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Kendras Diaries (Growing Pains #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  42 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Alt Cover, ASIN: B00V98ST8M

Doesn’t growing up remind you of a roller coaster? You are going up, up and up and as soon as you make it to the top yeah life will try and drop you back down. Even when you steady yourself make sure you hold on tight; don’t forget about those gigantic loops!

Growing up can get some kinda crazy huh? No worries you are not alone. Meet Kendra Foste
Published (first published May 1st 2011)
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Kendra is dealing with several struggles in her life. As an 8th grader, she has a big transition coming up. She has to go to a different school for high school. She wants to go to The Academy, but it’s expensive. The only way she would be able to go is if she gets a scholarship. She also is going to try out for cheerleader. In 6th grade she had something really embarrassing happen at tryouts and chickened out in 7th grade. She was hoping that this would be her year. Her mom had some excellent ad ...more
Kendra knows her family’s short of money but she wants new clothes for church. She wishes her parents would replace a sofa because it’s getting too old. And she eats three donuts at once! Okay, she’s not the sort of teenager I knew growing up, and if this is what girls are like I’m glad I only have boys. But… Kendra really does grow on you.

Kendra’s diaries by K.P. Smith gives a fascinating insight into life in New Orleans, where black’s a shade and some shades might be too dark, where going to t
Danielle Thorne
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kendra is a middle school aged young girl, preparing herself for the rigors and expectations of high school. Her brush with failure her first time trying out for cheerleading is easy to relate to; her later attempts to tackle the sport once more are admirable and set the course of this story's theme about never giving up. Kendra never despairs long, and she faces her obstacles with courage and determination.

Like any young teen, Kendra must deal with family problems beyond her understanding while
Growing Pains: Kendras Diaries introduces us to 13 year old 8th grader, Kendra.
The story is very real life and contains a lot of realistic situations for teenagers to find themselves in such as family break-ups, friendship dramas and, of course, school.
I found the story very identifiable. It’s a great coming of age read for girls who are going through the changes of school and friendships. As a teenager, you’re at that age when you realise that life isn’t as simple as you’d like to think so gir
Melissa Simmons
The story was not bad, just a little rough in places, mostly the dialogue needed a little help. I did enjoy Kendra's character, though. Her spirit carries her through the challenges in her life. I have to say it would probably be a highly enjoyable read for maybe an 11-13 year old. (Full review to follow)
Carlton Rolle
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
K.P. Smith loves to read. It was the love for reading that ignited her passion to write. When not reading and writing Smith occupies her time with hobbies. She loves football, basketball, tennis, golf yeah basically all sports. Smith also enjoys watching TV, specifically soap operas. These are enjoyable and a perk also helps her creative thinking/writing process. The only thing better than watching her favorite shows is watching it with millions of others via Twitter!! Smith is a professed socia ...more
Angela Fristoe
There were certain elements of this book that I really loved and others that drove me nuts! So, let me start off with the things I loved :)

Kendra. She is flawed, she is real, she is African-American and she is facing real problems that many other young girls face. Kendra's one of those characters that isn't overly perfect and can be related to easily. I love that she is an African-American living in New Orleans, because it is representative of the population there and, although she could easily
Vicky (A Backpack Full of Adventures)
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls from the age 12 up
How would you feel if you had to put on a brave face each morning you leave the house and pretend you're okay? If you couldn't tell what's going on, not even to your best friend - and at the same time, your family was falling to pieces? Yes, that's right - that's what Kendra has to face each day of her life.

Meet Kendra Foster. She is smack in the middle of growing up. Oh boy! Just like anyone in the "maze" of growing up, there are challenges along the way. She is facing problems at home and with
Sandra "Jeanz"
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I initially had doubts as to whether I would enjoy this book....but I really did enjoy it. I think it is suitable for 12 years upwards really. I could identify with the childhood/adolescence of Kendra, I was that kid who couldn't do dance classes because her dad thought them a waste of money, so I understood where Kendra was coming from. I remember lying in bed listening to parents arguing, having the friend whose parents relationship with each other and their daughter appeared perfect. This boo ...more
Amy (Lost in a Good Book)
Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

This was an interesting story to read, the idea was sound but fell flat slightly in its execution. While dubbed a YA novel (and may well become one in future books), at the moment it is more suited into that ambiguous tween age group type of story.

