• Middle School Matters

  • The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond - and How Parents Can Help
  • By: Phyllis L. Fagell
  • Narrated by: Lauren McCullough
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A counselor and popular Washington Post contributor offers a new take on grades 6-8 as a distinct developmental phase - and the perfect time to set up kids to thrive.

Middle school is its own important, distinct territory, and yet it's either written off as an uncomfortable rite of passage or lumped in with other developmental phases. Based on her many years working in schools, professional counselor Phyllis Fagell sees these years instead as a critical stage that parents can't afford to ignore (and though "middle school" includes different grades in various regions, Fagell maintains that the ages make more of a difference than the setting). Though the transition from childhood to adolescence can be tough for kids, this time of rapid physical, intellectual, moral, social, and emotional change is a unique opportunity to proactively build character and confidence.

Fagell helps parents use the middle school years as a low-stakes training ground to teach kids the key skills they'll need to thrive now and in the future, including making good friend choices, negotiating conflict, regulating their own emotions, be their own advocates, and more. To answer parents' most common questions and struggles with middle school-aged children, Fagell combines her professional and personal expertise with stories and advice from prominent psychologists, doctors, parents, educators, school professionals, and middle schoolers themselves.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Phyllis L. Fagell (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"I love, love Middle School Matters! Phyllis Fagell has done a stupendous job! Middle School Matters gives parents of middle school boys and girls an essential guide to walk alongside their children as they go through middle school. The book is filled with just the right combination of research and common sense strategies that only a middle school counselor in the trenches could deliver. With this book, parents don't need to dread the middle school years. Instead they can be prepared and informed so they can do best by their kids. I wish I had had this book when my boys were in middle school!" (Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and founder of Cultures of Dignity)

"As a lifelong educator and the parent of two teens and a tween, I cannot recommend this book enough! I just wish Middle School Matters had been written when I was a superintendent and led a middle school transformation effort, as the ideas, advice and practical guidance are invaluable. Phyllis Fagell has done us all a great service by breaking down the middle school years into easily-understood concepts that parents and educators can use to work with early adolescents in any setting. Phyllis presents simple strategies and approaches to help students - and adults - navigate an amazingly complex and exciting time in their lives. I highly encourage teachers, principals, parents, policy makers and anyone interested in using the middle school years to lay the foundation for success in the teenage years and beyond to read and apply the lessons of this book now!" (Joshua P. Starr, EdD, chief executive officer, PDK International)

"Middle School does matter! And, parents matter during these years...as much as you ever have, maybe more. As young people strive to answer, 'Who am I?' they need you to stand solidly in their corner reminding them that they are perfect just as they are. Phyllis Fagell has created a masterpiece here - an actionable guide filled with the skill-sets you'll need to support your child through these critical life-shaping years." (Ken Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed, author of Raising Kids to Thrive and Building Resilience in Children and Teens, www.parentandteen.com)

What listeners say about Middle School Matters

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Eye-opening

This was a great book for teachers and parents alike. I gained a lot of insight into the mind of the middle-schooler, just in time to start my new role as a Grade 6 teacher. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand and learn to help and relate to your middle-schooler!

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Great resource for teen parents.

Enjoyed this audio from beginning to end. Author gives multiple tips and sources to help as we grow together with our teens. My favorite part is the conversation starters. Highly recommend to all who have the joy of a teen at home.

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Covered lots of aspects with no helpful tips

Book stated the obvious facts with no helpful details. Nothing really stuck with me after hours of listening.

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  • Sean Callard
  • 08-20-22

Excellent guide for parents and educators

Middle School Matters is a great guide for supporting children through the key issues they face during the transition to adolescence. It combines evidence and theory, personal and professional anecdotes, and actionable ideas for parents and educators to support their children and students. I’m also buying a copy of the book, as I know it’s something I will refer back to regularly!