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ASK ELIZABETH by Elizabeth Berkley


by Elizabeth Berkley

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: March 23rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-25448-2
Publisher: Putnam

Actress Berkley (Saved by the Bell) tries her hand at advice for young women in a question-and-answer format. Culling from workshops of the same title that she has conducted for the past four years, discussion is centered around a grouping of topics: self-image, romantic relationships, friends and bullies, family issues and, finally, a section on mental health and defining self. Mimicking the look of a scrapbook, chapters include suggestions from the author and feature scraps of paper with handwritten inquiries from girls who attended the workshops. Also on offer are honest and thoughtful testimonials written by teens themselves about the various subjects and the occasional blurb from a professional. Collages of images and hand-drawn designs decorate the pages and add to the informal, confessional tone. Berkley maintains a chatty, direct voice throughout that contributes to the accessibility of the work but may turn some readers off. Often urging readers to think of her almost as if they know her by using phrases such as, “Please know that I fully honor, accept and love every single one of you,” or exhorting girls to be themselves because, “Trust me, [the real you]’s pretty amazing!” may leave the more skeptical feeling that the familiarity established in the workshops doesn’t translate authentically to the page. References to the author’s website are included. (Self-help. 12-18)