One of the first things that I noticed is that I couldn't settle into Kendra's voice that well. I know she is only thirteen but the narration doesn't read naturally and there were
Dream 4 More Reviews
Title: Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries
Author: KP Smith
Publisher: Doin It Publishing
Release date (or anticipated release): 2011
ISBN: 9780615390307
Specs: paperback and ePub/mobi versions are available
Website (optional): or
Category: Young Adult (YA)

Review Summary:
Kendra, the oldest sister, has to share with her younger sister, Patrice, about her parents’ verbal attacks and daily scrabbles usually around managing their finances and providing for th
Sandra Lopez
"Times do change, but experiences are timeless." (9)

Growing Pains relays the story of Kendra Foster, an awkward and insecure 13-year old living in New Orleans. Like any kid, she must contend with the pressures and anxiety of school, homework, peer rivalry, boys, and family. To make matters worse, her parents can't afford much and spend many hours arguing. Yeah, sounds like a typical childhood.

At first, the story took on a slow pace with Kendra's obsession with cheerleading tryouts and "praying"
Originally posted at Fragments of Life.

Kendra was a typical teen with an average not-so-perfect life. She had things to be confident about and things to complain about. She was conscious about her looks. But unlike most typical tweens, Kendra was not boy crazy. She was more hardwired to pursue her dream. I liked this about her. She kept trying again and again. She lifted herself up and gave cheerleading another go.

I liked how the author weaved different kinds of relationships in the novel: Kendr
Ruth Hill
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I will begin by saying that I am not a true young adult book fan, but the book description sounded okay so I thought I would give it a go. All too often, YA books are filled with bad language, sex, drugs, and much more. I understand why the books are written that way, but I do get tired of those kinds of stories.

What an absolutely pleasant surprise this book was! It was simply written from the perspective of Kendra. In fact, it read much like a diary or journal from her perspective. She is a typ
Jenny Bynum Black Words-White Pages
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 11+
Recommended to Jenny Bynum by: K.P. Smith
As everybody knows by now, I usually only read Paranormal books, but once again I have step out of my genre zone and picked up this book.

While there were some errors in the book that were a little rough around the edges and could have been polished a little bit, I did overlook them, because it is the author's very first book to be released.

The Introduction was wonderful and it sucked me right in and had wanting to read more. The more I read this story the more I came to understand and relate to
Nick Rossi
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't love a good coming of age book set in the 80's? Throw in an author's ability to properly document the multitude of emotions going through an 8th graders mind at any given moment and you've got a winner. The first in her Growing Pains series, Kendra's Diaries by Kenya Smith is an exercise is fun and nostalgia, with a tinge of comedy that makes for a entertaining read.

Told in first person, Kendra's Diaries is just that. It's a personal exposition of one particular teen's experiences. H
Annie Johnson
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Right off the bat, I love that the author starts painting this very real picture of children growing up with fighting parents. It immediately sucks the reader into their world and makes the characters start off as real people rather than two dimensional drawings.

The battle that the character has with her spirituality is something that anyone who has grown up in a tumultuous home can immediately identify with. The insecurities, changing body and changing life of the main character is something th
Michelle (Much Loved Books)
The main protagonist is Kendra, who lives with her Mum, Dad and younger sister Patrice. They are a small family that struggles to make ends meet which is often the cause of arguments in her household. Kendra's best friend is Katrina and together they battle their way through school worrying about typical things, boys, high school, exams, and in Kendra's case upcoming cheer leading tryouts. After Kendra's Mum takes a job her Dad disapproves of the arguments become worse and Kendra is finding it h ...more
Mandy (I Read Indie) Anderson
Kendra's Diaries is a great book about a young girl growing up without a lot of money, trying to become a cheerleader before she goes off to high school, and learning what it’s like to have a crush on that one special boy. But it’s also so much more than that. Kendra is also learning the hard way about what it’s like to grow up in a broken family. Will Kendra be able to overcome her fear, her dysfunctional family, and get into the high school of her dreams? With a lot of hard work and faith…Kend ...more
Erin Cataldi
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A lovely coming of age book perfect for middle schoolers coming to grips with the complexities of their future and their families. Kendra doesn't have an easy life, her parents are always fighting about money, she is stressing about making the cheer-leading team, and she is having to make a decision about which high school she'll go to the following year. All of her troubles seem insurmountable and she has no idea how to handle the stress. Thankfully her best friend, her younger sister, and a cu ...more
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are things about this story that I like, and things that I don’t. I like the main character, Kendra, and she is easy to relate to. All of the characters seem real, and act for the most part, naturally. The dialogue isn’t stiff, and it flows well when I read it.
The story is written well, but the content could have been better. The basic structure is good, although it isn’t very original.
The beginning is a little slow, with a lot of description, but it sets the mood well. From there, the sto
Danielle Urban
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kendra's Diaries by K.P. Smith is a clean YA novel that readers will love. A story told from the main character's point of view. Times are hard and it seems that get even harder, when all we want is for them to get better. A young girl growing up with hopes and dreams, that we all can easily relate to in our lives. Family issues and issues that all teenagers struggle with as they grow up, comes to life in this journal like story. Despite all the downs, Kendra Foster, is a role model that even us ...more
Christine Rice
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"Growing Pains" by K.P. Smith is a Young Adult novel that is enjoyable for all age groups. It chronicles the rollercoaster life of Kendra Foster—an ambitious teenager who struggles with her parents’ disputes and overprotectiveness, who desires to fit in while being herself, and who wants to discover what having a boyfriend is like.

