A Great Gift for Any Special Girl in Your Life
Book Review – How to Help Your Hurting Friend by Susie Shellenberger
Reviewed by Lisa M. Hendey
How to Help Your Hurting Friend (Zondervan, February 2004, paperback, 176 pages) is the type of book I wish someone would have given me when I turned thirteen. Granted, life during my teenage years was much less complicated than what today’s teens face – but some of the basic issues confronted by a young lady never change. Susie Shellenberger has written a wonderful book that should be on the top of each caring mom’s (or aunt’s or grandmother’s…) list of books to share with her daughter.
Written in an upbeat, conversational tone, How to Help Your Hurting Friend doesn’t make any assumptions. It rightly starts with a section on making friends and walks the young reader through the steps to being a great girlfriend. Rightly, this section of the book culminates with Shellenberger’s advice to “Be Jesus to those around you.” This is great advice for any of us! Shellenberger’s wisdom seems to point towards relationships made better by fostering a giving and loving spirit, rather than what a person will take out of a relationship.
The meat of How to Help Your Hurting Friend is Section Two, which walks the reader through various scenarios that tragically, but realistically, come up frequently in today’s society. Eating disorders, depression, internet addictions, illness, self destructive behaviors and sexual abuse are each given detailed treatment by the author. The list of “do” and “don’t” suggestions at the end of each of the units provides teens with a good, proactive list of steps they can take to help a friend in need.
The third section of the book contains several letters to Susie, complete with her helpful responses covering a myriad of situations. Also included are some helpful questions, prompts and inspiring articles.
Overall, I believe that How to Help Your Hurting Friend is a great resource for any teen or young adult, although the book will have strong appeal for young women. I plan to read several of the sections of the book with my thirteen year old son. I have to say I gained quite a lot from reading the book myself. If you learn nothing else from How to Help Your Hurting Friend, the one point of wisdom “Be Jesus to those around you” is worth the cover price.
For additional information on How to Help Your Hurting Friend visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/031025308X/digitalcropper-20
Lisa M. Hendey is a mother of two sons, webmaster of numerous web sites, including http://www.catholicmom.com and http://www.christiancoloring.com, and an avid reader. Visit her at http://www.lisahendey.com
7010 N. Marks, Suite 103
Fresno, CA 93711