Can a mother-daughter relationship survive fifth-grade mean girl drama? Yes, if the mom’s best friends have anything to say about it.
When Dawn learns her oldest daughter, Kayli, is put in the same class as a manipulative and cunning queen bee, she knows she must step up her mom game and fast. Feeling ill-equipped to handle the situation, Dawn turns to her two best mom friends for advice during their weekly morning walks. At first, Dawn’s grateful for their suggestions. They have similar-aged kids and a much better pulse on what’s going on at school. But when their well-intentioned guidance only exacerbates the situation, Dawn’s desperation and frustration grow as her relationship with Kayli deteriorates. Facing irreparable damage to their mother-daughter relationship, Dawn must decide if she’ll continue to follow her friends’ advice or begin to trust her own gut in how to best parent Kayli. You can hear an excerpt from the first book here.
Parenting kids through fifth-grade crushes should be pretty simple, right? A mom and her two best friends are about to find out.
Dawn feels very lucky. Her daughter Kayli is a solid student, has good friends, and is a leader on the basketball court. So when a supposedly innocent crush starts chipping away at Kayli’s self-esteem, Dawn struggles with what to do. Although her mom friends encourage her to intervene, Dawn hesitates. She’s inserted herself into Kayli’s social dynamics in the past, and it’s jeopardized their close mother-daughter relationship. But when she tries letting Kayli handle the precarious relationship on her own, the problems worsen and Kayli’s confidence plummets. As Dawn’s heart breaks watching her daughter shrink into a meeker version of her former self, a memory from her own past resurfaces. Dawn finally realizes she must reclaim her own voice in order to prevent Kayli from losing hers.
Can a mom preserve her tween’s authenticity under the pressure of middle school? Maybe, but first she has to prove she can stay true to herself.
Parenting through the middle school years can test any mom. And Dawn’s wealthy community and its pressure-cooker atmosphere don’t make it easier. She cringes watching her sixth-grade daughter, Kayli, cave to superficial trends and disregard what’s important to her just to fit in. Overwhelmed and underinformed in navigating this minefield, Dawn jumps at the chance to volunteer with some parenting insiders. But the role quickly consumes Dawn and inserts her into the very mom drama she detests. Worse yet, Dawn’s still failing to prevent Kayli from succumbing to her peer influencers. In fact, Dawn starts doing the same. With her work-life balance and her daughter’s character at stake, Dawn must learn to stand up for what she believes in before it’s too late to show her daughter how it’s done.
Every mom worries about their tween’s phone use, right? Probably, but what’s the worst thing that could happen?
Tweens, phones, and social media can put any mom on edge. And some trouble Dawn got into when she was younger only ratchets up her anxiety as she parents her sixth-grade daughter, Kayli, through it. Dawn holds out as long as she can before letting Kayli get a phone. Then, when she finally allows it, she ensures all the “right” rules are in place. But it hardly matters. Dawn can’t prevent Kayli from messing up. And with each additional mistake, Dawn grows increasingly frustrated, which only makes Kayli want to hide her errors more. As their mother-daughter relationship gets put to the test, Dawn must figure out what’s really important before the consequences become permanent.
Acknowledgments: A huge thanks to all those who contributed to helping these books come together, including: Ginger P Designs for the cover, Lidija Hilje and my critique partners from WFWA, Laura Lee Anderson for editing, Clio Editing Services for proofreading, Draft2Digital for distribution, and, of course, my wonderful family and friends.