Friday, June 5, 2015

The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to Books in the Hall!

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I write juvenile fiction because I am so drawn to the inner child that is still within each of us. I see that child as having a rocky road as he or she moves from being a kid to growing up. So I want to help that child feel confident, be resilient and stay alive and well. The best way I can think of to do that is through the fictional diaries I have been writing for girls, tweens, teens and their parents. Why their parents? Because us adults have to find, love and cherish the part of ourselves that once was young and still has lots to give us.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

When I was very little I wanted to be a pediatrician when I grew up. Later I wanted to be an actress. Then again I wanted to be a doctor of medicine. Then I wanted to be a journalist. I did not want to be a teacher. But in my senior year of college my parents told me I had better become a teacher as they were not supporting me after college. I was not crushed, as my interests were still alive and well. I loved drama and attended lots of plays and did some acting. I loved to write poetry and stories and I continued to do so. I was fascinated by the human mind and how we learn so actually training to be an elementary school teacher was fun for me. As it turned out I am a writer, a psychologist, a playwright and a teacher. What could be better?

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

Absolutely I Love Lucy! I loved her then and I love her now. Just today I saw a couple of her old shows while I was at the gym. Her shows on Monday night were my treat to get through Monday when I was a kid. I laughed, I felt good. I wanted to live with Lucy and Desi and be their kid! And today, I still laugh, feel good and want to live in an apartment in NYC like theirs. I think now, it is their friendship with Fred and Ethel that so attracts me. It was so innocent and pleasant and fun. They walked in and out of each other's lives and apartments and had so many good times. Everyone loved their baby, and there was always an older neighbor to babysit. Life was good even though crazy things happened.

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.

Gutsy Tween figures out a secret, clever solution to the problems of growing up.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

I would rent an apartment in NYC, similar to the one that Lucy and Desi had. I would give a lot to charity. I would fix up our home. I would buy new cars. I would give money to family members. I would buy some fun stuff like really good bikes.

"I hate Angela and I wish she would move away tomorrow!" "I get so worried when I hear my parents fighting at night." "My mother thinks my crush is silly. I know I am in love!" "I have so many questions about growing up. Who will answer them?" "I feel so awful when Jake makes fun of me." "When I grow up I going to remember how to have fun with my kids and never look away." Growing up is tough. Adults don't always understand you (even though they were once kids), and children today face increasing pressure to be, look, or act a certain way. Written in the voice of a girl on the cusp of becoming a teenager, The Truth provides young girls with an opportunity to see how a girl, who is in many ways like themselves, handles her toughest problems and most personal thoughts. Each new page brings forth a discussion to help girls handle everyday problems: How do you survive a bully? How do you handle a crush on a boy? What can you do about relentless teasing by your peers? What really matters as you grow older?

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, The Truth is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Date: July 7

Dear Diary:

I feel so lonely. I can’t believe my parents made us move. Don’t they understand how awful it is for me? I don’t have anyone to share secrets with. I talk to Angela on the phone, but it isn’t the same. Sometimes when I’m on the phone with her I get the feeling that she is on her computer at the same time or maybe just thinking about other stuff. I don’t feel that closeness with her anymore. I want to feel it, but I don’t know how. I’m afraid to ask her if she is playing a game on the computer or chatting on Facebook at the same time as she’s on the phone with me.

The only good thing that happened is I asked Angela if she wants to send selfies back and forth to each other. My phone is old and I don’t have FaceTime, but I can still take pictures and send them to her. She loved the idea, so I spent hours yesterday sending her pictures of me in different rooms in my house and in the backyard, too. It was a lot of fun. I dressed up as if I was putting on a play and each room was a new scene. I wore a velvet scarf and one of my mom’s fancy hats and put on an old long petticoat I used to dress up in as a kid and then I went outside and stood on the swing that is hanging from a tree. It was hard to keep the swing still enough to get a good Selfie, but finally I did, and I sent it to Angela. She sent back a selfie of herself dressed up like a Flapper girl from the 1920s, posing with a long stick as if it was a cigarette in a holder. We laughed and laughed on the phone, and it was the best I have felt since we moved. The best part was that if felt like we were together again even though we are apart!

I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years. The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web. In particular,,, on Facebook at Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Psychologist & Author, on Pinterest at and on You Tube. Just look for me on You Tube via Barbara Becker Holstein.


Barnes and Noble:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Enjoyed reading your interview today

  2. Enjoyed your comments. This was a really good excerpt.

  3. Great interview.

  4. Terrific interview! The cover and title are awesome! Thank you for the great post and contest!

  5. I enjoyed learning about you and your book~thank you for sharing!

  6. I loved being with all of you! Great fun. Thanks.

  7. Enjoyed your post - thanks for sharing!