My Books!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen

by Barbara Becker Holstein



Following in the footsteps of The Truth, Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen begins as the thirteen-year-old protagonist makes a move with her family to a new town. She has grown up a lot over the past year—and has made a list of everything that’s important to her now that she doesn’t want to forget when she gets older. But now, as she enters her early teen years, she begins to write down the secrets she wants to keep—and the ones she has no one to tell about. From new school experiences to a new baby in the family to a new crush, this new teen finally feels empowered on making her own decisions with confidence and keeping those secrets she holds dearest for herself.

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween and early teen girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, Secrets is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.


Date: December 2
Dear Diary,

I have a secret and it’s been eating me up inside, so I have to tell you. I lied to Angela. I told her I had a terrible sore throat and couldn’t come for the weekend. She said she was sorry and that she would invite me again.

I felt terrible, and then my throat really began to hurt. But I just couldn’t go to Springport for a whole weekend_even though I miss being around Angela.

Now that I have best friends here, I don’t feel the same way I used to about going back to visit. And I didn’t know how to tell Angela that. I could tell when we talked on the phone that she really wanted me to come. And she sent me a new selfie, holding a sign that reads I Miss You! She even told me that she doesn’t have a new best friend since I left. She really misses me. She also told me that Paul is in lots of her classes and he asks if she’s talked to me. How could I tell her I’m in love with Rob and don’t care about Paul anymore? How could I tell her that I have new best friends and want to stay here with them?

I did go to Sally’s instead, and we had the best time. Her mother ordered pizza for us and we drank Coke. We watched television and made popcorn and did each other’s hair with all of Sally’s older sister’s hair products we found in the bathroom. I look silly with curly hair. We kept laughing and falling on the floor and giggling, and we played this fun game that Jackie learned in camp last summer. We all lay down on the floor and we each put our head on someone else’s belly. Someone says, “Ha-ha,” and then the next person says, “Haha-ha,” until everyone is laughing. Then you can’t stop laughing because the belly you are on is bouncing all around under your head.

Sally’s mom got really angry at all the noise we were making, and we had to turn off the lights and pretend to go to sleep. I hardly slept a wink, though. I was so excited and having so much fun with my new friends. I was tired the next morning and really did have a sore throat when I went home, but I didn’t care. It was worth it to have so much fun.


1.What's the best and worst part of being an author?

The best part of being an author is in two parts.  The first is the creative push as I write and the sense of involvement with the book I am creating.  It is a real rush.  The second is the rush I get when someone reacts to my book.  Obviously, if the book has been enjoyed and/or meaningful then that is the best.  But even criticism is better than no response as a book with a closed cover is not alive!

2.Which book of yours is your favorite? Why

Actually both The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are my favorites, but for slightly different reasons.  I loved writing The Truth because it fell into place as almost a poem or a song falls into place.  Everything about it melts together into one essence of coming to beautiful terms with going from childhood to being a tween.  Secrets is more complex, as the girl is older and life is more complex as well as her feelings.  But eventually as I reworked the book one more time it became totally chohesive and a real novel in diary form.  So how can I not love it also? 

3.What are your favorite authors in the genre that you write?

There are very few novels for tweens and teens in diary form.  I don't have another author who is a favorite in that genre as the famous diaries, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, are different in tone from my books.  I would say my favorite author is Judy Bloom who does incorporate a lot of the pain and pleasure and insights of growing up that I also incorporate.

4.Which of your characters is most like you?

As far as the characters in The Truth and Secrets, there is one main character, The Girl.  She is like me in some ways, but very different from me in others.  Her parents are not always very receptive or aware of her needs.  That is very different from the way I was brought up. However,  she does incorporate parts of my clients, and other people who have come into my life.  She does incorporate one trait that is mine, a trait that my parents encouraged.  She is persistent and deligent.  She doesn't give up and finds a way to a solution.  I like to think of myself as that way and I think it is a very important trait to encourage in youngsters.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!  My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years.  The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web.

The author is giving away a $20 gift certificate from Amazon/B&N. Use the rafflecopter link below to enter. You can find her schedule at

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Love the excerpt! The diary post is amazing!

karin said...

I really loved the excerpt

Nikolina said...

Enjoyed reading the interview, thank you!

Mai T. said...

The beautiful cover is my favorite part of the post today.