About This Book


Being a teenager is hard — school is challenging, college and career are looming on the horizon, family issues arise, friends and love come and go, bodies and emotions go through major changes, and many teens experience the loss of a loved one for the first time. This book reminds teenagers that they are not alone, as they read stories written by other teens about the problems and issues they all face every day.

More from Chicken Soup for the Soul

We're adding this soon!

We're adding this soon!
We're adding this soon!
Five tips to help teens stay real as they grow up
Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark.

Your teenage years are exciting and full of change, but they can also bring challenges as you learn about life's difficulties. The teens in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up faced these challenges and succeeded. In these 101 stories, other teens like you share what they learned and encourage you to meet your challenges head on. Here are five tips to help you through your teenage growing pains.

  1. Be yourself. On a trip to Dairy Queen with her dad, 13-year-old Esther Sooter confided in him about wanting to fit in with the other girls. Her dad gave her some advice: In college, he had worn sweater vests, which were practical, but NOT in style. He had worn them with such confidence, though, that other kids started wearing them. He had started a trend! "I found it hard to believe that going against the grain could have benefits for me," Esther writes. But as she mulled over her dad's story, she reevaluated what she wore and decided to make sure she actually liked her clothes. "I found myself caring less and less what people thought about me," she writes. "The conversation I had with my father…sparked in me the desire to deviate from the beaten path and form one of my own."
  2. Have friends to turn to for support. During their sophomore year of high school, Brian Leykum noticed his best friend Mike acting differently. He was worried. He learned that Mike was depressed, but didn't know why. "I did not want to give up on my true best friend," Brian writes, "so I continued spending painful hours trying to drag him out of his house." Finally, one day Mike confided in Brian what was bothering him—Mike was gay and had been keeping it a secret. Brian was surprised, "but I decided right then and there that I was not going to lose my best friend over it." And he didn't. They're now seniors and still best friends who hang out all the time.
  3. Don't lose sight of who you are. When James D. Barron became a teen, he felt lost and confused. He began doing crazy things—like clinging to a car roof while his friend drove circles in a parking lot—and he didn't know why. James continued seeking danger, even as he saw his friends essentially self-destructing, with one after another ruining their lives. But his recklessness culminated in a weekend camping trip with his friend one winter, when James decided not to take a risk in the melting snow. James donned snowshoes and went off for a safe walk by himself, reflecting that he had not only lost friends, but had temporarily lost himself. "I realized it was just me in the world, but that was a gift, not a curse. My life was mine to make or break," James writes. "The speed I'd been seeking by clinging to the top of cars in parking lots hadn't helped me find myself. One-step-at-a-time snowshoes had."
  4. Don't be afraid to seek forgiveness. Rochelle Pennington and her three best friends became unusually daring one afternoon when they went for a drive. Armed with a squirt bottle of mustard, the girls spotted two joggers and made them their target. After Rochelle squirted a jogger, she realized it was one of her teachers—Miss Greatens. And Miss Greatens recognized Rochelle. The girls felt terrible and went to the teacher's house to apologize. "Then something extraordinary happened: She forgave us. Fully. Right there on the spot," Rochelle writes. "Will we ever do anything like that again? NO WAY. You see, that is the power of forgiveness."
  5. Change is not always bad. Carol Ayer's world turned upside down when her parents divorced—the family she knew no longer existed. And the worst came when her mother remarried. Carol was leery of her stepfather Dan, and resisted his attempts at getting to know her. She wanted her old life back. But as time went on, Carol got to know Dan better and learned they had some things in common. "Better still, Dan showed an interest in me that I had never experienced from my own father," Carol writes. And she saw her mom and Dan happy together, something she hadn't seen with her parents. Carol realized her parents were right that their divorce was for the best. "At thirteen, I learned an important truth—change is not always the worst thing that can happen," she writes. "Sometimes, it is just what we need the most."
We're adding this soon!

From Your Community

We're adding this soon!

We're adding this soon!

Story Titles and Authors