Verdict: NINE WAYS TO EMPOWER TWEENS WITH EMMA AND ELLIOT is overall a positive text with an encouraging message for young people.
Fraternal twins Emma and Elliot share life skills for 10- to 12-year-olds in this lively life guide for tweens.
This book offers an effective tweens-speaking-to-tweens approach with a largely successful narrative. Tweens are likely to respond more positively to friendly advice than an authoritative lecture, and Boucher’s style incorporates a decidedly amiable tone. The text is very encouraging, emphasizing the importance of both hard work and imagination. Additionally, the values and attitudes embraced by the text’s narrators are often genuinely useful methods for problem-solving and achieving one’s dreams.
At times, however, the book’s encouragement can escalate into unrealistic statements that oversimplify potential challenges. While positive thinking, goal setting, and practice are all valuable at any age, the lives of tweens can involve issues beyond the scope of these strategies and outside of their power to control. The text ignores the very real possibilities of complications like learning and physical disabilities, mental illness, and economic or other social disadvantages that may render to-do lists and positivity inadequate. To expect this book to solve every tween’s problems would be unfair, but the complexities of young adult life do deserve acknowledgement. The book’s reliance on the law of attraction is especially problematic; wishing doesn’t make it so, and not all failure is the result of simply being too negative or not trying hard enough.
That said, Boucher’s book does a good job of fostering a sense of possibility and belief in oneself that could be meaningful for some tweens. Furthermore, the text’s emphasis on creating tangible goals and not allowing mistakes to scare readers out of trying to succeed at something are important reminders at any age.
NINE WAYS TO EMPOWER TWEENS WITH EMMA AND ELLIOT is overall a positive text with an encouraging message for young people.