Book Review: Fab Girls Guide to Friendship Hardship

Why won’t anyone sit with me at lunch? Why aren’t I in the popular crowd? What can I do about “frenemies”? These are the types of questions that cause tremendous angst for middle-school girls. And if you have twins, you’re likely to hear these comments twice as often! So, how do you find the answers? Now there’s help. The publishers of Discovery Girls magazine have developed a series of books called the Fab Girls Guides to help girls navigate the ups and downs of middle school.

Who are the Fab Girls? They’re none other than fraternal twins, Carmen and Dallas Fabrulezziano. They may be twins, but they are totally different. They tell readers, “Discovery Girls asked us to help you through these crazy, confusing middle-school years. And who better to go through them with than a couple of fun Fab Girls who know exactly how you feel? We’ll give it to you straight and tell you everything you need to know . . .” The Fab Girls Guides were written for all middle-school girls, but will be especially loved by twin girls as they’ll be able to identify closely with the “Fab” twins.

I got hold of a copy of Fab Girls Guide to Friendship Hardship, by Phoebe Kitanidis, and it was filled with some great information for middle-school girls, such as how to tell the difference between good and bad friends, how to be the best friend you can be, how to meet new people, and how to find the friendships you truly deserve. Fun quizzes and sidebars make for fun and easy reading so that girls feel like they’re chatting with a friend, not reading a lecture. The first four books in the series are:

Fab Girls Guide to Friendship Hardship (ISBN 978-1-934766-00-2)

Breaks down the solutions to friendship problems step-by-step, helping your middle-schooler identify poisonous friendships and showing her how to be the best friend she can be.

Fab Girls Guide to Sticky Situations (ISBN 978-1-934766-01-9)

What do you do when your deepest secret is blabbed to the entire school? Or when you tell your crush you like him and he doesn’t like you back? By the last page, girls will be ready to deal with any situation.

Fab Girls Guide to Getting Through Tough Times (ISBN 978-1-934766-03-3)

True stories written by girls about their most private struggles–being betrayed by a friend, dealing with their parents’ divorce, a death in the family.

Fab Girls Guide to Getting Your Questions Answered (ISBN 978-1-934766-04-0)

In this collection of real letters to Discovery Girls’ advice columnist, girls will find answers to their most troubling questions about everything from family to friends to school to boys and more.

The books are $9.95 each or $29.95 for all four, plus shipping and handling. They may be ordered at DiscoveryGirls.com. There’s even a coupon in the back of the book for a free issue of Discovery Girls magazine. This is a wonderful new series for middle-school girls (or those soon-to-be), especially if they happen to be twins!

How to Find Free or Frugal Kid/Baby Items

by Cheryl Maguire

Kids and babies require everything from clothes to car seats and much more. As a parent of multiples, you will have to buy two or more of everything, which can add up quickly. Most of these items are expensive and are only used for a short period of time. Here are some ways to find free or frugal kid or baby items.

Ask Friends and Family If you need specific baby equipment or you are willing to accept any free kid/baby things, inform everyone you know. Most kid/baby objects are large and take up a lot of space. Some people are only too happy to pass along their things to someone else, especially if they are able to get much needed storage space back. I have received lots of free toys from my sister’s friend, a person I have never even met!

Consignment Shops There are consignment shops that only sell kid or baby used clothes and gear. Even though it is considered used, you can often find items in like new condition or clothes with the original sales tags still attached. Another benefit to shopping in a consignment shop is often you can also sell your used belongings or use it as credit to purchase new things. I am a member of a group for moms who have multiple (twins or higher) children called Keeping Pace with Multiple Miracles (KPMM). KPMM is a non-profit organization, and they have a store where they sell used or like new baby and kid items. http://www.keepingpace.org/

Yard Sales Check your local paper to find out when and where the yard sales are being held. Sometimes home day cares also have yard sales. Many yard sales are filled with kid or baby items. One time I got a Cozy Coupe Car for $1 in like new condition. The regular retail price is $50!

Freecycle Freecycle is a network of people exchanging items for free. It is now present in 85 countries. You can join a Freecycle group in your area by going to the main website. I have given away a lot of items I would have had to pay to throw away. I have also received a free crib and toddler bed in like new condition. http://www.freecycle.org/

Craigslist Craigslist is a classifieds page found in 50 countries. You can find items for free or for a fee. In addition to searching for items you need, you can also sell your used kid/baby items through Craigslist. My friend was able to purchase a like new outdoor play set for a fraction of the price if purchased new. http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites

eBay eBay is a place where you can purchase or sell your used baby/kid items. eBay also has small businesses on their site. As I mentioned previously, KPMM has a store, and they also have an on-line store through eBay selling used kid and baby items. http://stores.ebay.com/Keeping-Pace-Childrens-Boutique

Cheryl Maguire is the mother of boy/girl four-year-old twins and a baby girl. A stay-at-home mom, she runs a website called Swap Savers, which is a social network for frugal folks who love freebies, coupons and rewards.