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Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence
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Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  4,897 ratings  ·  605 reviews
When Rosalind Wiseman first published Queen Bees & Wannabes, she fundamentally changed the way adults look at girls’ friendships and conflicts–from how they choose their best friends, how they express their anger, their boundaries with boys, and their relationships with parents. Wiseman showed how girls of every background are profoundly influenced by their interaction ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Three Rivers Press (first published March 31st 2002)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Remember the dreaded “video” you were forced to watch in 5th grade, right before you started pubin’ out and became horrible? Schools should eliminate that and add a mandatory class on how to survive “Girl World” to the curriculum instead.

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Queen Bees and Wannabes is the first parenting book I’ve ever read. I never bothered with all the Dr. Spock nonsense. I mean really, who would trust a VULCAN to give the right advice about parenting?
I have read this book 4 times now. It is a must read for anyone who has to deal with women. It's not just about how to deal with "mean girls" as in teenagers, its also about mean little girls and mean women. The author stated that every woman, at one point or another, will play every roll in the book. I totally agree.

It is not a book that you can just sit down and read. You have to read, digest. Read, digest. However, if you stick to it, you will have gained knowledge on how to not only help yo
This is a book I read after seeing the movie Mean Girls, which is a fictionalization of this actual book, although it is a nonfiction book, not a novel. I soooo wish this book had been around when I was in school. It was a revelation to me and explained the grand majority of social interactions that happened to me back then. The language is easy to read and precise without being technical or psychoanalytic.

Good suggestions for getting out of bad situations -- bullying, gossiping, drinking parti
I (obviously) am not the parent of an adolescent girl, but one of my colleagues recommended this book to me since we are starting to see some clique-ishness in the older girls at the school where I serve. The book has a very particular audience (parents), and sometimes the author's preachy tone and manner of simplistically classifying types of girls or situations rubs me the wrong way. I also tend to think that much of this is common sense. However, I suppose for some parents, this would be a de ...more
Honestly, watch Mean Girls! This book was the inspiration for the film and I think Tina Fey hit the nail on the head with the Queen Bee dynamic.
Unfortunately, this book fails to address other groups besides middle/upper class white straight girls. There is little to no mention of any other racial demographic. I was disheartened that the author chose to relegate the topic of sexual orientation to a mere small chapter, sandwiched between heterosexual dating and sex.
Overall, it's quite obvious (s
Jan 07, 2015 J rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: parenting
Wow - I hated this book! I’m pregnant with my first child - a daughter - and overdosing on parenting books. I saw this book in the library and thought it looked interesting.

This book was hard to read because it paints such a dramatic & painful view of female adolescence. It just isn’t realistic. I was a teen not that long ago. I was part of a clique and we were immature, but we never went to the lengths described as normal in this book. My childhood was actually really pleasant. It never oc
Queen Bees is more directed toward the parents of teenagers than Reviving Ophelia, but don't let that scare you off if you are a bullied student or interested in combating bullying from a sociological perspective.

Queen Bees was a helpful resource for me, who was bullied by mostly female peers from early adolescence into early adulthood with varying degrees of visciousness. I occasionally return to materials on bullying to help me understand what happened to me and how it still shapes my personal
Apr 14, 2013 Rachel rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: clueless parents
Ugh, I really, really didn't like this book. I do not parent my kids in this way nor do I think that there is anything redeeming about the application of this book. I should have know by reading the back of this book that I would hate it. I really, really wanted to like this book. I hoped to find helpful and useful tools to use and gain insight into these years. The "landmines" were ridiculous and insulting to read. The book suggests that we, parents, are completely stupid and not attuned to our ...more
Claire Greene
This book is a must read if you have children. Not even just a girl, but any children. This book gives an enormous amount of insight into girls and, for that matter, women. Even if you have a boy, he will either date girls or be friends with them or both, so reading this book will still prove invaluable!

