Penguin Young Readers Group, $16.99, 240 pages
Elizabeth Berkley is probably most recognized for her starring role as Jessie Spanno in the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. Today, she is admired for her work with the nonprofit organization “Ask Elizabeth” whose goal is to provide self-esteem workshops to young women all over the country. Ask Elizabeth is based on the most frequently asked questions from her workshops. Topics include family, dating, beauty, friendship, goal-setting, bullying, nutrition and body image. Elizabeth is gentle with controversial subjects like sexual orientation and eating disorders. Copies of actual letters written by teens from her workshops add to the authentic feel of Berkley’s book. It reads like a diary – open and honest. She includes hand written sections and even little doodles that will bring readers in. Elizabeth answers questions herself, includes peer answers, and offers suggestions from experts in different fields. She provides positive feedback, non-judgmental answers and gives tools to girls to empower them. Readers can pick it up and open to any page to find information relevant to their lives. Her book is a safe place to go to look up questions and get answers.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin