Monday, May 4, 2009

Blog Tour - Dear Mom by Melody Carlson

Dear Mom: Everything Your Teenage Daughter Wants You to Know But Will Never Tell You
Melody Carlson
WaterBrook Press (div of Random House)
March 2009

As I hinted at before, I've been on a roller coaster ride with my 13 yo since her birthday. I was looking forward to reading and reviewing this book since I first heard about it and it was worth the wait.

Melody Carlson
I've read Melody Carlson's fiction and really enjoyed her Diary of a Teenage Girl series - especially the Chloe books. The students, and my daughter, can't get enough of the True Colors series. Each book tackles a teen issue, such as cutting, jealousy, weight management, depression in a manner teens can relate to. I've used Deep Green and Bitter Rose in book clubs as requested by the students. I love how the books have a Christian bent but you don't feel as if Ms. Carlson is preaching to you. Learn more about Ms. Carlson and the variety of books she's written, here.

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books for adults, children, and teens, with sales totaling more than three million copies. Beloved for her Diary of a Teenage Girl and Notes from a Spinning Planet series, she’s also the author of the women’s novels Finding Alice (in production now for a Lifetime-TV movie), Crystal Lies, On This Day, These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking, and A Mile in My Flip-Flops. A mother of two grown sons, Melody lives in central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. She’s a full-time writer and an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.

Dear Mom
Told from the perspective of a teenage girl, this book helps you remember what it's like to be a teenager. What it's like to want people to like you, no matter what. How it feels to have people put you down, especially in front of your friends. Why it's hard to know what's right when there is so much conflicting information out there.

"'s the deal, Mom: I don't want to base my decisions on my parent's convictions...I want to know what I believe..."

Melody walks us through tough topics such as clothing (girls dress for other girls), friendships (even though they hurt us, we don't want to be loners), and boys (do guys really think about sex 24/7), as well as other tough topics. She uses humor and a clear voice to get her point across without lecturing - we don't want to sit through them, why do we think they do?
"When you go on and on without allowing me to comment, it is a lecture."

We don't want our children to make the mistakes we made, we want them to have a better life, we want to be able to communicate with our daughters better than our mothers communicated with us. If you see yourself, or a friend, in this statement, get this book. I was going to give it away but I can't I know I will need it again. There are these great charts:

Ten Ways to Humiliate Me 7. Try to act cool around my friends, like you're just one of the girls. Ways We're Alike We both try to cover up our insecurities Ways to Totally Alienate Me From You Snoop in my room under the guise of putting laundry away.

This is one of the best books I've read on parenting teenagers. It is so direct and I love how it's divided. The chapters make sense and I could actually "hear" my daughters voice as I was reading! Phenomenal! I would recommend this to anyone with a teenage daughter, especially if they are just starting down that path. Having this book on hand will increase your confidence in understanding what your child is going through. It doesn't give you any easy answers - we know teens are complicated - but it brings you back to what it was like when you were that age. The times have changed but the issues remain. It makes me pause before I respond and we have just a little more harmony. Well worth it, well worth it! 5 stars!

In addition to Dear Mom I received:

Mama's Got a Fake I.D.: How to Reveal the Real You Behind all That Mom
Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira
WaterBrook Press (div Random House)
March 2009

Formula for identity loss:
1. Take one multifaceted, intriguing human being.
2. Bless her with a child.
3. Mix with today’s cultural assumptions.
4. Add the demands of motherhood.
5. Presto! All identity except Mom disappears.

For every woman wondering what happened to the unique combination of gifts and abilities she was known for before kids came along, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira has good news: in Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., Rivadeneira helps moms reclaim their full identity as creative beings, gifted professionals and volunteers, loving friends, children of God—and mothers.

This inspiring and practical guide shows women how to break free from false guilt, learn a new language to express who they really are, and follow God’s lead in sharing their true self with others. After all, motherhood doesn’t have to mean losing one’s identity. Instead, being a mom makes it possible for a woman to discover a more complete identity as the person God made her to be.

Caryn Rivadeneira
The former managing editor of Marriage Partnership and Christian Parenting Today, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira has been a trusted voice writing and speaking to women for more than a decade. Today she is the managing editor of, an online community for Christian women in leadership. Rivadeneira works from home in the Chicago suburbs, where she lives with her husband and their three children.

Each book can be purchased by clicking on the book covers!

Other posts:
MUD Splats
Books and Needlepoint
Thoughts and Reflections from a Canadian Ladybug
Suzie Eller - interview with C. D. Rivadeneira

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