The Courage To Be Yourself: True Stories by Teens About Cliques, Conflicts, and Overcoming Peer Pressure

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9781442954212: The Courage To Be Yourself: True Stories by Teens About Cliques, Conflicts, and Overcoming Peer Pressure
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Dwan listens to rock music, uses big words, and can't dance very well. So her friends - even her own family - accuse her of not being black enough. Rana, an Arab American, became a target of hate after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Nadishia is harassed because she doesn't wear the latest designer clothes, Jennifer because she's overweight. Yen gets teased for being Chinese, Jeremiah for being gay, Jamel because he won't smoke marijuana. In 26 first-person stories, real teens write about their lives and how hard it is to be themselves - especially when they're bullied, picked on, pressured, excluded, and disrespected. They ask tough questions, like ''Why does everyone have such a problem with me?'' and ''Should I change myself to fit in?'' Maybe you've asked yourself these questions. Reading this book is like talking with teens who've been where you are, gone through what you're going through, and know what it's all about. These stories don't have easy answers. They don't all have happy endings. There are no magic solutions to the problems these writers face - or the problems you may face. But the message is clear: You can't control how others see you, but you can control how you see you. Conflict can make you stronger. And you can survive almost anything when you have the courage to be yourself.

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About the Author:

Al Desetta is an editor at Youth Communication, a nonprofit organization in New York City that teaches writing, journalism, and leadership skills to inner-city teens. Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR) is a national organization that teaches young people creative and productive ways to resolve conflict.

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