Telling the Truth, A Review of The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everthing)

Telling the Truth

A Review of The Truth (I’m a girl I’m smart and I know everything)

Review by:  Sandra Prince-Embury, Ph.D.

Director, The Resiliency Institute of Allenhurst, LLC.

Author:  The Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents

Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist



      The Truth by Dr.Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist, is the secret diary of a ten year old girl.  Although exquisitely simple in form and expression the words of this unnamed girl suggest insights that are clinically and developmentally significant.  Embedded in the journal are messages about childhood that are important for adults to hear, presented in the words of a child.  One such message is the importance of communication for children. 


      The girl telling the ‘Truth’ identifies and verbalizes her feelings in her own words.  In this way she models skills of self awareness and expression. Children and teens often have difficulty putting feelings into words.  It is the absence of these skills  that result in  pent up negative feelings expressed in acts of violence when they have reached the boiling point.  In The Truth, the girl believes in herself and her own experience, even when the feelings are not positive.  In this way she models self-acceptance….


Come back tomorrow for more of Dr. Sandra Prince-Embury’s review of The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything).  I’m thrilled to share her penetrating review the captures so well so many of the reasons why the ‘girl’ had to come to life and speak in this little book.  Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein,

Kids, Tweens and Teens, A Positive Psychologist Looks at All Three!-radio show


Who:        Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein will interview Andrea Fuller, CEO of Work It! Inc., and creator of Work It! Book Collection, is a veterinarian at Seaside Zoo in San Francisco. The mission of her books is to encourage girls to think BIG about the future and have fun! Her books are geared for girls 7 – 14 years old.

The first book in the Work It! Book Collection, fiction book series, introduces an internship program called the Work It Club for girls in San Francisco. The Work It Club places girls in jobs with professional women to learn about what they do. It features real details about the profession highlighted in each book.  The storyline includes, Bella Santi and Sierra Christmas getting an internship with Dr. Lopez at the Seaside Zoo.
What:       Under “Kids, Tweens and Teens, A Positive Psychologist Looks at all Three,” Dr. Barbara will speak to Andrea on girls growing up, keeping their aspirations and drive toward careers, happiness and more. Dr. Barbara will critical issues that can interfere with a girl holding on to her dreams, such as bullying, poor parenting, gossiping, and lack of mentors. Andrea will share how her books help to correct some of the above by providing mentors and encouragement.
When:          Live 4:30pm EDT Monday, at

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is the author of The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything). A National Best Seller for Teens, The Truth is a fictional girl’s diary that with humor and pathos takes all the above issues into account.

For more information please contact Dr. Holstein at 732-571-1200 or

reading mama blog reviews The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)

6aI am always so happy when kids review my book.  Read what this 11 year old had to say today on reading mama “I am very excited that my daughter read The Truth and wrote a review about it. She is 11 years old just the right age for this book. When she completed reading it she said it was cool and that she could relate to the girl. Here is her complete review:

‘I’ve read The Truth by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein. I really enjoyed it very much. I can really related to The Truth because it told about how girls really feel. I could feel how the girl was feeling as she was going through crushes, family, and her dreams. The Truth told what girls want and what it takes to achieve it. I truly recommend The Truth to girls my age and a bit older. I believe most girls would and could relate to and enjoy The Truth.’

Thanks for the review!

Simple But Profound-The Truth, I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything. What do you think?

5.0 out of 5 stars THE TRUTH, Simple but Profound, April 7, 2008
By M. Pollard (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

THE TRUTH, is simple and yet profound. The diary of a girl’s most personal thoughts is a compelling perspective on intimate childhood feelings with an intelligent resolve to the challenges of growing up. This delightful manner of story-telling exudes youthful innocence, yet timeless wisdom. It is within the context of this constant flux, that we can find relevance to our own self-awareness as adults. Intended for nine to twelve year olds but appropriate for all generations; THE TRUTH allows us to renew those youthful ideals as we reflect on our “girls” heartfelt experiences. THE TRUTH offers an opportunity to connect to our daughters and granddaughters in an open and honest dialogue, and permission to have fun.

