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Nerves Out Loud: Critical Moments in the Lives of Seven Teen Girls
     

Nerves Out Loud: Critical Moments in the Lives of Seven Teen Girls

by Susan Musgrave
 

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Seven women writers share pivotal moments from their teen years. By telling their stories these authors encourage young women to grab their youth and sense of themselves and keep true to it as they examine who they are.

Overview

Seven women writers share pivotal moments from their teen years. By telling their stories these authors encourage young women to grab their youth and sense of themselves and keep true to it as they examine who they are.

Editorial Reviews

Toronto Star
No-holds barred, honest writing.
Booklist - Frances Bradburn
The selections are varied, but all are gutsy reminiscences of what it is to be young and female.
Canadian Materials - Dave Jenkinson
Faint-at-heart selectors will likely run from this splendid title for its authors have all done "bad" things. Sadly, such unnecessarily cautious adult behaviour will deny today's teen girls the opportunity to meet the seven "girls" whose true and non-preachy stories contradict the adolescent egocentric claims that "no one has ever experienced what I'm experiencing" and "no one has ever felt what I am feeling!" Best of all, each of these in-print girls, now women, is more than just a survivor of her experience. Parents and teachers would also be well served by spending reflective time with Nerves Out Loud. Hopefully, the publication of this book will spark the production of a companion piece focusing on teen males. Highly Recommended.
Shaunna S. Silva
An amazing collection of stories ... poignant, straightforward, and brutally honest.
Publishers Weekly
Real-world stories, reflections written by now-grown women, chronicle such subjects as body image, sexuality, mental instability and incest in Nerves Out Loud: Critical Moments in the Lives of Seven Teen Girls, edited by Susan Musgrave (who also pens one of the selections). A powerful look back by women who made it through. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
On the back cover you'll read, "You're a teen and something huge is happening in your life." Seven female writers contributed stories about their experiences as teen-agers, including rape, shoplifting, lesbian experiences and other dysfunctional activities. This collection of memoirs may make interesting reading for teenagers and some adults. However, before parents and librarians place this book on the shelf for young teen-agers, they should decide whether it's suitable for the younger kids. 2001, Annick Press, $19.95 and $9.95. Ages 13 up. Reviewer:Jennie Jennings DeGenaro
VOYA
Being a teenager is not easy. For some, life is spinning out of control. In these seven poignant and heartbreaking essays, readers are given snapshots of the lives of young women on the edge. Although as teens the women led very different lives, there is a universality of emotions uniting the essays. As M. K. Quednau writes in the title story, "I always seemed to be verging on rude. Or to be laughing at the wrong line. From sheer nervousness, I think now. Nerves out loud, that was me." The words are compelling and urgent as each adult reflects back on her teen years. For Melanie Little, the decision to leave the stresses of competitive ice-skating leaves her with a surprising emptiness. Carellin Brooks copes with the unwanted sexual overtures of her foster parent. Marnie Woodrow becomes uncomfortable with her own sexual identity and falling in love with her best friend, Andrea. For Karen Rivers, eating disorders happen to other people. She is strong—strong enough to resist the lure of food. Madeleine Thien is sixteen when her father leaves, caught between two worlds, two cultures. Musgrave herself discovers that she is not mad—she is a poet. The authors do not hide their mistakes or their vulnerability. The reader jumps into the maelstrom of their teen years. Each essay is between twelve and twenty pages long, appears in an easy-to-read typeface, and uses compelling language. The brief biographical note about each author ends the collection on a hopeful note. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Annick/Firefly, 112p, $19.95, $9.95 Trade pb. Ages 15 to 18. Reviewer: Marian RafalSOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
KLIATT
