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Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About…
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Ophelia Speaks: Adolescent Girls Write About Their Search for Self

by Sara Shandler

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I read this book as a young lesbian just coming out of the closet and it helped change my view on being gay. It helped me to have the courage to come out, and to become the proud person I am today. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060952970, Paperback)

Ophelia Speaks by Sara Shandler is a clever response to Mary Pipher's bestselling Reviving Ophelia. Shandler reveals telling portraits of teenage girls in this book, a compilation of essays, poems, and true-grit commentary from a cross section of teenage girls (or Ophelias), throughout the country. The book succeeds because it gives voice to their deepest concerns and their too-often frenzied lives. Because she's a college student, Shandler considers herself a peer of these adolescent girls, able to tap into their collective consciousness.

Shandler is as determined as she is a sharp reporter in chronicling the lives of these young women. To research the book, she sent out a mass mailing of 7,000 letters to high school and junior high school principals, counselors, and teachers explaining her book project and urging them to encourage teenage girls to contribute.

The topics covered run the gamut, but they include parental expectations, racial relations, and faith, among others. Sadly, eating disorders are an all-too-popular topic. The good news is that Shandler's contributors offer up some real insight for their peers. In one essay titled "Food Is Not My Enemy," Elizabeth Fales "calls us to a new feminism. In the old feminism, our mothers fought for the right to choose abortion. In our generation, we must fight for the right to eat."

The book also gives practical insight for parents who may find it hard to relate to their teenage daughters. In a nutshell, it appears that adolescent girls want unconditional love from parents who can be confidants without being overly critical. --Peg Melnick

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:42 -0400)

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