Book Review- Middle School: The Inside Story

Title: Middle School: The Inside Story
Subtitle: What Kids Tell Us, But Don't Tell You
Authors: Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna
Genre: Family & Relationships 

"Middle School"- just the mention of those two words might make your face break out again and palms get all sweaty!  Memories of high hair, braces and glasses come flooding back to your mind.  You remember those awkward days.    

Now comes an even scarier time... being the parent of a middle schooler!  Do you ever wonder what is going on in the mind of your middle schooler?  The authors of this book have spent countless hours researching and communicating with middle schoolers to help parents and teachers to better understand this age group.

The book is broken down into section which is helpful to the reader.  Part One covers the physical differences between the middle schooler and other children.  The authors discuss that awkward phase and what is typical for kids in that age group.  

Part Two is written for Parents of middle schoolers.  The chapters in this section cover communication, relationships, values and discipline in the home. 

Part Three is covers the problems middle schoolers encounter with friendships and other relationships.  The authors also discuss other "red flag" areas such as depression, eating disorders and bullying.  

Part Four covers the middle schooler in the school environment.  Since I am a middle school teacher, I enjoyed this section the most.  The authors covered learning styles and how parents can help their middle schooler succeed in school.

I would recommend this book for parents of middle school students and for parents of students entering that middle school age.  It would be ideal for parents to read this book BEFORE your kids enter the dreaded middle school years.   I would suggest reading this book when your kids enter the 3rd-5th grades.

My only criticism of the book, is that the book made no mention of praying for your middle schooler.  The book was published by a Christian Publishing Company for Focus on the Family so I expected it to be a Christian resource.  There was no mention of the Bible in the book.  I was surprised that there was not a chapter dedicated to praying over your child, especially when they are in middle school!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Tyndale House Publishing Company in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Middle school is the toughest age! Hello, and happy Tuesday. I'm stopping over from the Hobnob where I'm co-hosting:) I have a LockerLookz decorations give away contest link on my blog:)

  2. I have a copy of the book, too, Amy. I am really enjoying it. My son will face middle school in a couple of years and, as you said, I am enjoying and appreciating reading it NOW, before those years. I have a degree in education and did my student teaching in middle school. It cured me! I saw what a challenge it is to teach that age. It's great to have your input, being a middle school teacher yourself. I'll be recommending this book to friends and family! Blessings.

  3. Thanks so much for being a part of Booknificent Thursday this week! It's interesting that this is sold as a Christian book but doesn't seem to have any Christianity about it. Strange!


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