Musgrave has created an amazing collection of stories, each delving into a part of a teenager's life. Pivotal and crucial parts of these girls' lives are spilled out onto the page; fragments of what they have been through. We meet seven girls in all, each battling separate and difficult demons, problems, and catastrophes. Melanie faces the challenge of falling out of love with ice-skating, a sport she continued with to please her parents. Her desire to please is so strong that she ends up in the hospital due to the extreme stress she has placed on her body. Marnie is a young girl who develops an intense friendship with another girl. She begins to fall in love with her friend and obsesses and worries about having feelings about someone of the same gender. Madeleine reminisces about her childhood; the path from bad to plummeting. Everyone in her life begins to run away or leave: her brother, her father, and her sister. Eventually, she decides to leave as well. Karen is an anorexic who struggles to keep up the appearance that she is eating, that she is okay. She describes six years of her life being anorexic before finally getting help, only after her body has given in. These four girls, along with three others, have given voice to powerful subject matters that range from eating disorders, to sex, to drugs. But the reader is not left with overwhelming feelings of sadness. More, you are left with the feeling that these girls suffered a lot in their own private ways, but have overcome their hardships and survived. In that there is a hope that other teenagers can cling to, perhaps relating their lives to one of the stories. Musgrave has collected stories that are poignant, straightforward, andbrutally honest. Because the content and language in this book are explicit in several parts, it is recommended to mature readers. Category: Biography & Personal Narrative. KLIATT Codes: S*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students. 2001, Firefly, Annick Press, 112p., Ages 16 to 18. Reviewer: Shaunna S. Silva; Teacher, Biddeford M.S., Biddeford, ME
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-A collection of stories written by adults who reflect on difficult, life-changing times in their teen years. Melanie Little had to face the fact that she was no longer an Olympic contender in figure skating. Carellin Brooks describes how she coped with a foster father who sexually harassed her. Marnie Woodrow fell in love with her best friend and struggled with her sexual identity, and Madeleine Thien's behavior altered radically after her father abandoned the family. M K Quednau writes a letter to a former teacher who helped her after her parents were violently killed, and Karen Rivers suffered from an eating disorder trying to prove herself worthy of love. Musgrave writes of her own journey to become a writer. Each author also reflects on the importance of the relationships that either helped or hindered her throughout her ordeal. Honest and straightforward, the stories get to the heart of the matter in clear and concise prose. The writing is passionate and compelling, pulling readers into the lives of these strong, yet vulnerable people. The selections deal with hard, real-life issues, but they convey hope and suggest the possibility that there are better tomorrows. The short biographical information on the authors shows readers that these women survived their traumas and went on to become successful, contributing members of society. This will be a popular book with teens because of the easy-to-read style and subject matter. Personal narratives of this caliber are always a welcome addition to YA collections.-Susan Geye, Crowley Ninth Grade Campus, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Seven established women writers look back to their teenage years with fictionalized short stories describing serious traumas they experienced as adolescents. The seven stories collected here have the power to keep young readers engaged by confronting formerly taboo subjects such as rape, homosexuality, drugs, and delinquency. Told with compelling honesty and realism, each story portrays serious difficulties faced by many teens, yet most also touch on more common adolescent relationships, such as those with teachers, friends, and boys. Melanie Little describes how a 15-year-old girl escapes her rigidly controlled life as a figure skater, to end up being gang-raped while drunk at a party. M.K. Quednau and Musgrave recall their own rebellious high-school years as they began to emerge as writers. Karen Rivers recounts an experience with bulimia, and Madeline Thien and Carellin Brooks focus on home life. One watches a family disintegrate, and the other describes a girl desperately avoiding her foster father's sexual advances. Marnie Woodrow watches a girl emerge as a lesbian. With their honest depiction of subjects holding high interest for teenage girls, these seven stories offer excellent doors into books for reluctant readers. Written with consistently high literary quality, all seven stories deserve attention from those seeking excellence in YA writing. (Fiction. YA)
Canadian Materials
Hopefully, the publication of this book will spark the production of a companion piece focusing on teen males. Highly Recommended.
— Dave Jenkinson
Booklist
The selections are varied, but all are gutsy reminiscences of what it is to be young and female.
— Frances Bradburn

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781550376920
Publisher:
Annick Press, Limited
Publication date:
09/01/2001
Series:
Doghouse Bks
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Susan Musgrave is a poet, novelist, children's writer, essayist, and columnist. Her home is on Vancouver Island with her two daughters.

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