The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything)

I hope so much that when a girl or her mom or her grandmom or her teacher finishes reading The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) what will happen next is an open dialogue.  That’s why I put in the back of the book questions that naturally lead to deep conversation.  Some people think The Truth is an easy read.  It may be, but it is a deep read.  Just as an Emily Dickenson poem can be very deep in only four lines, so can the thoughts and feelings of this nameless girl who touches our hearts.  She is unique, but also one of us.  Any girl or woman will identify somewhere in the pages with her.  For some it is her energy.  For others her ability to solve problems.  For others it is her realization that she knows so deeply so many truths.  And once we identify then it becomes easy to want to chat and share.  I hope you will do so after you read the book.  The genuine connection that you will feel with your daughter, yourself and the girl in the book will warm your heart.  Please let me know what questions you enjoyed most in the back.  You can write to me at

Fun and mystery all around! All you need is a copy of The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything!)

Here are some lines from The Truth.  Have some fun and imagine the story before and after the lines, with your daughter, your granddaughter or just yourself!

1.  Good by Miss Shanon.   I will never forget you Mr. Reid!   p.51
(One clue-school)

2.  I’m still sad for them and angry that they waste time fighting, but at least I’m in a good mood again.  p.50

3.  So this is really a puzzle, but it is still a truth that strange things can make us happy.  p.71

4.  Even grownups have to feel good, or they get really cranky, and that’s the truth. p.75

Enjoy and let me know what you created!

Click here for more of The Truth on Amazon.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein talks about how: If You Dig Down Far Enough You’ll Get to CHINA! Publishing The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) in a Foreign Land

Did your parents ever tell you that when you were a kid? My parents did. I guess it was one way of explaining that the earth is round and there are places very, very far away. I would actually imagine a tunnel all the way to China. My fascination with China only increased when my mother decided it was time for the den to be redecorated in a Chinese motif. Soon we had new upholstery for the studio coach displaying a pattern of Chinese temples, and people dressed in elaborate ancient Chinese garb. I loved to stare at the upholstery and the new pictures on the wall, of course, Chinese mountains and ancient buildings. All of this was augmented by the family’s love of going out to Chinese restaurants.

Our favorite restaurant in the whole world, aside from The Seafood Grill, (guess what they specialized in?) was the Far East. Located on a second floor in downtown New Haven, it was a world unto itself. First we climbed up a dark wooden staircase to enter a large room with dark wood paneling, old wooden fans swirling slowly in the ceiling, and little china tea cups, There was strange exotic music that sounded like the black keys on our piano and Chinese waiters that barely spoke English. My parents knew exactly what to order: chow main in dark sauce, along with egg foo young.

When I was very tiny I was given the French bread which they served, along with the white rice and the vanilla ice cream. (No one questions why they served French bread.) Later I graduated to spare ribs and other exotic dishes like Moo Gai Pan.

It took so little to convince my mom, dad, myself and my Aunt Lil and my Grandmother, Baboo, to believe we were in an exotic setting, eating authentic cuisine. How simple those days were.

As simple as those days were, they still left me with a fascination for China. So when I was approached to consider publishing my first book in The Truth Series: The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) in China, I was over the moon. This was an amazing opportunity. All of my old feelings of longing to somehow be part of this strange land came back to me. I leaped at the offer.

Soon, Professor Chen, an English professor in China, and I were corresponding almost daily. I got to know about him, his family and his way of life. He got to know about me. We were penpals. And we were colleagues on a project. He translated the book beautifully. When we finally had a publisher, , we brainstormed many extra passages that appeared in the Chinese version, but not the English version. You see, the editor wanted lots of passages about school work, tests, holidays. Basically, the book was educational in terms of how kids live here, as well as being a fictional diary written by a girl growing up, experiencing all sorts of emotions and events in her life.

In the fall of 2009 the book was published in China. When I saw the book I was amazed. It is so adorable. Almost every page has art work on it. Also the book is in both English and Chinese. That way, the reader can also practice her English as she reads. If you go to my Truthforgirls page on Facebook I have some pictures of the Chinese version of the book and also the party I had to celebrate the book coming out.

I encourage every author to try to get your book or books published in at least one other country. It is a wonderful way of sharing what you have to offer. Also, it is a great way to feel that you have contributed beyond your own borders. There are agents that specialize in foreign rights. If you are interested pursue them. I have an agent now, but I still have one more edition of The Truth to come out in a foreign land, that I secured for myself.

Can you guess where? It is Vietnam. My yearnings for the exotic are beginning to come true. Now I just have to book some flights!

The Truth and Secrets

I am adamant about helping girls grow up strong and sure of themselves. The Truth Series and now the second book in the series: SECRETS: You tell me yours and I”ll tell you mine… maybe, is my way of addressing some of the dysfunctional messages we all absorb in one way or another growing up. Girls can not always free themselves of the dysfunction that may create damaging messages in their lives. But they can be taught to recognize how special they are and given ways to hold on to the best of themselves. That is what I am busy doing, via fiction, in The Truth (I”m a girl, I”m smart and I know everything) and now SECRETS.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist and author of The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is the radio guest on Chaklet Coffee Books.

I loved being on the Chaklet Coffee Books show. It is amazing how much fun we all had late at night! We got to discuss The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) in detail, and so many related subjects about parenting, growing up, having a crush, etc. It was so delightful to have a 10 year old girl also on the show who had read the book with her Grandma-just what I recommend!

Click link below to listen to show!…

Book club encourages parent-child discourse

When seven Manasquan mothers and their sixth-grade daughters discuss a book they”ve all been reading, the conversation is about far more than the story. They share their feelings and thoughts about the issues in the book and about life.

Encouraging such communication was a goal when founding the Manasquan Mother Daughter Book Club in 2006, says Maribeth Pelly, 42, whose daughter Zoe, 12, is a member. The club has achieved that and helped the girls become more confident when expressing themselves, she says.

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Here”s another article

Mother-Daughter Book Club in Manasquan, New Jersey

I’ve been talking so much about my new book. But they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I thought all of you would enjoy seeing me in action with my book. Here I am with the girls from the Mother-Daughter Book Club in Manasquan, New Jersey. One of the girls, April, had read my book The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) this summer and recommended the book.

As you can see by our smiling faces, it was a wonderful night. I was so happy that all the mothers and daughters had read the book and were ready to discuss school, social, family and communication issues brought up in the book. See the paper heart necklaces I am wearing? Each of them has on it a question that April had prepared so we would have plenty to talk about.

Here is a sample of several of the questions: “What are five things you promise to do when you grow up? How would you react if your mom told you you’re too young for a bra but you wanted one? Do you think teachers have an affect on kids emotions? explain…”

The more I work with The Truth I realize how different from other books it is as an educational and motivational tool. The kids fall in love with the girl who keeps such a truthful diary. They read it as fiction. But it opens up so many doors for education, communication and helping girls develop their true potential.

That night the mothers, girls and I could have talked for hours and hours. We did talk for over 1 1/2 hours, but we had to stop for luscious cupcakes and brownies that the kids had made!