The Truth:
My Secret Diary. I'm 10. I'm smart. And I know everything!

by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Ladybug Press, 2007. ISBN 1889409359.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 06/04/2007

Nonfiction: Life Lessons

The Truth will have you smiling and nodding in assent all the way through this small volume written in the words of a ten year old. Psychologist and author Barbara Becker Holstein writes in her introduction, "That girl's truth may not be exactly your truth, but the girl has the power to stimulate, reminding us of our talents, our dreams, our wisdom and our resiliencies."

Remember when you had your first crush? The Girl will help you recall the innocence and agony. Remember how you felt when another girl in your class made fun of you? The Girl will remind you of your wish to become invisible. Remember when you rode a bus or trolley by yourself? Or when you checked out the lotions and cosmetics in the neighborhood drug store? The Girl will remind you of how grown up you felt. Remember when you were picked last for a team sport or not picked for a choral program? "Don't they ever think about how I feel standing there with less and less kids to protect me from the truth that I can't catch the ball so well?" writes The Girl in her Diary.

The Girl writes about how she feels when parents fight and don't listen to her and other children. She writes about how certain books and characters in books capture her and carry her to a different place. She also reminds me about how it felt to wave my hand in my classroom often enough to be ignored by my teacher.

The Truth calls us to be conscious of how what we do affects others—especially our own children. Some of the examples may date The Girl as being of "a certain age" now, with too many years of life experience to actually be the mother of a ten year old girl; however, the basic truths remain. It is important to recall the bitter and the sweet of our own childhood so that we become the best that we can be in the present.

Holstein includes questions for discussion at the end of the book. This would be a great basis for laughter and tears during a [big] girls' weekend away from home.

Check out our interview with the author of The Truth.

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