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A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years

Ten Speed Press, A Random House Subsidiary


"My child was bullied for months before we suspected anything. Reading this book helped me realize some of the signs I missed, and how to help my child from now on." ~ Joanna, parent of two middle school children

"Bully-proofing my son was easier to do with the strategies from Joe's book. I didn't realize that kids treated each other that way." ~ Julie, middle school parent

"Cyberbullying and Facebook go hand-in-hand. I was behind the times with what I knew about both. Now I'm up to speed. Thanks!" ~ Kate, middle school parent

"I could have used this book with my first one. I'm glad to have it now. So much has changed in the last few years with the online world. Great answers to my most frequent questions." ~ Carol, two-time middle school parent

“Selective memory probably vaporized the details of your sixth to eighth grade experience. To parent effectively through these years you need to understand twenty-first century middle school reality--the academic challenges, packed schedules, social stressors, and nonstop intrusion of digital media. You’ll also need the terrific twenty-first century coaching techniques provided in this book.” ~ Annie Fox, author of Too Stressed to Think? and the Middle School Confidential™ series

"This book is full of valuable information concerning today's kids as they take that major step into middle school. From dealing with bullying to organizing their lockers - to adjusting to changing classes and teachers several times a day, entering Middle School can be overwhelming for many kids. If you have a child that is entering Middle School this fall - this is a must read for you - great summer reading! Being prepared is the first step to helping your child have a successful academic year." ~ Sue Scheff, author of Wit's End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen

“Bruzzese’s perspective into the teen years is dead-on! He covers all of the hard-hitting topics and brings up many new issues that parents need to be aware of. Bruzzese gives advice not only to help ease the transition into middle school, but also to help families tackle the teen years with great success--awesome!” ~ Vanessa Van Petten, teen author of You’re Grounded! and creator of OnTeensToday.com

"Impressive! You really nailed it. From building a binder to organizing your homework. I feel your book should be required reading for all middle school parents." ~ Kay Penn, former middle school teacher

Schools and organizations may purchase books with a purchase order. Please contact Joe either by email or by phone
phone: 805-319-2358
email: joe@middleschoolyears.com

176 pages.
Price: $14.95

About the Author:

Throughout the past 20 years Joe Bruzzese has successfully guided children, parents and educators through the challenges of the childhood years. As a nationally recognized author and speaker Joe brings innovation, energy, recognition and high standards to both his presentations and his instructional practice.

Joe’s work has been reported across numerous media outlets, including the nationally syndicated television morning shows and a collection of print and online parenting publications including Momster.com where he is the featured Dad on the popular parenting site created by Family Circle and Parents Magazine.

His background as a teacher and coach paved the way to his first book title, A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years, (Ten Speed Press 2009), and two DVDs, “50 Days and 50 Ways to Thrive During the Middle School Years” and “Confident, Connected and Challenged – The 3 C’s to Thriving During the Middle School Years”. His energetic, content-rich presentations draw interest from schools and conferences around the nation.

Joe’s background in education includes a Master’s degree in addition to his former tenure as teacher in the middle school grades. Joe brings years of educational theory and practical experience to his work with families.

In addition to the speaking events and seminars he facilitates, Joe instructs future teachers in the Graduate School of Education, at UC Santa Barbara and at Azusa Pacific University where he teaches courses focused on the development of relationships among children, parents and schools.


Book Overview:

With over 40 million kids passing through middle school over the next decade, the ability to build confidence, maintain a connection and manage challenge with your child has never been more important for parents.

After significant effort, a few years of writing and the contributions of hundreds, my book, A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years, is now available for purchase through Amazon.com. Think forward to the end of the school year for those friends and colleagues who are approaching the middle school years and buy them a copy or two. The folks who have read the manuscript seem to agree that my ideas help to pave the way for kids and parents who want to thrive in the years ahead.

Ten Speed Press of Berkeley, California found me and took an interest in bringing the book to print. Here's a preview.

Whether your child starts middle school or junior high in 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th grade the transition to middle school will mark a significant change in your family. Thriving throughout the middle school years doesn’t happen by accident. Kids and parents who find fulfillment during these years do so because it is their intention and vision to do so. This book lays the groundwork for building a vision that takes parents into, through and beyond the challenges and changes of the middle school years including what parents now consider to be one of the top issues--bullying. The logistics of navigating a heavy course load at school and finding the ideal organization system, although important, comprise only a small slice of the pie that families are expected to consume during these years. Finding friends while overcoming frienship challenges like cliques and bullies can be a daily challenge.

