Some of the most popular books for teenage girls are littered with troubling messages. Novels like “Clique,” “Gossip Girl” and “A-List” feature high school girls who obsess about fashion, status and casual sex.
[Tidbit about the author of the "A-list" series: Zoey Dean's A-List is a national bestselling series. She divides her time between Beverly Hills and several small islands in the Caribbean. She is currently working on her next juicy A-List novel, at an undisclosed location. Oy vey!! I love it when people really plug themselves into reality.]
But a new series of books intended for 9- to 13-year-old girls goes beyond those spoiled stereotypes. The series, Beacon Street Girls, written under the pseudonym Annie Bryant, focuses on real-life issues like popularity, weight problems, alcohol and divorce.The stories, which revolve around five middle-school girls in Brookline, Mass., are shaped by leading experts in adolescent development, with the goal of helping girls build self-esteem and coping skills. But can expert health advice wrapped up as fiction really make a difference for the books’ young readers? A surprising new study suggests that for some girls, it can.