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Chocolate For A Teens Soul: Lifechanging Stories For Young Women About Growing Wise And Growing Strong
     

Chocolate For A Teens Soul: Lifechanging Stories For Young Women About Growing Wise And Growing Strong

by Kay Allenbaugh
 
Rich, enticing, and delectable as a luscious box of chocolates, this collection offers 55 tales of life and love as a teenager. From teens of every age, including women who remember what it was like, come stories of first love, first jobs, best friends, heartbreak, hope, innocence, and the real world. Poignant, funny, and powerful, these stories tell it like it is.

Overview

Rich, enticing, and delectable as a luscious box of chocolates, this collection offers 55 tales of life and love as a teenager. From teens of every age, including women who remember what it was like, come stories of first love, first jobs, best friends, heartbreak, hope, innocence, and the real world. Poignant, funny, and powerful, these stories tell it like it is. From the recollection of a first kiss to tales of self-consciousness about a changing body, from painful struggles with parents and grandparents to the joy of abiding family love, teens will see themselves in these pages and find comfort in knowing that they are not alone.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Iyanla Vanzant author of Don't Give It Away Here is the truth about learning to live and love from women who have been there. Read it!

Carmen Renee Berry coauthor of Girlfriends and Daddies and Daughters Chocolate for a Teen's Soul provides wisdom that women of any age need to live life with grace and stamina. Wish I had had something like this when I was young!

Marianne Williamson author of A Return to Love and Enchanted Love These warm and wonderful stories show young women how precious they are and how fabulous they can become!

Sean Covey bestselling author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens Inspiring, real-life stories that will cheer the soul and lighten the mind and breathe hope into the life of every teen.

bn.com
Our Review
I got my first cat when I was six years old. She was a stray; my mother found her and brought her home to me. We spent 19 full years together. Always the perfect cat, she died in her sleep when she was growing too frail for fun. She must have known I would never have had the strength to put her to sleep myself.

I was (understandably) devastated when she died -- and my phone rang off the hook. Many of my friends had grown up with my cat, too, and were calling to express their grief. The weeks after her death are a weepy blur, but one conversation stands out in my mind. A woman I wasn't very close to called to tell me about the death of her dog. There was something overwhelmingly comforting about her story. Even though she didn't know me or my "kitten" well, her shared experience just made me feel less alone.

Shared stories are the idea of Chocolate for a Teen's Soul by Kay Allenbaugh. "Rich stories, like chocolate, not only make you feel good, they can also serve as comfort through confusing times," she writes in her introduction. (Allenbaugh is apparently a chocolate freak; she has also written Chocolate for Woman's Soul, ...for a Lover's Heart, ...for a Woman's Heart, ...for a Mother's Heart, etc.) Her collected stories, written by women young and old and bundled by theme in chapters like "Onward and Upward," "Making Memories," and "What Is This Thing Called Love?", are not always uplifting -- and therein lies the strength of Chocolate for a Teen's Soul.

The emotional range of Allenbaugh's selected stories is impressive. One girl explains how the death of her great-grandfather gave her the strength to ask a popular boy to dance with her. Experiencing death taught her to "make each moment count." Which is also why she is capable of handling it when he turns her down. (Never fear, another cute boy comes along in a moment.) Another young woman writes of a teacher who doubts her poetry skills and forces her to stand up and defend herself for the first time in her life. Yet another girl writes about fear, roller coasters, and her father. There are, of course, the perennially interesting tales of first loves, as well as the now ubiquitous but unfortunately necessary essays on abuse (by a boyfriend) and eating disorders.

Allenbaugh wasn't satisfied to leave it at that. She smartly chose to vary the voices in her book. Hence the story written by a mother coming to terms with her daughter growing up. Or the wonderful story of a woman who fled Soviet-occupied Hungary. This "global" story demonstrates the universality of adolescent worries; she, too, thinks about clothes and friends.

Allenbaugh has bound together a delightful mix of stories. Her goal, as stated in her introduction, is to mentor teens with her stories, and surely she has succeeded. The bulk of her success lies in her somewhat quirky sensibility. In the middle of Allenbaugh's "Love" chapter is a delightful story, "Grooming Nisha." This is no first-kiss tale but rather the experience of a girl who raises seeing-eye dogs -- caring for them until they are old enough to perform their duties. She details the bittersweet pain of giving Nisha up. There is also a story on the death of a family dog.

