5 Minutes for Books — Help for the Teen Years

by Jennifer Donovan

This week I am highlighting three books to help you navigate the teen years. They each offer a unique approach and perspective to educating parents and helping them avoid some of the pitfalls of this time of life.

teen.jpgMike Linderman has worked with teens as a licensed counselor for more than ten years. He has been able to help children with serious problems who are almost without hope. He has written The Teen Whisperer: How to Break through the Silence and Secrecy of Teenage Life to share that knowledge. In an easy-to-read style, he tackles tough issues such as depression and suicide, eating disorders, drinking and drugs, as well as identifying and explaining the five primary needs of your teen, and tips on the right approach to dealing with your teen such as communication skills, tips about rules and much more.

my-life.jpgMy Life Unscripted by Tricia Goyer is a book that is actually written to teens (specifically girls). In this book, Tricia Goyer shares her own mistakes and the way that God has helped redeem poor choices. She’s been there, so she’s the kind of voice that teens will listen to. If my daughter is not listening to me, I would hope that there’s someone like Tricia who she could listen to and learn from. Tricia offers proactive steps to being the kind of person that you can be proud of, ways to study God’s word, and examines the perks and pitfalls of popularity. The book also includes real thought-provoking questions that will spark action, as well as quotes from teen girls weighing in on these issues. You can read more about the book as well as an interview with the author at Snapshot blog.

what.jpgWhat Your Daughter Isn’t Telling You is the second in the Closer series by the same authors who wrote Here For You, a book which I loved (read my full review here). This book looks honestly at the issues that teen girls continue to raise (or feel that they can’t raise with their mothers): pornography, dating, trust, family relationships, and communications gaps. The list looks alarming, but in their usual style Susie Shellenberger and Kathy Gowler tackle these issues honestly. They are tough topics, but instead of feeling burdened down and hopeless, I felt encouraged and empowered to address them head-on.

If you would like to win one of these books, leave a comment. If you have a preference, please indicate that in the comments. They can ship to the U.S. or Canada. We will announce the winners next week in this column.

Congrats to the winners of the two amazon.com gift certificates donated by the author of Switchcraft. You can click right on through and order it right now if you are a winner or you just hoped to be:

#55, lace

#35, monica

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ELLIE November 12, 2007 at 12:08 am

this is wonderful…would love any one of these…having a teenage girl has been quite a different world then raising boys…count me in!


2 Capturing Today November 12, 2007 at 1:14 am

My Life Unscripted would be a nice resource to have on hand.


3 Bess November 12, 2007 at 7:54 am

My Life Unscripted would be perfect for my teenage niece. Count me in!


4 Amy November 12, 2007 at 8:22 am

I would love to add Teen Whisperer to our home library. Count me in!


5 Beth November 12, 2007 at 8:36 am

Wow, any of these would be great!!! I could share them with my SIL and /or niece!


6 Tuesday Miles November 12, 2007 at 8:48 am

I was blessed 16 years ago with my Daughter, any of these books would just add to my blessings.


7 Andrea November 12, 2007 at 9:11 am

I can’t pick one! :) I think any of these would be great to have on hand…thanks for the great giveaway again! :)


8 Janne November 12, 2007 at 9:52 am

Any of these would be good, as I am the parent of a just-turned-16-year-old.


9 Colleen November 12, 2007 at 10:04 am

Tricia sent me My Life Unscripted and I’m excited to read it as I have a 14 year old step daughter. Glad to see you’ve listed it here!


10 Sara November 12, 2007 at 11:04 am

I would love to read the Teen Whisperer…I still have years to come before my boy is a teen, but if how fast this year went by is any indicator for the rest, it will be here before I know it! And you can never be too prepared! Thanks for the awesome chance to win!


11 April Russell November 12, 2007 at 11:31 am

Please enter me for any of the 3. Thanks!!


12 Qtpies7 November 12, 2007 at 11:34 am

I would like to read all of them, but the first and third books really look interesting to me, I am working hard on cracking my dd’s silence.