I thought you would enjoy seeing what another reader had to say about The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything).  I hope soon you will be sharing your thoughts and ideas.  And kids, tweens and teens, I really want to hear from you!  Free Truth necklace to any person under 21 who takes the time to read the book, and write a review.  Just be in touch with me at or 

Purity of Heart is Very Important

22aThe Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) has so many topics imbedded into it for mothers and daughters and anyone who has walked the path of growing up as a girl that I hardly know which to pick. But since I must pick-let me pick purity of heart.

Purity of heart is in my opinion as a woman, a positive psychologist and having been a girl, a special vision that we often have in childhood. It is not just seeing with our eyes. It is a sixth sense combined with tender feelings and acute awareness of our surroundings. For example, when Laura Ingalls describes to us the way she ran through the prairie grass and looked up into the sky to follow hawks and looked at the stars at night while her father played the fiddle, her words evoke a purity of heart sensation in even adults.

She was able as a writer to create the whole atmosphere of her life on the prairie so that we feel something new and fresh and yet eternal as we read The Little House on the Prairie. In The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) I have tried to capture the same sense of purity of heart.

When the ‘girl’ is upset when her cousin swears it isn’t because she is making a moral judgment. It is because the swear words just feel bad as they hit her across the room. And when she dances with her mother up in the bedroom to rock and roll music, the relief of connecting with her mom and the pleasure of moving, laughing and hugging together is all there is. This is the moment and it is pure.

Purity of heart is a clean feeling and when we have purity of heart moments we can feel cleansed and delighted at the same time. Or if they are upsetting moments, as when the ‘girl’s’ cousin swore at least she knew he was not right and there was some relief just in the expression of her emotions.

I wanted to incorporate purity of heart into The Truth as we at all ages need to remember the intense pure feelings of childhood, both for ourselves and for the next generation. We need to remember them for ourselves so we can go there once again and experience the sweetness and passion that goes with really being alive, not just sleepwalking as sometimes we do as grown-ups.

And for the next generation’s sake we need to remember because we need to connect with our children and grandchildren and we need to reassure them and help validate for them that their emotions are not only pure but often more in tune with what is right that we are. Aging is not necessarily becoming emotionally more astute. Aging can sometimes just be aging.

The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) has many themes and one of them is most certainly don’t sleepwalk. Stay alive as you age and let the kids you know refresh you as well as the kid you were. After all, she is still inside of you! I promise and that’s the truth!

Children Are So Precious and See With a Purity We Have Lost

3aI saw a sign that summed up some of my feelings about children.  It said, “There are many earth angels in the form of children.”  How true.  In so many ways Our children are our witnesses to ourselves.  They help us see if we let them, what is right and what is wrong.  What is worth remembering and what is trivial.  They know what is a waste of time and what is worthwhile.  They know when we lie and when we try to get away with things.  Let’s celebrate our children and let them help return to the essence of what is best and most rejoicing about ourselves.  After all, we were all children also.

I wrote the above a couple of years ago but it is just as true today.  The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is my book that as a teacher, school psychologist, positive psychologist, women, and once a kid, I have published since the above remarks.  Now I can say with pleasure, that the ‘girl’ in the book, even better than I was able to say it, gives us the above message.  I’m proud of her.  She has wisdom and depth even beyond mine.  I guess I’m a proud ‘parent’.

I’m Impressed: Sondra Clark, 77Creative Ways Kids Can Serve

Last Friday, March 14, 2008 I had the pleasure of interviewing 18 year old Sondra Clark on my radio show, Kids, Tweens and Teens, A Positive Psychologist Looks at All Three. This show is archived on Sondra has been writing books since she was 8. That alone, would make her exceptional. However, what is even more fascinating is that so much of her work is the kind of outreach work that people three times her age are involved in. She volunteers and she teaches other kids how to find ways to volunteer and to be good citizens. For example, take a look at her new book, 77 Creative Ways Kids can Serve. Her ideas are wonderful. How about “Preparing Birthday Bags for Kids in Shelters”? It is a great idea. Or “Promote Senior Computer Skills”? Another great idea as kids know so much more than we do about computers.

