Book Reviews and Giveaway - The Truth and Secrets

Today, I am pleased to be reviewing not one, but two fabulous books by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein - The Truth and Secrets.  If you missed yesterday's guest post, by Dr. Holstein, you should check it out here.  I am also pleased that, in addition to the reviews, I have a copy of both books to giveaway to one lucky blog reader here on AB.  

About The Truth

The TruthTHE TRUTH is a delightful, humorous secret diary, written by a girl who is 11-12 years of age. She is wise and yet innocent. Her words acknowledge those priceless truths that we all knew as kids. She makes us cry and laugh and see ourselves. Everybody loves reading her thoughts, secrets, adventures and solutions to difficult problems. Girls are naturally curious and this book gives them a real opportunity to see how a girl like themselves in so many ways handles her toughest problems and most personal thoughts. Mom can read the book along with her daughter and not only be brought back to herself as a youngster, but find on every page relevant topics for discussion with her daughter. How do you handle a bully? How do you handle a crush on a boy? What about teasing? How do you find time to listen to your daughter? Do we have enough fun together? What really matters?
There is space right within the book for the girl and or mom to make notes or her own diary entries. The book ends with discussion ideas that can also open up whole new areas of topics for mom and daughter or the young reader and other members of her family, friends, or teachers.
Behind this very easy read, written by a positive psychologist with over 25 years of clinical experience, is the psychological message to the girls reading THE TRUTH that they can and must keep the fire and passion of their girlhoods as they grow up and have the courage to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood.. For parents the book is a way back to what made them feel most special at 10, 11 or 12. Once parents are back in the place where their kids live, then listening, trust and real sharing can begin. Every girl and ever parent wants this kind of TRUTH!
My Review: 
I love that it's written in diary style - I think you are able to get a better feel for the character by seeing what she puts on paper... I found that this book would be appropriate for younger tweens (9-10) and their moms to read together - I could see a number of parallels with where my daughter was a few years ago and the situations that she dealt with- she's twelve now.  
I think this book could be a good springboard for helping start a dialog between mom and daughter about the issues raised and how it made each of them feel.   I can also see this book being utilized in the classroom, particularly in a girls reading club - where they could share their thoughts and discuss the questions that arise from the text.

SecretsAbout Secrets

Following on the heels of the best-selling book The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything),SECRETS: You Tell Me Yours and I’ll Tell You Mine…maybe! is the continuing diary of a girl moving into her teen-age years. The Girl has plenty to fill her journal.
The pages reveal a new school, a new baby in the family, new friends, a new guy and a new set of issues to face. Enter the secret world of an almost-teen as she learns which secrets to share and which to keep to herself.
My review:
This book hits really close to home right now - although Robyn's move was several years ago, the introduction of another new baby, changing schools last year (although several of her friends from elementary school also go to her middle school) and dealing with the changing hormones of becoming a teenager are all part and parcel of her life right now.  
I think the author captures a time when all change can be overwhelming - especially since the biggest changes are occurring biologically and sometimes take on a life of their own.  
Again, like The Truth, Secrets is a great book for moms and daughters to read together and discuss.  This book definitely steps up past the 'tweeniebopper stage' and starts the move towards teenhood, although there is nothing within the book that would make me stop a ten or eleven year old from reading it, it definitely has parallels for older tweens and young teenagers.
I think that in combination, these books offer insights into growing up and helps moms and daughters, or friends start to open up about issues they are facing!
I hope that Dr. Holstein continues this series and moves into more teen issues as her character ages!
About the Author:
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, nationally know Positive Psychologist, is the creator of The Enchanted Self,® a systematic way of helping to bring more joy, meaning, and purpose into our lives.

Dr. Holstein has been a school psychologist for more than 25 years. She has taught elementary school children and was an assistant professor in education in at Boston University.

She has been in private practice as a psychologist with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein, in Long Branch, New Jersey, for over 25 years.

Contact Dr. Holstein on the web at and

The Giveaway:

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Disclaimer: I received complimentary copies of both books to complete my review. All opinions are my own.