Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dear Teen Me

Dear Teen Me includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends--and a lot of familiar faces--in the course of Dear Teen Me.

Here's a link to the list of all of the contributing authors in the Dear Teen Me book from the Dear Teen Me site (and links to their individual websites/blogs): 

About the editors and Zest Books:

Miranda Kenneally is the author of the contemporary YA novels Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker (just published), and Things I Can't Forget (Spring 2013). Miranda is also the co-editor, with E. Kristin Anderson, of Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (Zest Books), and is co-creator of the Dear Teen Me website.

E. Kristin Anderson, in addition to co-editing Dear Teen Me and co-creating its eponymous website, is a writer and poet who has been published in dozens of literary journals. She is also an assistant editor at Hunger Mountain for their YA and Children's section.

More about Zest Books:

Zest Books is an award-winning publisher of smart and edgy titles that focus on the colorful chaos of teen life. These nonfiction books cover timely topics in creative ways by incorporating solid life advice, practical how-to instruction, and humorous commentary. Zest Books’ catalogue includes 97 Things to Do Before You Finish High School, Where’s My Stuff: The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide, and Scandalous! 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About So You Can Impress Your Friends. In Fall 2012, Zest Books launches a new line of memoirs and first-person accounts, and Dear Teen Me is the first book in this new line. Zest Books is distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Learn more at  

Book details:
Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves. (Zest Books, October 30, 2012, $14.99; ISBN 978-1-9369762-1-8) edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson. Zest Books, a leading publisher of nonfiction for young adult readers, is distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is available wherever books are sold!

IndieBound [and your favorite independent bookseller by extension!]


BAM (Books a Million)

Barnes and Noble

The Book Depository (free shipping internationally to any country)

Zest Books Dear Teen Me book page has a “buy now” button:

Dear Teen Me blog tour hub URLs, featuring tour schedule links, Dear Teen Me events and more:
Dear Teen Me website:
Dear Teen Me events page:
Zest Books Dear Teen Me book page:

Social Media links:
Zest Books Facebook profile:
Zest Books Facebook page: 
Zest Books website:
Dear Teen Me LibraryThing:
Dear Teen Me site:
Dear Teen Me
E. Kristin Anderson Facebook:
E. Kristin Anderson Twitter:
Miranda Kenneally:

Kathryn's Review of Dear Teen Me 
I first want to say a thank you to Zest Books for providing us with an ARC of Dear Teen Me.  
Now, on to the book itself.  I have to begin by saying that I loved this book.  What a great idea to put together some fabulous authors and have them write letters to their teen selves.  Going through each letter and hearing advice that they would give to themselves in situations that they experienced as a teen was very enlightening.  I know for myself, that if I could go back in time and find my teen self, I too would have advised myself on several different occasions.  Not all were bad, but there are things that if I would have known what I knew now, it would have saved me a lot of worry, heartache, confusion, etc. 
Yes, I know that we have to experience those particular events to become the individuals that we are today, but knowing that I could have found some solace in a book like this, with advice on real life teen situations, could have given me some comfort during those difficult years.  
One of my favorite authors, Cynthia Leitich Smith, made a great point in her letter-- "It's a small miracle.  If she can change, then you will, too.  No more hiding.  You go downstairs to confront the boy.  To ask what went wrong.  Years later, you won't care enough to remember what he said.  In the end, that won't be the conversation that mattered." 
So, I highly recommend this book.  It has some great humor, some moments of sadness, moments of sweetness, and just overall feelings of understanding.  You should definitely go ahead and pre-order this one...

Shelley's Review of Dear Teen Me
What can I say about Dear Teen Me? Well, first off...where the hell was this book when I was a teen? Oh right! A few of the authors were going through their "things" at the very same time-  and some weren't even born yet. ;)
Nonetheless, I really could've used a book like this back then. I found it helpful even now.
I think it's really important kids understand they are not alone- in any given situation. Someone else is going through whatever it is you're going through- or has. You really can learn from other people's experiences and mistakes. You always have choices.
And most importantly...YOU can always make a change.
Why did I like Dear Teen Me?
For several reasons. 1. It gives teens hope. 2. You get to see where people you love and admire came from- and OUT OF. 3. It's filled with excellent advice. 4. It can help you understand and relate to other teens. You might be able to help someone else out. Maybe even save a life.
5. It's a wonderfully format, laced with humor, fun graphics, quizzes and pictures of your favorite authors from their teens years. (We ALL had bad hair. I'm just sayin. ;)
This was a tear-jerker. From beginning to end. While none of the situations exactly mirrored mine, the feelings they provoked from the authors were much the same....INSECURITY. LOST. ALONE. SCARED. INTROVERTED. RIDICULED. UGLY. AN OUTCAST. A NOBODY. These are feelings most... if not all, kids feel at one time or another. Many throughout their young years. It does help to know others have been where you are and not only survived, but THRIVED.
Though there are SO many I could choose, here are a couple of quotes that really stood out to me:
" soon as you stop being quiet, as soon as you stop hiding, and hiding who you are, things will change." ~ Keeping Quiet, Mariko Tamaki
"Nevertheless, it's going to be awhile...Before you understand that you were there that day, you were one of the players, but the story wasn't about you at all."~ This Is Not Your Story,Saundra Mitchell
And my favorite:
"Please don't worry. You worry enough as it is. All these seemingly wrong turns are actually leading you in the right direction. All those things you want to achieve are just ahead of you, so don't you dare stop reaching for them. They're closer than you realize, and if you stop, if you give up and give in, then all that struggle will have been wasted." ~  9 Things You Need To Know, Robin Benway
So... without getting into what I endured, and what I put myself through, here's what I would write in my own letter:
You were never really alone. You were and are talented... in many ways. YOU ARE LOVED. Don't let anyone or anything discourage you or stomp on your dreams...they are within your grasp- if you'd only reach out.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. That one simple thing could've have changed your whole life.
You are worthy; of love, friendship, success and happiness. You, and you alone, hold the key to your future.
And lastly, to YOU, the reader: GO. RUN. GET. THIS. BOOK...for your teen, for a friend, for your neighbor's kid, for someone you know who might benefit, but would never ask for anything, for...yourself.
Dear Teen Me is a MUST READ for EVERYONE! It can change lives, and I can't recommend it enough.

We both give Dear Teen Me:

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