The Bottom Line
By Jill Schoenberg Girma; 144 pages. Subtitle: A Girl's Journal for Sharing and Celebrating Magnificence
Kids with low self-esteem are quick to assume that everybody feels as negative about them as they do. Journal Buddies offers an upbeat way to counter that impression, by giving important people in your child's life a chance to list all the great things they see in her. Meanwhile, she gets to practice being positive and supportive of others, and thoughtful about her own experiences.
- Promotes positive self-esteem
- Sets up positive interaction with peers
- Offers good prompts to encourage writing
- Fun design will appeal to girls
- Specific time frame makes it more likely to be completed
- May be hard for children with language-related learning disabilities
- May be hard for children with few friends
- Boys have low self-esteem, too, but this book's clearly not for them
- Page 1: What's This All About
- Page 3-6: How Journal Buddies Works
- Pages 7-8: To Help You Get Started
- Pages 9-10: A Few Thoughts Before You Begin
- Pages 11-131: Journal Entries
- Pages 132-141: Section for Reflection
- Page 142: One Final Thought
- Page 143: About the Author
Guide Review - Book Review: Journal Buddies
My kids each have on the wall of their room a sheet with positive statements about them made by kids in their class. It's an exercise popular with teachers, it seems, to ask each student to say a good thing about each child in a group, and then write those things down on a paper to keep. That's the basic concept behind Journal Buddies, an upbeat, innovative journal that encourages girls to exchange appreciations with friends or family members.
The heart of the book is 30 entries in which the girl keeping the journal writes down three things she likes about her buddy, and that buddy writes down three good things about her. The buddy can be the same each day or different, and there are also spaces for the journal-keeper to reflect on a thought of the day, a focus word, and whatever else is on her mind. Accentuating the positive over the course of a month, and having a written record of all that others find special about her, will help many girls feel better about themselves and more confident in their abilities.
Will it work for everyone? Girls with learning or language disabilities that impair their enjoyment of writing probably will not be so thrilled with it, and it may not be enough to buoy girls suffering from serious depression or anxiety. And of course, no boy will go near it -- in design and editorial content, it's a girl thing. But if you have a daughter who's chatty and social but down on herself, this could show the way to brighter days.