13 Kim November 12, 2007 at 11:50 am

Teen Whisperer and What Your Daughter isn’t Telling you looks interesting to me, count me in.


14 melody is slurping life November 12, 2007 at 11:55 am

Teen Whisperer, please. I’ve been through one teen…oh dear…and have three approaching real fast…all male…HELP!


15 Rach November 12, 2007 at 12:10 pm

My daughters are still young, but my 8 yr old is fastly showing signs of preteen ‘stuff’. It would be so helpful to have any of these books .. tho the “What your daughter isn’t telling you” would be my ideal selection.


16 Amanda November 12, 2007 at 12:51 pm

please include me, I don’t have a preference.


17 Angela & Connor November 12, 2007 at 1:10 pm

I would love to win any of these books. Especially the Teen one. I will blog your contest later tonight too :)


18 Tara Robertson November 12, 2007 at 1:25 pm

I’d love to win any of these books.


19 Mary B. November 12, 2007 at 1:29 pm

Any of these works for me, my daughter is 11. So far, so good but I know we are in for some rough years, any help is great!


20 Jennifer November 12, 2007 at 2:14 pm

I have three daughters. I would love any of the books!


21 Brooke November 12, 2007 at 2:24 pm

I’m obsessed with reading up on what my teenage daughter is up to and how to best talk to her. Please randomly select me!!!


22 Cindi Hoppes November 12, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Hi, How to break through the silence of teens would be the book for me! I have two teenage sons and would really enjoy some insight from this book. Either of the girl books, I would give to my mother-in-law. She is raising three of her daughter’s children. The oldest is a girl who just became a teenager. I know she would appreciate the help of the teenage girl books. Thanks, Cindi


23 Natalie November 12, 2007 at 2:58 pm

I would love to win any of those books! :) I have daughters and they will be teens someday…yikes!


24 Monique November 12, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Please enter me for any of the books.


25 sara tx November 12, 2007 at 4:57 pm

I’d like the Teen Whisperer if I win. Thanks :)


26 Joanne November 12, 2007 at 5:09 pm

With a 16 year old daughter…I would love more wisdom!

(waiting with my fingers crossed!)


27 DeafMom November 12, 2007 at 5:27 pm

I have a daughter who is just becoming a teen and some days, I sure wish I knew what she isn’t telling me!


28 ashley November 12, 2007 at 9:17 pm

These are great! I would love to win one!


29 jessica November 12, 2007 at 9:43 pm

any of those sound great for my little sis…or my mom


30 Laura November 12, 2007 at 10:35 pm

Oh my goodness!! These books are EXACTLY what I need as the mom to teenage daughters. If I win, just send me whatever one you have available. I’m sure that I would make use of any of them.


31 Susanne November 12, 2007 at 10:55 pm

I think we all need all the help we can get as the kids grow SO fast!!! Thanks again!!


32 Wendy November 12, 2007 at 11:10 pm

I think that any of these books would be helpful!


33 Tiffanie November 12, 2007 at 11:13 pm

My daughter is a preteen at the moment. Any one of these books would help make the way a tad easier.


34 Karen (Mommy of Three) November 12, 2007 at 11:46 pm

I would love to have Life…Unscripted! Thanks:)


35 Audra November 13, 2007 at 12:12 am

My daughter is not old enough yet but the third book will come in handy in the future.


36 Mikki November 13, 2007 at 12:21 am

As a mom of two GREAT God’s girls, I don’t have a lot to complain about – BUT I do have a lot to learn. Any of these would be fun to win.

Thanks ladies.


37 Laura November 13, 2007 at 2:16 am

I’d love to win either the first book or the third book as I have the My Life Unscripted one.


Blogged ya: http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2007/11/monday-edition-of-contests-galore_12.html


38 Christy November 13, 2007 at 4:55 am

I have 3 girls, any would be helpful!


39 Laura K November 13, 2007 at 8:03 am

My bff has four children, three of which are teenagers. I pray for her everyday (LOL). Please count me in!


