About The Authors
Hoda Elshayeb and Wala’a Farahat have 25 years of combined experience in child psychology, therapy, teaching, coaching and community programming. Both in the classroom and in their offices, they’ve seen how girls’ self esteem, body image, and mental health are impacted by the lack of accessible tools and age appropriate education on puberty.
As cousins, we always connected over our upbeat personalities and inability to turn down any dare because we loved the challenge. In many ways, the main character in our book, Sonya, represents a side of us many people don’t see. As service providers and educators, our family gatherings and coffee dates often turned into discussions on important topics that impacted our students and clients. I, Walaa, would often ask Hoda for resources or what she had found most effective, and I, Hoda would ask about the mental health impact and how to empower teens through their struggles. It didn’t take long for us to realize how passionate we were about the topic, and the need for more resources that teens can relate to. No, not textbooks and repetitive lectures…a resource that walks them through the experience, from a young person’s perspective and provides them with tools to navigate the challenges and complex emotions.
Note: It’s important to provide your teens with content that represents them. We were very intentional about including visual representations of diversity and present the information in a way that was appropriate for various cultures. Representation is key in developing a teen’s identity and self esteem.