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The Struggle to Be Strong: True Stories by Teens About Overcoming Tough Times (Updated Edition) (Paperback)
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Through thirty first-person teen narratives, including new stories on social media and gender identity, readers learn about seven resiliencies everyone needs to survive and thrive.
Otis deals with the real-life consequences of online aggression; Artiqua dates a boy of another race despite her family’s opposition. Charlene is raising her brothers and sisters because their mother is addicted to drugs; Craig is gay and worried about coming out.
All of these teens have had more than their share of troubles. And all have the resiliency needed to face their troubles, live through them, and move forward with courage, confidence, and hope.
In thirty first-person narratives, teen writers share how they’ve overcome obstacles in their lives. As teens read, they discover they’re not alone in facing life’s difficulties. They learn about seven resiliencies everyone needs to survive and thrive in even the toughest times:
In this updated edition, new stories feature topics such as social media, gender identity, and drug addiction. A “Think About It” section at the end of each story offers questions for personal reflection or discussion. Vivid, articulate, and candid, these stories will motivate readers of all ages to build the skills and strengths they need to triumph over adversity.
The corresponding leader’s guide, A Leader's Guide to The Struggle to Be Strong updated edition, provides activities, exercises, and questions to invite teens to go deeper into the stories and issues of The Struggle to Be Strong.
About the Author
Al Desetta, M.A., was an editor at Youth Communication, a New York–based nonprofit organization that teaches writing, journalism, and leadership skills to inner-city teens, from 1985 until 2002. He is currently a freelance editor.
Sybil Wolin, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and was codirector of Project Resilience from 1987 to 2000. She lives on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband.
“Engaging, empowering testimony to today’s teens struggling to make something of themselves.”
— Voice of Youth Advocates
“Easy to read and often inspiring.”
— School Library Journal
“An important resource.”
“This slim but mighty volume is a beacon of hope and good sense for young people and their counselors.”
— Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., Zellerbach family professor of psychology and director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Learned Optimism and The Optimistic Child
“When I feel like whining about my hard life, I instead page through The Struggle to Be Strong. After a few paragraphs, I’ve usually gotten some much-needed perspective from Danielle, Jamel, Xavier, or one of the book’s other young writers.”
— Ronnie Polaneczky
“The Struggle to Be Strong is wonderful—and so needed, as my experience is that adults are talking about youth resilience with other adults, but not nearly enough with kids themselves. This book is the best: Kids to kids.”
— Nan Henderson, M.S.W., president of Resiliency In Action, Inc.
— Midwest Book Review