Foreword

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School

Foreword

The first day. The first kiss. The first time you got ditched by a friend because you weren’t cool enough. The first time you were given real responsibilities. The first moment you realized you were growing up, changing, and becoming who you really are. These are the things that middle school is all about, and trust us—we know middle school.

We’ve been reading your stories and living through your best moments, as well as your worst nightmares. We’ve been cringing right alongside you as you totally made a fool of yourself trying to impress girls, or discovered that the people you thought were your best friends had left you out in the cold. But we’ve also been smiling as you’ve gone through those exciting, adrenaline-filled moments. Like that time your crush asked you to slow dance and you practically died of happiness—we were rooting for you. Or the time you found an activity that made you feel like you were finally pretty awesome at something. We were right there, giving you a standing ovation.

Middle school wasn’t too long ago for us, and it’s still fresh in our minds. It can be a painfully awkward time in your life, but the lessons you learn are invaluable to the growing-up process. That’s why we’re glad we could give you this—Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School. Think of it like a guidebook. Kids just like you are describing the rocky journey, pointing out some of the best and worst points, but then allowing you to make your way and experience them on your own.

Thanks to you, we’ve gotten to relive a lot of this stuff. We sat in our office, giggling about our first crush or the stupid things we wore when we were trying to fit in. We couldn’t believe what we did to be popular, but we were also proud of ourselves for the times we stood up for what we believed in. And when you look back, that’s what you’ll do too. You’ll feel proud that you trudged through middle school and got out relatively unscathed. One day, when your braces are off and your hair stops doing that weird frizzy thing you can’t seem to get under control, you’ll laugh too. Because middle school is, above all, funny. And don’t worry—we already think you’re pretty cool.

~Madeline and Valerie

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