15 March 2010

Find Your Tribe

by Rebecca Sparrow

UQP. Young Adult, Children's Non-Fiction, Australian. Paperback, rrp $14.95

Guest Reviewer Jo Burnell

My 15 year old daughter noticed Find Your Tribe nestled under a pile of books and snaffled it. Not only did the vibrant lettering catch her eye, the first few lines hooked her. She read the lot in one sitting. That was all the recommendation I needed to follow her lead, but she went further: ‘There’s heaps of good stuff in there, but it’s different. It’s like talking to a friend.’

Rebecca Sparrow has the chatty voice of a close friend. Her sense of humour and willingness to expose her own hurt opens the heart. The fact that she not only survived her high school years, but can remember enjoying them is the difference. There are no sagely psychologists spouting off to-do lists. Only down-to-earth anecdotes and stories grounded in reality. I let out the occasional snort of recognition and sighed as memories of my own teenage disasters were relived.

Everyone struggles in some way in these turbulent years. Rebecca offers practical strategies to short circuit some of the pain. She keeps topics relevant to today (having a positive body image; binge drinking and working out who the true friends are) while also adding timeless gems (trusting your intuition; learning how to bounce back and coping with school work pressures and young love).

Rebecca doesn’t pretend to know it all, but she’s done her research. She’s given the main ideas within each topic, then provided reading lists and websites if you want to look deeper.

I wish someone had written this decades ago, but at least it has finally arrived. Find Your Tribe: every teenage girl’s survival kit to today’s secondary years. You’d be mad not to have it.


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