My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence by Lauren Kessler
You have to look right, wear the right clothes, be seen with the right people. You can't be too skinny or too fat, too loud or too quiet. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in - unless your opinion is unpopular. This is the world of middle school, the world that author Lauren Kessler delves into in My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence. The story is well told and completely true as Lauren describes her struggled with teenage daughter Lizzie, who, it seemed, went from sweet and loving to attitudinise and mercurial almost overnight. In short, a werewolf.
From psychological research to social anthropology of a world all its own, Lauren leaves no stone unturned as she fights and argues, wounds and is wounded by, sympathizes and scolds, then finally begins to observe and understand Lizzie and her world. Observance during the school day reveals the many layers of the middle school social ladder and the ways it effects Lizzie as things change from day to day. Teachers scold as well as educate, friends shun one day and embrace the next, crushes change and change back, and biting comments are exchanged amongst students, oftentimes masked by denials and lies. Despite the cruelty of middle school, Lauren manages to remain an impartial observer - most of the time. Eventually, mother and daughter are brought closer - until the next misunderstood comment sends mother struggling to see inside daughter's head. The struggles, inevitably, continue though more and more time passes between each misunderstanding. Eventually, a common ground is reached. Mother understands daughter's world, daughter's mind. Daughter realizes that maybe Mom isn't that uncool.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an amusing, informative read. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided.