Saturday, August 14, 2010

Got A Daughter? You Need to Read My Teenage WereWolf by Lauren Kessler

MY TEENAGE WEREWOLF: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence

MY TEENAGE WEREWOLF will find a captive audience in mothers of daughters and daughters of mothers. It is the craftily-written story of Lauren Kessler’s quest to understand her mercurial daughter Lizzie as she comes up on her thirteenth birthday. At first Lauren sits down with all the best parenting books but soon finds that reading is not enough. She needs empirical evidence. She needs to experience Lizzie’s life. She needs to follow her—everywhere. 

With Lizzie’s approval—which is often as shocking as what follows—Lauren sits in on her daughter’s classes, observes her in gym, watches her practice with the school band, attends track practice, even participates in a wrestling match, and ventures online into the world of teen chat rooms. What the experiment produces is not only an intimate scrutiny of a pre-teen but an open, honest process of introspection.

What I Can Tell You: This book is exactly what mom's of children entering the pre-teen stage. It is written about a daughter but I think the concept works just as well with a son, although Lauren completely mentions how much easier the relationship with her sons were. I do agree that the relationship is different but not necessarily easier.  I also believe this is a great book for counselors, teachers, principals of middle schools and anyone who works with children. Very insightful book.

I feel in love with Lizzie, a very smart, head strong girl knows how to "eventually" talk about what is REALLY bothering her. This can only be credited to her very smart mom who obviously raised her to speak her mind and not be afraid to be who she is.

While I can't imagine I would do what Lauren did which is throw herself head first into her daughter's life to figure out what makes preteenage girls work. Reading about Lauren in school with her daughter is exactly what I would want to do. To REALLY see what is going on, to be a fly on the wall and to watch her interactions with classmates, friends and boys. However, I don't know any teenager that would have been OK with this.

You will appreciate the candidness of Lauren's book. Lauren uses humor and common sense to deal with the differences in her and her daughter.  At times she wonders who has the issue, something that only few mother's can do. To be able to "pick your fight" is an art form. Something I have totally mastered in my personal life. Knowing when to say "this is my hang-up, my problem, my issue" not theirs is half the battle.

I want to run out and buy this book for all my girlfriend's with daughters. It is not preachy. Is filled with humor and I loved reading Lizzie's comments to her mom. Through their headbutting you can see a deep, deep love between mother and daughter and that was my favorite part of the book.

As the mom of an already spirited 5 year old, I already know that I have to love her for the spirit in her and that I will undoubtedly have many, many moments where I feel like Lauren. However, the one thing I have that Lauren didn't have is her book to help me tread through the waters of preteen angst. God help me!

This book will be sitting in my library waiting for all the times I will have to re-read it. Thanks Lauren and Lizzie for a fantastic journey.

Head over to Lauren and Lizzie's website to see what they are up to and read their posts.

To purchase:

This post was written for Family Review Network & Viking who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest reviwew"


  1. I'll have to check this one out, due to my almost 13 year old daughter. I may learn something... or it may just entertain.

    Good review!

  2. My daughter's 4 and I think maybe I need to read this book NOW!


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