this book before the bookstores have it because my friend wrote a story for it. It is the best book. Every story either made me laugh or cry and they all taught me something important. I really can't describe how good this is. I always like the tough stuff chapter the best in the other books, so I figured I would love this but I love it even more. My favorite story is about a girl whose boyfriend is dying and she writes about their time together. it is such an incredible love story and I feel sorry for her but i also am happy for her that she had such great love. Another great story is one about a girl who was made fun of all the time and how she finally was able to stand up for herself. I don't want to give away too much. Read this book. You won't be sorry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books you will ever read!!!! I highly recommend it to anyone dealing with a tough time!!:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She told me to talk to u. Im not sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where have u been? I missed u so much then suddenly u disappeared
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Question...... I am getting... scratch that.... trying to get through a tough time. Will this book offer encoragement for a young teen?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These books r quite intresting.................so yeah........mmmhhhhmmmmm.....................yup.........there really inspiring and i suggest reading them if your in a tough spot or just cause.................</3 :( <3 :)