By: Kathleen Boucher
Publisher: Tellwell Talent inc.
Publication Date: November 2019
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: August 30, 2022
Children’s self-help consultant Kathleen Boucher turns real life situations into affirming action through the voices of two fictional tweens seeking help and offering it to others of their age and aspirations in her book Nine Ways to Empower Tweens.
There are two “speakers” in this carry-with guide: identical twins and, at age 12, tweens, Emma and Elliot. They have learned some techniques through the assistance of teachers, parents, and other adults, and through observing life as it is lived. Passing this assistance along, they have devised nine rules, each of which carries a set of instructions based on the advice of wise counselors and underpinned by examples that have the feel of tween truth. Each chapter focuses on one of the nine “ways” and includes space for writing one’s thoughts and practices.
The book begins with a typical situation that might make even an adult feel nervous – talking in front of a group. The writing space allows for positive affirmations and solutions – what strengths one can emphasize in a public presentation, with “key points” listed and expectations for audience reactions. Words of encouragement complete this segment. Other guidelines, all with accompanying examples and exercises, encompass starting each day with gratitude, creating “vision boards,” defusing anger, understanding time and how to use it to best advantage, devising a solid work ethic, making an excellent first impression, talking to oneself about one’s special challenges, and finally, an exhortation to “Start Each Day with Love in Your Heart.”
Boucher is an award-winning children’s writer as well as a medical and wellness practitioner, as she indicates when describing the determination of comedian Jim Carrey, who struggled with dyslexia but was sure he could become a success. In one story episode, a school acquaintance, Jenny, mocks Emma’s hair style, so she rushes home, cries – and begins writing, until she is ready to approach Jenny and realizes that it was Jenny’s own self-directed negativity that made her attack someone else. Apologies all round - and by such mechanisms and self-examination many other dilemmas are resolved. The book is illustrated with sketches, graphics and special fonts that enhance the text on every page. Exemplars for tweens include Einstein, Carol Burnett and Eleanor Roosevelt, and there is a bibliography of resources for readers and their teachers/parents/counselors to rely on for further study.
Quill says: Kathleen Boucher, author and lifestyle coach, has created this colorful manual for young people of all ages, in a mission to help them analyze their problems, correct any misguided thinking, and remain highly positive in all they take on.
For more information on Nine Ways to Empower Tweens, please visit the author's website at: www.boucherbooks.com