40 Julie November 13, 2007 at 8:30 am

Since I have teenage sons – I would love love love The Teen Whisperer.



41 Cindy D. November 13, 2007 at 8:31 am

What great books, I’m sure they will benefit any parent with Teens.


42 Julie Sivley November 13, 2007 at 9:01 am

I’d love to be entered…. thanks!


43 Bridget Jardeleza November 13, 2007 at 9:11 am

wow i could really use the help!


44 Caryn Bailey November 13, 2007 at 9:23 am

The books sound great!


45 Christy H. November 13, 2007 at 10:48 am

I would love to win any of these books.


46 Bree November 13, 2007 at 11:31 am

Wow, all of them look great!


47 Pauline Burns November 13, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Awesome contest! Enter me please!


48 Jenn in AZ November 13, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Wow, all of these look like awesome books! I am going to write them down to look for them at the bookstore or library! I think I would like “What Your Daughter Isn’t Telling You”…although any of them would be great!

Thanks again for a great giveaway!


49 Jenn in AZ November 13, 2007 at 12:26 pm

Oh! I wanted to THANK YOU for the book I received last week. I won The Dead Whisper On by TL Hines. I haven’t read it yet…cannot wait! Thanks so much!


50 Shaun Wallner November 13, 2007 at 12:26 pm

id love to have any one of these books handy.


51 Jennifer November 13, 2007 at 2:15 pm

sounds like any of them would be fabulous. help. after 12 years just got my 14 year old dropped off on my front step this morning.


52 Audra November 13, 2007 at 3:05 pm

I’d love to win My Life Unscripted for mt two teen daughters. :) Thanks for hosting the giveaway. :)


53 Erin Maurer November 13, 2007 at 4:11 pm

count me in


54 Briggie November 13, 2007 at 5:24 pm

count me in i can use help with my 14 year old! your link is on my site!


55 Jodi November 14, 2007 at 8:20 am

The Teen Whisperer will come in handy for me!


56 Debra Faulk November 14, 2007 at 11:20 am

Great contest, enter me.


57 martha November 14, 2007 at 11:41 am

I could use help at this time too…if I win, pick a good one for me!


58 Barbara Levy November 14, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Sounds like this would be quite a help!


59 Carrie November 14, 2007 at 10:34 pm

I’d love to read “What your daughter..” or “Teen Whisperer”. Thanks!


60 TNChick November 15, 2007 at 1:30 am

I’m entering myself. I have the teen years to look forward to. I think this would be a great read, any of them.


61 Barb Szyszkiewicz, sfo November 15, 2007 at 2:06 pm

My daughter is just coming up on the teen years. I’d love to win “What your daughter isn’t telling you.”
My link is up!


62 charlotte November 15, 2007 at 2:37 pm

You guys are great:) Count me in again:)


63 Kris November 16, 2007 at 3:39 am

The Teen Whisperer would be great. Thanks for the chance.


64 Kathy Conley November 16, 2007 at 10:58 am

With 3 teens at home, I NEED help – at least to keep my sanity!


65 Nissa H. November 16, 2007 at 2:58 pm

Like many of the moms- I could use these!! Boy, could I!


66 kimberly November 16, 2007 at 7:06 pm

Please enter me in this contest.


67 Pamela White November 16, 2007 at 7:58 pm

The Teen Whisperer would help me with my mute teen.


68 Anna November 17, 2007 at 6:06 pm

I would love to have either My Life Unscripted or What Your Daughter Isn’t Telling You.


69 LivingforGod November 18, 2007 at 5:12 am

I’m interested in either the first book or the second book. Please enter me. Thanks!


70 kathy pease November 18, 2007 at 3:44 pm

i need all the help i can get with my teens :O


71 Cecilia November 18, 2007 at 4:56 pm

No preference! Us parents need all the help we can get with teens.