Which leads me right back to my kitten. Sometimes, especially when you are 14, the word "love" means romantic love. Friends are surely sympathetic if you and your boyfriend break up. But what about if your kitty dies? Adults usually understand that kind of pain better. In Chocolate for a Teen's Soul, Allenbaugh opens up the definition of love and of other experiences. She teaches and offers comfort in the form of shared experience...just like that acquaintance of mine did.

--Alexandra Zissu

VOYA
Brief pieces on a wide range of subjects make this latest installment of the Chocolate series a good choice for classroom read-alouds or for reluctant readers. Allenbaugh includes a variety of essays with authors ranging from adult women looking back on life-changing experiences to teens reflecting on more immediate situations. The stories clearly are aimed at young women, indicated by both the subtitle and the subject matter. In the various thematic sections are stories of first love, first loss of a grandparent, experiences with beauty pageants, starting college, finding mentors, and other topics of interest to teen girls as they navigate their way into adult life. Several essays feature overcoming difficult circumstances, such as handicaps, and a few recall growing up in Nazi Germany. The book is a fair mix of light and serious pieces. Teens looking for quick inspiration should find it here. Chocolate for a Teen's Soul is part of a five-book series; more are planned for the future. Teens who enjoy the Chicken Soup books should also like this volume. This book is recommended primarily for young women age twelve through eighteen and would be a worthwhile addition to a school or public library as well as classroom collections. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Simon & Schuster, 243pp, Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Dana Vance SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684870816
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
08/08/2000
Series:
Chocolate Series
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
657,814
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
950L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Rich stories, like chocolate, not only make you feel good, they can also serve as comfort through confusing times. Many of the stories in Chocolate for a Teen's Soul are written by young women themselves. You will be amazed at the ability of these writers to tell it like it is about everything from personal triumphs, conflicts, and challenges to most embarrassing moments. Some have had to "draw a line in the sand" as they discovered their own boundaries, while others tell of first loves that were never meant to last. These true stories will help you not only survive, but flourish, as you discover what these young women from the teen years to early twenties have learned -- often the hard way -- about what it means to be growing wise and growing strong.

As I began this latest volume of Chocolate stories, I must admit that at first I felt intimidated, because while I'm young in spirit, my chronological years are showing up in many ways! My desire was to find your collective heartbeat and gather stories that talk about the things that matter most to you. I'm pleased to say that the assortment of stories offered in Chocolate for a Teen's Soul are as varied -- ranging from poignant to playful -- yet connected as each of you are to one another, no matter how old you may be.

Every young woman needs a mentor -- someone older whom they can think of as having it all together. Many powerful stories in this book are written for young women by young women themselves, and they are also written by women who will serve as mentors as they look back on their own unforgettable moments with an "if I'd known then what I know now" kind of spirit.

Today, more than ever before, you have the opportunity to be high-tech and wildly creative, and to reinvent your world as you go -- but now and then you may find yourself longing for things to be more simple. With so many forces at play, it's no surprise that you may feel grateful for all the opportunities available to you and overwhelmed at the same time. In no other time in your life will you have the youthfulness to climb mountains, the fresh eyes to see the world anew, the passion for first loves, or more desire to be fiercely independent and unique. And with all these opportunities come challenge.

So grab some chocolate and sit with a friend, your older sister, your mom, your mentor, or by yourself and read the stories that are calling to you. May these stories make you laugh and cry, may they provide humor to something you might be taking too seriously, or may they be your companion as you seek answers to your own hurdles. In Chocolate for a Teen's Soul, triumph always reigns -- and that's the best kind of inspiration of all!

Copyright © 2000 by Kay Allenbaugh

What People are Saying About This

Sean Covey
Inspiring, real-life stories that will cheer the soul and lighten the mind and breathe hope into the life of every teen.
—( Sean Covey bestselling author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens)
Iyanla Vanzant
Here is the truth about learning to live and love from women who have been there. Read it!
—(Iyanla Vanzant author of Don't Give It Away
Marianne Williamson
These warm and wonderful stories show young women how precious they are and how fabulous they can become!
—( Marianne Williamson author of A Return to Love and Enchanted Love)
Carmen Renee Berry
Chocolate for a Teen's Soul provides wisdom that women of any age need to live life with grace and stamina. Wish I had had something like this when I was young!
—( Carmen Renee Berry coauthor of Girlfriends and Daddies and Daughters)

Meet the Author

Kay Allenbaugh, creator of the Chocolate series, is a writer and speaker who is known as "The Caretaker of Stories for Women of the World." She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Contributors to the Chocolate series include bestselling authors, motivational speakers, newspaper columnists, radio hosts, spiritual leaders, psychotherapists, businesswomen, and teenagers from all over the world.

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