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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Contrary to popular lore, girls are not made of sugar, spice, and all that's nice. Some -- especially those teetering on the brink of puberty -- seem to be composed of C-4 explosive and designer jeans. Aware of this tangled transformation, author Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes provides an insightful, useful, and sometimes painful primer for parents of teenage girls.
Having spent more than ten years in the inner sanctums of adolescence -- the classrooms, bathrooms, cafeterias, and malls of America -- Wiseman decodes the gossip-and-clique-filled "Girl World" of teenagers. Much of what she finds there is a dangerous hierarchy -- from the "Queen Bee" who dictates rules such as who wears what and who dates whom, to the "Wannabe" trying ingratiate herself into a clique or the poor "Target" of a clique's wrath. And while these may seem to a parent like stock characters in a teen drama, Wiseman warns that these roles are "powerfully and painfully reinforced every moment of every day."
What's a parent to do? Wiseman has plenty of practical advice (e.g., Never call boys "boys" -- they're "guys" now), including a strategy for parents to start opening channels of communication, but it requires careful attention and patience. Her highly readable and authoritative insights are sometimes shocking, but they provide parents an invaluable view into the modern adolescent world. Ultimately, this book can help you and your daughter navigate the barbed path that leads to womanhood -- together. (Jessica Leigh Lebos)