The book itself is written well - very personable with a balance between informative information (facts, science, studies), personal anecdotes of both teens and moms, quotes from teen girls and a
Jun 22, 2008 Andrea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody!!!
Recommended to Andrea by: Desi & Katie!
I thought that this book started strong. But my problem with self-help books is that I grow bored of the topic. This book kept me until the last couple of chapters that I felt was pretty much common sense. But I feel strongly to urge every woman with or without daughters to read this book. It applies to those raising daughters and those still trying to grow up (which, let's be honest, is most of us). It helped me take a good look at myself and my "growing up as a girl" experience. Girls are just ...more
Shiralea Woodhouse
This book is SO interesting and insightful about pre-teen and teen girls' social worlds. I actually bought it in hardcover so I could refer back to it when I start dealing with girl-problems with my own daughters! I think anyone interested in understanding this group (including the boys this age) better would find this book helpful!
My daughters and their friends have entered this high-drama phase in which I am assaulted nearly every day with stories of how so-and-so's feelings were hurt, how so-and-so said something mean, how so-and-so's sister threatened someone, how so-and-so's mother was threatening to call because...

I decided to read this book so that I could understand what was going on, and teach my girls some strategies for dealing with conflict that did not involve them becoming either mean girls or doormats. The a
I have a thirteen year old daughter.


I said it.

Parenting said daughter is one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do and at this point in my life, that's saying something :) It's also one of the most rewarding because when we have a breakthrough or a tender moment, I appreciate it like I have never appreciated anything else!

This book is like a travelguide into the world of parenting teen girls - we learn to navigate cliques and parties, harassment and dishonesty, mean girls an
Hal Johnson
The problem with so many non-fiction books is that they are fiction. So I was perhaps a little suspicious as I read Mean Girls: The Official Novelization, and wondered, Is this book an accurate depiction of life as an adolescent girl? There are several flags that feed my suspicions: Wiseman’s quotes from students are full of her own jargon (“queen bees,” etc.), and while I suppose her confidants may have picked this vocabulary up from Wiseman, there is certain element of self-congratulation in l ...more
I finished this book in pretty much one day. The idea is simple: Wiseman teaches you as a parent what could go on in your teenage girl's (and a little bit of a teenage boy's) social and school life. Wiseman was quite spot on. I as a fresh-out-of-high-school student thought she hit all advice and diagrams right on the nail.

When reading, I was quite aware that the book was the basis for the film Mean Girls. It was cool finding specific parts that were talked about (for example, the junior girls m
Laurel Garver
I'd heard a lot of buzz about this book years ago, and as my daughter is now a tween, I though it might be a good resource.

There are some helpful things--particularly the analysis of the hierarchical structure of girls' friend groups or cliques. Wiseman also does a great job helping you as a parent navigate with your child the minefield of bullying.

I found her approach to drinking and drugs and partying less helpful, though it certainly backed up my instinct to get my kid into Christian school f
I enjoy pop psychology, and I liked the movie Mean Girls (which was based on this book), so I thought I'd give it a try.

Reading this did not give me horrible flashbacks to my middle-school years. :-) But it did give me some interesting insights on roles girls play. Queen Bee, Sidekick, Wannabe, and Target are all pretty obvious, but Banker was a surprise to me. I assumed she was a girl who tried to buy popularity or friendship. Actually, she is someone who collects embarrassing or damaging infor
Donna Lyn
in depth descriptions but i also felt the book was very limiting by the labeling. i know tons of kids who 'rise above' the games and who could really care less about who's in and who's out. i almost got the impression that in a way the author is way into the drama of it all and working in the schools she's sort of a queen bee by being in the fray. i'm thankful for my faith and how that gives purpose to 'treat others how you want to be treated' and also service projects that get focus of yourself ...more
Enlightening. I was hesitant about this book's thesis. But after refection I agree that a girl's position in the social heirarchy can affect whether she becomes a perpetrator, bystander, or victim first among her relationships with girls and then later among her relationships with boyfriends.
I also now see the limitations of a "just say no" campaign.
And besides just scaring parents by iluminating the realities of Girl and Boy World in Adolescence, Wiseman also offers tips, techniques, scripts f
This book was better than 3- maybe a 3.5. It was well written but to be honest it scared me a little bit! It had a lot of really good information and helpful things for dealing with your daughter as she goes through middle school and high school. However, I think it made it seem almost like your daughter could not possibly go through high school with doing something really bad. And in the chapter about sex I felt that teaching abstinence was not discussed enough. I know it wasn't a "religious" b ...more
Reading this book as part of a teacher's group. It's interesting if you are a mom of a middle school girl or teach them or some how find them near and dear. The author get's a little silly by saying things like if you walk in your daughters room and she is have sex with her boyfriend, give them time to get dressed and come out of the bedroom. The apologize for having entered her room without knocking....

