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The Drama Years: Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School -- Bullies, Brands, Body Image, and More
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The Drama Years: Real Girls Talk About Surviving Middle School -- Bullies, Brands, Body Image, and More

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  181 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Today’s middle school girls have it rough.

In a few short years, they go through an incredible number of biological and emotional changes, making this the most formative—and riskiest—time in their lives. Groups turn on each other, a trusted childhood friend can reveal secrets by sending a text message or updating a Facebook status, and deciding where to sit in the cafeteria
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Free Press
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Mar 21, 2012 Brandi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I have two daughters, ages 12 & 14, this book immediately appealed to me with just its title. Anyone who has raised a daughter knows it's all about drama when they get to the tween years. I've spent the past 4 years reading different books for parents of girls and selecting books to give to my daughters to help them deal with the drama in their life. This book is by far the BEST book I have found for parents. It gives real life examples from real kids so you can see their point of view ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really helpful read. Would recommend to anyone with a middle school girl or one soon approaching those years. Easy, informative read with lots of input from middle school girls, high school girls(about what helped them), and parents. Kilpatrick shares her story about her middle school challenges and what led to the creation of Girl Talk. She really has useful ideas for parents to consider to help their girls navigate the tricky world of middle school. A little repetitive about the three core i ...more
Alyssa Archambo
The Drama Years is a book that gives parents advice for how to handle situations, and how to help their tween through what most people agree are the hardest years in terms of growing up: middle school. Haley Kilpatrick is the founder of Girl Talk, an organization that provides tween girls with a high school mentor (an adopted big sister, really). Using examples from her own life, comments from tweens today, and comments from high schoolers looking back on their middle school years, Kilpatrick gi ...more
May 12, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wished I had read this book 3 years ago instead of the last month of my daughter's eighth grade year - it would have helped with a lot of issues that came up! A must read for anyone that has a 6,7,8th grade age daughter.
Carlyn Craig
Apr 03, 2012 Carlyn Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book and the ideas in it so much that I published it in audiobook format. If you'd like to order a copy, visit

Haley Kilpatrick provides a clear and useful "heads-up" for parents of tween girls and the problems they are likely to encounter, the "drama, drama, drama" that can consume much of their emotional energy. Gone are the innocent days of elementary school when everyone seemed to be their friend. Now, friends can morph into enemies overnight and back a
Cathy Cramer
I had two people recommend this book on middle school girls to me separately, and as I am helping out with a middle school ministry, I thought it could be useful. I probably also have a different perspective on it, since we have one child who has successfully navigated the middle school years - no guarantees on the rest, yet, I know.

This approach can be simplified into three things which add stability to a middle school girl's life - a sport or other favorite activity, volunteering, and an older
Lisa Sheffield
May 23, 2012 Lisa Sheffield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating insights about tweens and how girls can be so mean during middle school. Good reading for the parent of a tween. Turns out the author is from my hometown and I know her parents, so that was sort of cool.
Carol Keely
great for parents with girls going off to middle school. Gave me some great tips on handling situations I will faced with in the upcoming years. Middle school is nothing like it was when I was there.
Jun 11, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for some research I am doing. Very interesting. I remember seeing a lot of this behavior during the middle school years. I have a meeting about the research next week.
Kim Rader
Apr 22, 2012 Kim Rader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I highly recommend this book to anyone with a daughter in middle school. It really helps make sense of their behavior and has given me some really good ideas for parenting.
May 02, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent read if you too are the mother of a soon to be middle schooler. Luckily middle school passes quickly.
I'd recommend this book if only for the stress of importance on communication, on listening to your child, on what not to say.
Jun 15, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was practical and helped remind me of how it feels to be a tween girl.
Oct 13, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned about this book through the A Mighty Girl Facebook feed, and I'm so glad I did.

The author, Haley Kilpatrick, is a woman on a mission: ease the transition girls and their parents from elementary school to high school by focusing them on the positive coping mechanisms she was lucky enough to have while she traveled that journey. The three parts of this positive process are: have a physical outlet, have a older mentor who has recently been through the tween years, and have an on-going ser
Jun 17, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read for anyone with a middle school girl.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia Tennant
Found the authors personal experiences a bit annoying- but overall it was a good read. Did not agree on the chapter about wanting vs having-surprised she did not mention the effect of culture on attitude. my daughter attends a private school where bullies are not tolerated and there is a strict uniform code. inner city girls in other areas have a different " culture" to deal with. thought the end was much better than the beginning. The last chapter was much more helpful. I also felt her empasis ...more
Melanie Dawson
Oct 22, 2014 Melanie Dawson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very helpful and informative read for anyone who has a adolescent or pre-adolescent daughter. I feel more knowledgable about how to help her navigate those dreaded middle school years!
May 28, 2015 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book helped somewhat to figure out what is going through the heads of middle school girls. However, it was very repetitive. If the author mentioned the "three takeaways" or her friend Christie one more time, I would have thrown the book out the window.
Sep 18, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Author has an amazing perspective.
Jul 13, 2014 Dorothea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is REALLY helpful and I know that it will be a resource that I will return to again and again. Wish that I had read it when my daughter was going into 5th grade so that I could be better prepared for what middle school was about and it's craziness!!
Jul 24, 2013 Rosie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read for parents, teachers, school counselors, and any others who work with middle school girls. I especially liked the comments from the girls...good to hear things from their point of view.
Oct 24, 2014 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot to read the last chapter!

I just finished and it was really helpful and insightful. This is the kind of book I can see myself referencing again when specific issues come up.
Paige Brockmyre
Feb 13, 2013 Paige Brockmyre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just what I needed! Brings so much into perspective, helps to let you know you are not the only parent that doesn't understand and let's you know what your preteen is really thinking.
Jun 03, 2013 oohlalalindz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic guide to dealing with a middle school girl's problems such as friends, boys, parents & self-worth.
One for the bookshelf at home.
Dec 11, 2013 Jenna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book but it’s more or less an extended advertisement for the author’s website/mentoring program.
A useful read for parents of soon-to-be middle school girls, explained from the perspective of young teens.
Donna Alward
Apr 04, 2013 Donna Alward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really great book for parents of middle school kids. Recommend for parents and their kids too.
Nov 28, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slightly annoying tone of author, but some useful insight to the mind of Tweens.
May 15, 2013 Dorothea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Good backdrop for having discussions with a middle school age girl.
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In 2002, at age 15, Girl Talk Founder & Executive Director Haley Kilpatrick dreamed of a program that would help middle school girls deal with the pressures and anxieties of being a young teen. Inspired by her own middle school experience, her vision was high school girls mentoring middle school girls. Girl Talk’s mission is to help middle school girls build self-esteem, develop leadership ski ...more
More about Haley Kilpatrick...

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“Here's one way that we try to actively and immediately bring in kindness in our meetings and camps: we ask our girls to stop before they speak and reevaluate what they're going to say based on this acronym:


Is what they're out to say True? Is it Honest? Is it Important? Necessary Kind?
We ask the to T.H.I.N.K. before they speak text, or type, and try to incorporate it into their daily lives -- especially within their interactions with their friends and classmates -- as much as possible. It's a choice girls can make: Do they want to encourage others with their words, or bring others down?

You might think this won't resonate with your middle school girl, but I promise that it works. It's not about self-editing or asking her not to speak her truth, of course; it's about thinking of others too.”
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