Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)

by OMB Staff on April 14, 2008

The_TruthI had an opportunity to read The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein. This is a journal of a 10 year old girl, her parents fight about silly things, and she’s in love with a boy in her class. We go through a year and a half with this girl, through a school year, a summer and right before her family’s move two towns away. She finds out her mom is pregnant, she may not “love” the boy as much as she originally thought, and her friend knows more about growing up than she does.

The Truth is a very simple, enjoyable read. The purpose of this book, from what I gathered from the authors notes in the book and on her website is to remind us that we had some pretty good goals for ourselves when we were young and we should reflect on what those goals were and figure out how to achieve them.

On the back of the bookjacket there is a quote from the girl’s journal:

“Things I promise to do when I grow up:
* I’ll travel alot
* I won’t look away when my kids ask me tough questions
* I’ll answer truthfully
* I won’t swear
* I won’t get into silly fights with my husband
* I’ll have fun with my kids and laugh alot
* I’ll remember ME

AND that’s the TRUTH”

The girl has some pretty good intentions. I think we all, as boys and girls, made promises like these to ourselves at one point in our childhood. As we grow up, our lives take turns that may or may not allow us to remember these promises. This book is a good reminder to not get caught up in the drama of life and remember those things you thought were important as a child.

This book is intended for mothers and daughters. To be completely frank with you, if my mother had given me a copy of this book when I was 10 or 11, I would have been upset with her. I think this book is a good book for women who are struggling with finding themselves after many years of forgetting who they really are. This book is a decent catalyst to begin the journey of remembering what is important to YOU, not everyone else. In reading this book, twice, I was unclear about what a child could get from it…but I’m not ten anymore, either. I do, however, believe this book is a good reminder for mothers to raise their children to have goals and promises to themselves; and to be cognizant of the way their children view their behaviors, and how that may affect their own self-esteem and ideas of self-reliance.

There is a whole series of books planned for the future, following this girl from ten – mid twenties. It will be interesting to see how the girl grows up and how her thoughts on what’s important change. Based on this first book, I’m curious to see how the others will be written, what challenges she faces and how she will evolve based on those experiences.

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