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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

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  6,777 ratings  ·  783 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 interactions wi ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Three Rivers Press (first published March 31st 2002)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  6,777 ratings  ·  783 reviews

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Start your review of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence
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 parentin
Apr 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jackie Schroeder
Jun 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: educationallit
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
Mar 27, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
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 occurr
Mar 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
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
Claire Greene
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Corinne Edwards
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
Apr 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Queen Bees and Wannabes is the book every girl needs to read. Whether in or out of school, this book will help explain the experience of growing up as a girl and trying to survive in girl society. And boy society. And, you know, the world we live in today in general. Never understood why your friend dropped you? Now you will. Never understood why you compromised your personal values to date that person? Now you will. Everything is laid out beautifully, the problems and the solutions to such thi ...more
Nov 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: duma-keys
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.

Hal Johnson
Apr 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Eustacia Tan
You may be wondering why I read this book. I mean, I'm not a mom, or even a teenager trying to figure out what's going on. Well... I heard that this book inspired the movie Mean Girls (yes, I'm slow), and I was curious as to what kind of non-fiction book could inspire the movie. Although disclaimer: I've only watched the movie once, and if not for the ten year anniversary thing going on two years ago, I may not have remembered it (and yes, that's how slow I am).

Basically, this book is on how to
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it

Although this is a parenting book, as a young women (actually to be honest I think any human would find the same) I could still take away some good lessons from this book. The general idea conveyed is that we need to educate young people and raise them in such a way that they become able to make the right decisions for themselves.

There were some fantastic thoughts in here about important issues such as beauty ideals, racism, the impact of the growth of technology, using "just joking" or "no
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody!!!
Recommended to Andrea by: Desi & Katie!
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
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! ...more
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
I felt like I was reading an Instagram influencer's parenting tips. I realize that I'm late to this book, and Insta wasn't even around back then, but seriously if it were, she would have been one of the mommy influencers (whether she has children or not isn't even an issue, it's just the tone of her book).
This book didn't work for me at all. I wanted it to, I've heard good things about it, but it's a no from me.
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feb 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
1) Main messages I took away from this were:
a) talk to your daughter like you both work in a corporate office and she's your business colleague.
b) let her be as obnoxious to you as possible, e.g. eye rolling, texting instead of listening to you. Under no circumstances must you ever hurt her feelings or upset her, no matter how rude she is!

2) Contradictory to the above, we're advised to deliberately embarrass our daughters 'in a good way', e.g. singing along to the radio when her friends are in
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Donna Lyn
Jun 25, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Aug 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
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
Melissa Fowler
Dec 18, 2007 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm usually very sceptical about books like this one, guides like "What to expect when you're expecting " and other studies on how to raise children. I always think to myself that my mom was able to deal with her parenting issues without any books, and hopefully I will be able to do it also. Then, I decide to give it a try and see some of the questions I have answered from other perspectives. Unfortunately, at least in my case, these books often create more fear than they offer reassurance.

Ann JaNee
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it

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
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Play Book Tag: Queen Bees and Wannabes - Rosalind Wiseman (3 stars) (DECATHLON) 4 15 Jun 19, 2018 03:23PM  
Bullied...wrote about it. 1 9 Jan 17, 2014 10:41AM  
Bullied...wrote about it. 1 3 Jan 17, 2014 10:41AM  
Follow my blog i will follow ur blog 1 8 Dec 27, 2011 05:10PM  

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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‐up bo

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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.” 3 likes
“The common definition of a clique is an exclusive group of girls who are close friends. I see it a little differently. I see them as a platoon of soldiers who have banded together because they think this is the best way to survive Girl World. There’s a chain of command, and they operate as one to the outside world, even if there may be dissatisfaction within the ranks. Group cohesion is based on unquestioned loyalty to the leaders and an “It’s us against the world” mentality.” 2 likes
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