Ok the author can be very silly.

Melissa Fowler
I don't even want to give this a star. No matter how much you can idnetify with the scenerios Wiseman constructs, the advice she gives on how best to help your daughter navigate through the murky waters of girlness is complete...and total... crap. A better choice would be Rachel Simmon's Odd Girl Out--or really ANYTHING besides this.
Book Review: Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman

She is a slut. She is trying too hard. What is she wearing? He is desperate for attention. He is so dumb. Ugh. These phrases are all too common in the teen world. Between the ages of twelve and eighteen years, teenagers’ worse critics are themselves—along with the other three hundred or so students that go to their school. Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees and Wannabes is a nonfiction book that guides parents and teens alike through the obstac
Ann JaNee

I think this book can be a little dangerous because as we read about the queen bee and her hive, we begin to try to figure out who we were growing up and even who we and others are now (as adults). Looking through this distorted lens, we may not like what we see- and it's easy to misjudge ourselves and others. I have to remind myself that the descriptions of the queen bee and her hive (chap 3) come from the author's research of problematic adolescent girls ideas. So, these descriptions are extre
I bought this because I heard Ms Wiseman on the radio talking about interviewing thousands of middle schoolers for the insights and language that became this book. I was impressed by her ability to recognize that we needed new pigeonholes for old behaviors, and her enthusiasm for the leg-work.
She really revised the consept of the bully to include girl non-physical domineering/controlling/malevolent behavior. It is sort of the non-fiction companion book to "Cat's Eye" by Margaret Atwood (publishe
Lauren Acton
I really enjoyed reading this book. I don't have a teenage daughter, so I'm not the intended audience for this book, but it was so interesting to remember my own interactions with Girl World as an adolescent. It also made me want to re-watch Mean Girls. I've talked about this book a lot with my friends - especially ones that I went to elementary and high school with. A lot of things from it have been sticking in my mind because I think it so clearly explains the motivations of teen girls. Most o ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Willa added it
Shelves: 52-books-in-2011
It was interesting to hear the perspective of a counselor who works with real girls from real schools all over the US. The book is about how girls relate to each other in the school scene and how it affects their lives and behavior. There are lots of stories about real girls, and even letters written to the author by girls of different ages, or written accounts of experiences and perspective.

It was especially interesting to hear about the different roles that girls in a group take --- Queen Bee,
Bonnie Samuel
I don't have a daughter, but this book is great reading for anyone trying to navigate the world of a teenage girl. Although it didn't really reflect my high school years, it's a perfect representation of the years between 6th and 8th grade. Being an adolescent girl is complicated and difficult. I only wish a book like this had been around when I was that age.
A great resource for parents of girls (and explains everything you experienced as a tween/teen yourself!). Some of the suggestions for handling the issues with your daughter seem a little far-fetched, but overall some great context and strategies.
Lots of good, real-world advice about the challenges girls face growing up. It is directed primarily at parents but is a good read for anyone who works with girls, especially teenagers. Covers a wide range of topics and emphasizes compassionate, open dialogue, maintaining the dignity of the girl, and teaching the girl to make decisions that show respect for herself and others. Since it presents so many difficulties girls may face in and out of school, it can feel a little daunting to read at tim ...more
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  • Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls
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  • Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood
  • Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About Their Search for Self
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  • Just Tell Me What to Say: Sensible Tips and Scripts for Perplexed Parents
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Rosalind Wiseman is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership.

Wiseman is the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence. Twice a New York Times Bestseller, Queen Bees & Wannabes was the basis for the 2004 movie Mean Girls. Her follow‐u
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“each person’s truth is of equal value. No one gets to speak for anyone else or dismiss an opinion just because it’s not shared by the people who have the most power.” 2 likes
“I urge every parent to become a Loving Hard-Ass Parent.” 1 likes
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