It was my pleasure to interview her and learn more of her upbringing, adventures, plans and ideas. I hope you will listen to the show and get to know Sondra, also. She is a special young woman.

The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get!

10aThe Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get!  I think there is a lot of wisdom in that phrase.  Wisdom that we should be passing on to kids, tweens and teens.  As a positive psychologist, and author of The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m ten and I know everything) I know only too well that lots of people suffer in life because they haven’t learned and practiced the skills they need to succeed.  It is great to have a dream. But it is even better to be developing the skills that can make the dream come true.  You know how they say it looks so easy to be a ballet dancer, or concert pianist.  Well, we also all know how deceiving looks can be.  Have you ever tried to stand on your toes?  Or played the piano without lessons?  It is very hard.

So be a good mentor to someone else or yourself.  Get the right information to succeed in whatever you are doing or encouraging someone else to do.  See what education, training, mentoring, advice, skills, tools, etc. are involved and help either your dreams or someone else’s dreams come true.  And guess what?  You will have good luck!

Crushes, We all have had them

20aAs most of my readers know, I’m a positive psychologist.  I’m fascinated with lots of the universal struggles that most of us seem to go through.  One that I find repeated again and again is the secret crush that tweens and teens often have.  Almost everyone has been there and it can be very exciting but also very painful.  Whenever I do a workshop women in the audience always have their stories to tell about early crushes and the fun, adventures and sometimes misadventures that happened. In my new book, The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) the girl is very involved in her head and her heart with her crush.  It is much more major than her mother wants it to be and it takes over a lot of her inner life.  The girl can hardly concentrate on her school work when she thinks about Paul and she can’t imagine growing up and not marrying him.  One of the themes in this book is how the girl finally comes to terms with her crush, as she must.  Have you had an early crush? Can you share the story about your early crush? Are there other books out there that have a main character that is a tween or young teen with a crush?  What are they and did you enjoy the book? Let’s chat about this subject.

Two and One Half Men may be funny but what is the show saying about schools and tweens?

13bTonight, Monday evening, I happened to catch some of Two and One Half Men on CBS.  It is a modern day comedy-a far cry from I Love Lucy that I so loved to watch on Monday nights at 9:00 PM so many years ago.  That show had an innocense that Two and One Half Men lacks.  However, it is a different era.  And that’s what made tonight’s show so poignant, in terms of being a tween.  The youngster, who is the son of one of the characters and the nephew of the other is going to Junior High or Middle School-I didn’t catch which.  So the men are taking him shopping.  They make him buy old people’s looking sneakers so no one will try to beat him up and steal his sneakers.  They make him buy beige pants because no gang members wear beige.  By the time they put him on the school bus he looks scared to death.  As they walk away, one of the men remarks, “We’ve done all we could do, now it’s up to him.”

And I suppose that is true.  We have done or not done what we can and now our tweens are out in our society, sometimes scared to death, exposed to pressures and worries that we would never have dreamed of as children.  This is not good for them.  Kids are still developing emotionally and physically.  Having the pressures on them that someone might beat them up for their sneakers or simply beat them up because the other guy is in a gang is frightening.

Even though the ‘girl’ in my new book, The Truth, I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything, lives in a simpler time, she gives parents and tweens a great chance to talk about so many ’scary’ and complicated subjects.  She is also worried about transitioning, just like the boy in the show.  She also wants friends and to fit in. Sometimes it is easier to talk about important subjects when we simplify the setting.  That’s what I did in this book.  The Truth gives us direct access to look at all the issues surrounding growing up.  And we should!  Our tweens deserve it!