Taken at its roots, this book is a conversation about three ideas: confidence, connection and challenge. Parents looking for a book filled with band-aids and the quick fixes will be disappointed. However, reading from beginning to end will reward the parent who is committed to taking action not just today, but everyday as their child tackles middle school and teen years to come.

The chapters flow in a rhythmic way allowing for simultaneous thought and action throughout the book rather than waiting until the end to spur a reader’s call to action. The opening chapter highlights the benefits of positive peer relationships and the destructive power that bullying can bring to a child’s life. Building a team, one the book’s key points, will serve to support a child’s continued growth and self confidence during the social transition that kids make as they enter middle school. Central to the idea of a team are a child’s teachers. On any given day a middle school student will interact with five to seven teachers who add another level of support and challenge to a child’s life. Building a strong bond with this incredible group of individuals strengthens a child’s ability to overcome challenge and thrive.

Beyond the classroom, the book explores topics central to the middle school years. Extracurricular activities become a prominent part of the day for many kids. Managing an increasing course load while trying to meet the expectations of a full afterschool schedule can leave both kids and parents feeling frazzled. We will look at ways to manage the madness on route to a stress-free year.

Although intriguing for kids, the internet has left parents at a loss for how to best support their child’s safe and appropriate use of the online world. Social networking giant, Facebook garners significant media attention for their connection to abductions, predators and cyberbullying incidents. Although the media highlights the danger kids face we will present an accurate picture of the peril currently present online as well as strategies for staying connected with your web-savvy child.

Whereas most books attempt to provide answers this book prompts questions; questions that lead to conversations, which in turn, build relationships. The book wouldn’t be complete without the addition of a selected number of tips and strategies so I’ve included the nuts and bolts of getting organized, managing time and meeting the expectations of teachers across a seven period schedule. My intention in bringing this book to the nearly 40 million parents starting middle school is to provide a solid foundation for thriving in the years ahead.

Schools and organizations may purchase books with a purchase order. Please contact Joe either by email (joe@MiddleSchoolYears.com) or by phone (805-889-2142) for more information about sending in your purchase order.

176 pages.
Price: $14.95

top Book Discussion Program
  Use A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years as part of a year-long discussion at your school. School administrators and Parent Associations who want to connect with their parent communities are using the book and included discussion guide to answer common questions and discuss difficult topics often associated with the middle school years.

Each chapter of the book creates a natural set of discussion topics, ideal for either a monthly coffee meeting or an evening book group. The book discussion program includes the following items:

  • 20% bulk discount on all purchases of 20 or more books

  • Complete discussion guide for each chapter of the book

  • 1-hour consultation with either the school administrator or parent association leader

  • Email support throughout the year to keep your program productive

  • Year-long access to the online parent course for all program participants

  • Discounted rate on Joe's Professional fees for Parent Education Presentations and Staff Development Seminars

Book Discussion Program Cost: $199*

*Copies of A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years are purchased separately. The program cost includes a master copy of the discussion guide, 1-hour consultation, email support and access to the online parent course. Contact Joe directly to purchase books at a 20% discount for your discussion program.

  Online Course for Parents

Self-paced, video-driven online course for middle school parents. Feeling pressed for time and want to do as much as possible for your middle school child? The online course was designed with the busy parent in mind who wants to find out more about help her child, but doesn't have the time to spend a week at a conference.

Log on to the online course as often as you like. The videos and strategies are accessble to you 24/7 for an entire year.

The course was designed by Joe Bruzzese, parent education expert and author of A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years. Each of the six sections of the course coincides with a chapter of the book. Read the book while you investigate the course online or download all of the course content and take it with you on your ipod.

Take a free tour of the course content for Chapters 1 and 2.

Full registration for the self-paced online course is $49.95. Included in your registration fee is a copy of A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years.

Register for the course here: www.PGMSY.com

For scheduling inquiries and book purchases:
phone: 805-319-2358
email: joe@middleschoolyears.com