The book realistically demonstrates the adolescent struggles of a teenage girl. The situations are unique and the plot is unpredictable. This book is a lighthearted de
This is an easy read, so cute is what I keep saying. K.P. Smith discussed some real issues and moral lessons were taught in this YA novel, in a cute and humorous way! She also dealt with the dynamics of family and financial secrets, how children are not to be in their parents' business (grown folks biz), and learn to enjoy their lives while they are young.

Kendra Foster, wants to be a cheerleader and been through tryouts for two years straight. She makes the spot on the squad. She also wants to
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This book is about an 13 year old girl and her life in 8th grade. She lives in New Orleans and goes to private school. Her life is no different then the average 8th grader. It has the fighting family members, stresses of work and school and the sometimes pain of a younger sibling. It also has watching football with dad, shopping with mom and hanging out with friends.

The story had some sad moments, but on the whole is a positive look at a young girl's life. It's definitely something I would let m
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful Book! Great for sharing!

This is a wonderful book you will want to share with all the "young ladies" in your life.

It would be a wonderful gift for grandparents to give their granddaughters and thoughtful aunts to give their nieces. Also a great birthday gift for best friends.

It shares the feelings that so many young ladies have and lets them know they are not alone in their feelings it's just many will not or do not talk about them.

I encourage parents and grandparents to read this boo
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries by K.P. Smith chronicles the life of a 13-year-old girl named Kendra Foster. Kendra faces numerous struggles and triumphs just as many girls her age do; she has a crush on a boy, learns what it means to be a true friend, experiences loss, figures out the importance of acceptance, deals with disappointment, and discovers what family is all about.

Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries allows readers to following Kendra through all of her ups and downs while giving the read
Susan Watts
Aug 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
I won this book from a goodreads giveaway around 3 months ago. Today I received an empty cardboard envelope with tracking on it in the mail from the author. I thought at first it was mailed by mistake, but then I realized there was no way it was. Whoever mailed it would have to of pulled of the protective part off the flap, closed it and then attached the tracking number, then mailed it out. There could be no way it was mailed out by accident completely empty. Who could in mistake a flat weightl ...more
Ashley Tomlinson
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the story of an eighth-grade girl just living a normal everyday life. Kendra is living in a normal house with a little sister and parents on the verge of divorce. She goes to school, goes to cheerleader tryouts and lives through embarrassing moments. There are real life issues that normal thirteen-year-old girls face every day. Like fights between friends, parents splitting up, deaths in the family. It was interesting to see how Kendra faced each problem that came her way.
May 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far have only read the first chapter but am enjoying this Goodreads win.
Really good story. Did bring back some memories of the pop culture of the era along with the angst. Well written and fun. Good summer read.
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I believe everyone is here for a reason. They are here for a purpose. I believe that life is a gift to be enjoyed not endured. We are here to thrive not merely survive.

Whether it’s penning My Growing Pains Series or my upcoming non-fiction books, or coaching first time indie authors or helping people with their relationships; I’m always discovering new ways to help people live their best lives pos
More about K.P. Smith

Other books in the series

Growing Pains (2 books)
  • New Beginnings (Growing Pains #2)

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