My Teenage Werewolf
A Mother, A Daughter, A Journey
through the Thicket of Adolescence
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If you’re battered by a daughter who’s 10 times smarter and 100 times cooler than you are, this book could save your sanity.
What’s more challenging in the life of a woman: being a teenager … or being the mother of a teenager? It may just be a toss-up.
Just yesterday she was your sweet-tempered, smiling little girl. She thought Mommy was a saint and a genius, beautiful, beneficent, and all-knowing. Now Mom is an enemy, a barrier—or at the very least the font of all things embarrassing and uncool. And the erstwhile Miss Sweet Pea is … a werewolf? Who is this new headstrong, mercurial, mascara-wand-waving girl?
In MY TEENAGE WEREWOLF: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence, award-winning author Lauren Kessler embeds herself in her about-to-be teenage daughter’s life and shares her story with the eye of a reporter, the curiosity of an anthropologist and the open—sometimes wounded—heart of a mother.
The road every mother of an about-to-be or full-fledged teen travels is both well trod and mysterious. There is no relationship quite as primal, as vitally important, or as deeply conflicted as the one between mother and daughter. And there is no time quite as challenging in that relationship as when the daughter passes from child to teen. It is on the precipice of this transformation that best-selling journalist Lauren Kessler embarks on a journey to understand and strengthen her suddenly rocky relationship with her own 12-year-old daughter, Lizzie.
Kessler launches on an 18-month mission, traipsing from seventh and eighth grade classrooms, to the mall, to summer camp, where she observes, chronicles—and sometimes participates in—the life of a 21st-century teen. With the help of a resident teen expert (her daughter), as well as teachers, doctors, therapists and other mothers, Kessler illuminates the age-old mother-daughter struggle from both sides, gracefully interweaving personal experience with journalistic inquiry. With the tools of her trade, she transforms herself from mom to immersion journalist to explore and chronicle the vibrant, dynamic and scary culture in which Lizzie is coming of age.
Funny, harrowing, poignant, and invariably candid and insightful, My Teenage Werewolf is both a canary in the coal mine for mothers of girls and a vibrant exploration of the single most important relationship in a woman’s life.