Summary and book reviews of Queen Bees & Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman

Queen Bees & Wannabes

Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence

by Rosalind Wiseman

Queen Bees & Wannabes
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2002, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2003, 352 pages

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Book Summary

Enlivened with the voices of dozens of girls and parents, Queen Bees and Wannabes (The basis for the movie Mean Girls), is compelling reading for parents and daughters alike. A conversation piece and a reference guide, it offers the tools you need to help your daughter feel empowered and make smarter choices.

Parents Can Make A Difference In Girl World

Do you feel as though your adolescent daughter exists in a different world, speaking a different language and living by different laws? She does.

This groundbreaking book takes you inside the secret world of girls' friendships, translating and decoding them, so parents can better understand and help their daughters navigate through these crucial years. Rosalind Wiseman has spent more than a decade listening to thousands of girls talk about the powerful role cliques play in shaping what they wear and say, how they feel about school, how they respond to boys, and how they feel about themselves. In this candid and insightful book, Wiseman discusses:

  • Queen Bees, Wannabes, Targets, Torn Bystanders, and others: how to tell what role your daughter plays and help her be herself
  • Girls' power plays, from birthday invitations to cafeteria seating arrangements and illicit parties, and how to handle them
  • Good popularity and bad popularity: how cliques bear on every situation
  • Hip Parents, Best-Friend Parents, Pushover Parents, and others: examine your own parenting style, "Check Your Baggage," and identify how your own background and biases affect how you relate to your daughter
  • Related movies, books, websites, and organizations: a carefully annotated resources section provides opportunities to follow up on your own and with your daughter

Enlivened with the voices of dozens of girls and parents and a welcome sense of humor, Queen Bees and Wannabes is compelling reading for parents and daughters alike. A conversation piece and a reference guide, it offers the tools you need to help your daughter feel empowered and make smarter choices.

Introduction

Welcome to the wonderful world of your daughter's adolescence. Ten seconds ago she was a sweet, confident, world-beating little girl who looked up to you. Now she's changing before your very eyes—she's confused, insecure, often surly, lashing out. On a good day, she's teary and threatening to run away. On a bad day, you're ready to help her pack her suitcase. She's facing the toughest pressures of adolescent life—test-driving her new body, figuring out the social whirl, toughing it out in school—and intuitively you know that even though she's sometimes totally obnoxious, she needs you more than ever. Yet it's the very time when she's pulling away from you.

Why do teenage and preteen girls so often reject their parents and turn to their girlfriends instead—even when those friends often treat them so cruelly?

Every girl I know has been hurt by her girlfriends. One day your daughter comes to school and her ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
In Queen Bees and Wannabes, Empower program cofounder Rosalind Wisemen uses the knowledge that she has garnered from more than a decade of listening to thousands of adolescent girls talk about the all-powerful clique to let inquisitive parents into that often notorious circle of influence that shapes their teenage daughters personas. Wiseman dissects each role of the clique, including Queen Bees, Wannabes, Sidekicks, and Torn Bystanders, and discusses girls' power plays, from birthday invitations to cafeteria seating arrangements to illicit parties. She goes on to candidly address sensitive issues like teasing, gossip, and reputations; beauty and fashion; and social taboos like alcohol, drugs, boys, and sex.

This groundbreaking book...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

VOYA - Teri Lesesne

The tone is conversational, the advice is direct, and the insights invaluable.

Publishers Weekly

Wiseman (Defending Ourselves Prevention, Self-Defense, and Recovery from Rape), offers parents a guide to navigating the adolescent landscape...Wiseman's straightforward humor, sound advice and practical approach make this a must-read for anyone involved in the lives of teenage girls.

Booklist - Gillian Engberg

Forget the stereotypes of sugar and spice. Girls are mean, and as this book and a recent New York Times Magazine cover story indicate, their subtle, insidious style of bullying is rapidly garnering attention and concern. Wiseman, who founded a nonprofit company dedicated to empowering teens, calls on her extensive face-to-face research with teens in this book that exposes the social minefields of female adolescence and the deep scarring that can result. Wiseman also gives an excellent overview of the common patterns of aggressive teen girl behavior with an increased focus on a parent-teacher audience, offering valuable practical advice, including how to talk about hard issues like sexual harassment. She also offers admirable, groundbreaking insight into an all-too-common issue and will be invaluable to any adult struggling to help a girl get through her teens.

Author Blurb Patricia Hersch, author of A Tribe Apart A Journey into the Heart of American Adolescence
Wise, humorous, life-affirming advice for parents that is utterly respectful of girls. I recommend parents mark it up, turn the corners of pages, and heed Wiseman's creative and practical strategies for guiding girls along the sometimes treacherous pathways of growing up today. Queen Bees and Wannabes is Mapquest for parents of girls, from fifth grade all the way to young adulthood.

Author Blurb Nina Shandler, author of Ophelia's Mom and Sara Shandler, author of the bestselling Ophelia Speaks
Who's in? Who's out? Who's cool? Who's not? Why is one girl elevated to royal status and another shunned? Queen Bees and Wannabes answers these unfathomable questions and so many more. Wiseman gives parents the insight, compassion, and skill needed to guide girls through the rocky terrain of the adolescent social world. This is such an honest and helpful book; we recommend it highly.

Author Blurb Whitney Ransome and Meg Miln Moulton, executive directors, National Coalition of Girls' Schools
Laced with humor, insight, and practical suggestions, Queen Bees and Wannabes is the one volume that's been missing from the growing shelf of girl-centered publications. Wiseman explains the inner workings of teen culture and teaches parents, educators, and peers how to respond.

Author Blurb Joe Kelly, author, Dads and Daughters How to Inspire, Understand and Support Your Daughter When She's Growing Up So Fast, executive director, Dads and Daughters
Wiseman cuts through wishful parental thinking with a wonderful mixture of humor, facts, girls' voices, and a healthy dollop of reality. No, the harm cliques cause is not a natural fact of life. Wiseman gives us both hope and strategies to help our girls (and boys) build a more healthy, nurturing world for themselves.

Author Blurb Edes P. Gilbert, acting president, Independent Educational Services
Rosalind Wiseman invites us into the 'Girl World' with insight, honesty, and humor. Based on the most thorough, helpful research I know of, this book should be required reading for parents, teachers, and health professionals.

Reader Reviews

abc 123

Very GOOD book!
This was such a good book. I really understand my parents more... I want to be nicer to everyone else. [I am NOT a Queen Bee]

Mariella Wynan

So true!
When I read this book I was amazed at the similarities between the scenarios in the book and the scenarios in my own life! When my mom read it, she understood much more about what I'm going through in high school, and is now much more lenient with ...   Read More

Danielle

Great!
I loved this book, even though it's written for parents. I'm 14, and after reading this book, I understand my parents more and i know how to get my way without throwing a fit. This book gets an A+!!

floater

wow
this book was so true! I couldn't belive the likeness to my everyday life!!!

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