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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

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  238 ratings  ·  35 reviews
An urgently needed and insightful guidebook for parents and teachers struggling to help girls navigate the often-difficult transition into adolescence by the founder of Girl Talk.It has never been easy to be a middle school girl. In the few short years between grade school and high school, girls go through an incredible number of physical and mental changes, making this the most ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Free Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  238 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Alyssa Nelson
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 04, 2012 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
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 again just as quic
Lisa Sheffield
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good read for anyone with a middle school girl.
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I'd recommend this book if only for the stress of importance on communication, on listening to your child, on what not to say.
Kim Rader
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent read if you too are the mother of a soon to be middle schooler. Luckily middle school passes quickly.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was practical and helped remind me of how it feels to be a tween girl.
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,
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
HIGHLY recommend for anyone with a girl in 5th-9th.
Jenevive Desroches
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good guide and reminder of what life is like when you're eleven. For more thoughts, read here: http://winsomegates.jenevivedesroches...
Tara Anderson Gold
The Drama Years is a guide for parents about raising healthy, happy tweens and teens. The author, Haley Kilpatrick, gives advice from her experience working with Girl Talk, an organization she started in high school. In Girl Talk, high school girls mentor middle school girls by offering advice about how to navigate friends, school, and family. Kilpatrick's own experiences in middle school, where an older friend in a dance class was her mentor, inspired the club. Now there are many Girl Talk grou ...more
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Patricia Tennant
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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!!
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
May 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
Good backdrop for having discussions with a middle school age girl.
Nov 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Slightly annoying tone of author, but some useful insight to the mind of Tweens.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
very good for tween moms
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Melanie Dawson
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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!
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book but it’s more or less an extended advertisement for the author’s website/mentoring program.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
A useful read for parents of soon-to-be middle school girls, explained from the perspective of young teens.
Paige Brockmyre
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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Haley Kilpatrick is an author and the founder of the national nonprofit organization, Girl Talk™. Girl Talk was founded in 2002 and serves more than 60,000 in 48 states and 7 countries each week throughout the school year. The organization provides a leadership opportunity for high school girls to mentor middle school girls, by leading a Girl Talk Chapter in their communities. Girl Talk exists to ...more
“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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