Friday, October 23, 2009

A Great Book for Teens

You know how when your 14-year-old daughter asks you what she should wear to school, and you get all excited, and think, “Yay! Finally! She values my taste and sense of fashion and judgment enough to ask for my opinion about something as vitally important as what-to-wear to high school!”

And then you get all giddy and check your I-Phone to see what the weather will be and you check the family calendar to see if there is anything major going on, and then you mentally sort through her closet and come up with just the perfect recommendation for the climate and occasion, “How about your white skinny jeans and that new screen-printed tee that we just bought?”

And then, she smiles slightly, in what you will later recognize as that noncommittal, patronizing, oh-what-was-I-thinking-asking-you? or maybe great-now-I-know-exactly-what-not-to-wear look, and five minutes later she emerges from her room wearing denim shorts and an old sweatshirt?

Um, yeah.

As parents, it is our tragic destiny that our children chose to ignore not only our exquisite fashion sense, but also our accumulated, hard-earned wisdom about much grander things, such as life and success.

Which is why it is so wonderful to have a book like, Be the Star You Are For Teens to quietly slip to our teens in the hopes that they can learn from their peers peddling the kind of wise knowledge that is relevant to them, packaged in a way that they understand.

And, who could be better to write, collect and edit these stories than the vivacious, gorgeous, blond with sparkly star earrings, brimming with energy and enthusiasm and Star Power, than author, Cynthia Brian.

Brian, the best-selling author of “Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul,” compiles amazing stories from leading experts and teenagers encouraging them to discover their unique gifts, live up to their highest potential and be the stars they are meant to be.

My favorite story in the book is “Persistence,” written by Brian. She describes growing up on a farm, the oldest of five children in a family with little money. One day in the second grade she learned about something called “college” and announced to her family that she was going to go.

All agreed it was a great idea! Only one little obstacle—how to pay for it. After many weeks of brainstorming, it was decided that Brian would raise chickens and sell eggs to save money for higher education.

Waking up at 5:00 am to care for the birds, clean chicken poop, and collect eggs, Brian also suffered raids by foxes and mountain lions, and endured the nickname of “Chicken Lady.” Brians’s spirit was not dampened. As the cheerleading captain, she even had one of her chickens masquerade as the team “Falcon” mascot. Heck, Brian probably made it cool to raise chickens.

The result of all that hard work? Brian writes...

“By my senior year, those first twelve chickens increased to over two thousand. By the time I was eighteen, I had earned enough money from selling eggs to finance my entire university experience.”


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