Cover image for Ophelia speaks : adolescent girls write about their search for self
Ophelia speaks : adolescent girls write about their search for self
Shandler, Sara.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperPerennial, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvii, 285 pages ; 21 cm
Reading Level:
790 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.0 14.0 36213.

Reading Counts RC High School 9 19 Quiz: 21195 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ798 .S45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



At age sixteen, Sara Shandler read Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia, the national bestseller that candidly explored the unique issues that challenge girls in their struggle toward womanhood. Moved by Pipher's insight yet driven to hear the unfiltered voices of today's adolescent girls, Shandler yearned to speak for herself, and to provide a forum for other Ophelias to do so as well.

A poignant collection of original pieces selected from more than eighthundred contributions, Ophelia Speaks culls writings from the hearts of girls nationwide, of various races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Ranging in age from twelve to eighteen, the voices here offer a provocative and piercingly real view on issues public and private, from body image to boys, politics to parents, school to sex. Framing each chapter are Shandler's own personal reflections, offering both the comfort of a trusted friend and an honest perspective from within the whirlwind of adolescence.

In these pages, you will see your best friend, your daughter, your sister--and yourself. At once filled with heartbreak and hope, in these pages Ophelia speaks.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Inspired by Mary Pipher's 1994 bestseller Reviving Ophelia, which shed new light on the problems of contemporary female adolescence, Shandler, currently an undergraduate at Wesleyan University, set out to give voice to the real Ophelias, America's teenaged girlsÄherself included. Just 16 years old when she started this project, Shandler enlisted the help of hundreds of educators, counselors, pastors and administrators to find other girls who wanted to write about the issues most important to them. Ranging from problems with body image and self-mutilation to difficult relationships with parents and other family members, to intense academic pressures, the book is organized by subject and includes entries from dozens of girls across the country. We see girls in distant communities facing similar struggles as they attempt to navigate the pressured and competitive world of adolescence. Judging from the hundreds of contributions Shandler received, the issues these girls raise are weighty ones that our whole society needs be concerned about. Many of the girls write in an intensely personal style, but their concerns should not be written off as diary angst. Shandler has done an admirable job of shaping the disparate pieces into a disturbing mosaic that reveals the seriousness of teenage problems. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Shandler, an undergraduate at Wesleyan University, envisioned this book as a response to Mary Pipher's national best seller Reviving Ophelia (LJ 4/1/94), and it certainly lives up to her expectations. Shandler collected writings from adolescent girls all over the country on topics that include sexuality, eating disorders, feminism, family dynamics, and friendship; their words, framed by Shandler's own reflections, are riveting and revealing. The viewpoint presented here is very different from what the media have led us to believe are adolescent girls' concernsÄit is their own voices we hear instead of advertising agencies' copy. The acerbic wit and insight found throughout are apparent in this excerpt from Emily Carmichael's "Fight Girl Power": "Some woman or other, who's the editor of Jane...said something like, `We need to remodel feminism into an attractive, marketable concept so we can make money off it....' So they did, and they called it Girl Power. So far, they've made bundles." Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.ÄSheila Devaney, Peace Coll. Lib., Raleigh, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.