72 Lib November 18, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Any of these books would be wonderful. I am a mother of a tween daughter and wowsers do I remember how hateful I was as a teen. I am not looking forward to entering these upcoming years unarmed LOL

Thanks for the chance and good luck to everyone participating!

notmuchmorethanthis [at] gmail [dot] com


73 Adena November 18, 2007 at 9:04 pm

I have two teenage daughters and any book would be great help!


74 Amanda November 18, 2007 at 11:40 pm

I was just surfing the web for books to help me with my daughter and just happened upon this site. I’d love to read the last book, What Your Daughter Isn’t Telling You. It seems to be exactly what I need NOW. Thank you so much.


75 Kierra November 20, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Please include me as well! Thanks!


76 T. Thomas November 20, 2007 at 10:26 pm

Not too proud to ask for help. Thanks!


77 Sisterlisa November 21, 2007 at 10:24 am

Jennifer, I’m interested in a book that can explain the issues our teens face before it gets to drugs/porn/sex, like pride/a rebellious spirit/lack of communication with God. I believe that if we can face those challeneges head on while it’s at the beginning stage , we can prevent it from going further. Any thoughts?


78 Ginny November 21, 2007 at 7:50 pm

Hope I win :-)


79 Claudette November 25, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Please enter me :)


80 e. w. January 6, 2008 at 6:51 am

by: Maia Szalavitz
“Teen Whisperer or Teen Tormentor: As Congress Takes On Troubled Teen Programs, Times Inadvertently Plugs One
Posted October 23, 2007 | 03:35 PM (EST)

While I’ve gotta give The New York Times kudos for its strong editorial “When Tough Love is Too Tough,” calling for greater oversight of the “troubled teen” residential industry, I must simultaneously take them to task for running a glowing review of a book by a counselor who worked for 10 years for one of the most notorious organizations in that business.

Mike Linderman, author of The Teen Whisperer served as “clinical director” of Spring Creek Lodge, a Montana program linked with the infamous World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASP, also called WWASPS).

Calling Linderman “brusquely compassionate,” the Times Styles section approvingly cited him for that work. But it failed to even mention the history of serious abuse allegations and lawsuits involving Spring Creek Lodge — many of which include the decade in which Linderman worked there.

Take this 2003 Times story, headlined “Program to Help Troubled Youths Has Troubles of Its Own.” In it, investigative reporter Tim Weiner notes that “some children and parents call [Spring Creek Lodge] physically and psychologically brutal.” He goes on to detail stories of teens locked in solitary confinement for months [photo of the claustrophic isolation room known as "the Hobbit" at Spring Creek is here], fed only beans and bananas. Linderman worked at Spring Creek at the time and apparently was employed by the program until some time in 2006.

Weiner quotes the mother of one teen, Michele Ziperovich, saying “He came out 35 pounds lighter, acting like a zombie. When he came back, he was worse, far worse.” Weiner also reports that former employees have corroborated the teens’ stories and that one was arrested for sexually assaulting teens in the isolation room.

In 2005, a Spring Creek staffer shot a man seven times and then killed himself. And in 2006, Spring Creek was sued after a teenage girl committed suicide there– the suit says that the facility “was not designed or operated to provide quality or even adequate care” and that its employees “planned and operated Spring Creek Lodge Academy in such a manner that physical, educational, mental or emotional harm was consistently and foreseeably caused to the children at Spring Creek.”

The Times mentions nothing of this controversy — essentially allowing the author to claim that The New York Times endorses his book and by association, Spring Creek Lodge.

Nor does the review inform readers that when Linderman worked at Spring Creek, it was affiliated with WWASP, which has had no fewer than eight programs shuttered following abuse allegations. In Mexico, police filmed kids chained in outdoor dog cages at one program — a program to which kids at Spring Creek were often sent if they didn’t behave.

Spring Creek Lodge is currently the subject of a large class action suit — with over 100 plaintiffs claiming serious human rights violations occurred there and at other WWASP programs.

I think parents considering taking advice from the “Teen Whisperer” might want to know that he has been accused as well of being a “Teen Tormentor” and party to institutionalized child abuse.

And we wonder why people distrust the media…


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