Book Review and Giveaway: Zero Tolerance by Claudia Mills

Zero Tolerance cover imageYesterday, I shared thoughts from author Claudia Mills about the mother-daughter relationship in her book, Zero Tolerance. Today, I’m featuring a review of the book as well as the opportunity for one reader in the U.S. to win a copy. To enter, just leave a comment below about ways mothers can be supportive of their daughters without being controlling. Comment before midnight (PDT) on Friday, September 27. Please note: the giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Jody on winning.

Sierra Shepard is a seventh-grade honor student who likes school and recognizes the need for rules. She can’t understand how some people have so much trouble toeing the line until the day she accidentally brings her mom’s lunch to school instead of her own. Inside is a paring knife—definitely forbidden as a possible weapon. When she turns it in immediately, she’s shocked to find herself marched to the principal’s office, put on an in-school suspension and scheduled for an expulsion hearing. Suddenly Sierra’s perfect life is crashing around her and she gets a new perspective on—and possibly a better understanding of—the kids who are known as rule-breakers.

Zero Tolerance by Claudia Mills brings up a good issue for mother-daughter book clubs to discuss: should rules put in place to protect students be flexible in the way they are enforced? Sierra’s fortunate in that her dad is a lawyer so he is able to create a case for her defense. But as Sierra finds out, students whose parents aren’t influential or comfortable with challenging authority are more likely to be severely punished. And when Sierra’s dad threatens to pull out something embarrassing to the principal if he won’t back down, she finds herself wondering if it’s okay to do something wrong if you know it will help you win.

Sierra’s newfound perspective on her friendships, crushes, principal, his secretary and even her own parents provide even more topics to discuss in mother-daughter book clubs. I recommend it for groups with girls aged 9 to 13.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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  1. Lori says:

    Moms can support their daughters by helping with their self esteem.

  2. Mary says:

    As girls grow into the preadolescent years, they can sometimes resist their mothers’ questions and involvement in their social lives. It’s really important, though, for mothers to remember that the girls still need the safety of rules and boundaries. Taking all the time you possibly can to interact with your daughter and get to know her friends when she’s young will really help, because then your daughter and her friends will be accustomed to your involvement, and not be so inclined to view it as snooping or controlling as they get older.

  3. Jody says:

    When my daughter is facing a problem I try to listen and encourage her to think it through to her own solution. It’s hard to step back and not come to the rescue by controlling the “way it should be done.” It’s important that she can be her own problem-solver.

  4. Kay Hysell says:

    There is a fine line between being a Mother and being a friend. We should all be mom first, friend second. I would recommend spending as much time with your daughter as possible. Cook, shop, READ, exercise, paint, plant flowers/veggies/herbs and listen, listen listen. pick one, find a common interest and go with it. Allow room for mistakes and don’t take yourself too seriously.

  5. Christie Yerby says:

    At this age (around 9-12) I have noticed a strong emergence of conscience and innocent idealism in my children. It is easy to crush this and I think we have to be very careful not trample all over this with our own life experience and need for practicality. This takes a little bit of delicacy and finesse, but if we do not crush the natural conscience, it will thrive and direct them on the right path through life, without our need to force anything at all. Amazingly, my children’s values are very much like my own, but they are much less hypocritical and much more in their purest form. I see parents as often crushing the very goodness in their children that they should be encouraging and then wonder why their children begin getting into trouble after the age of 13.

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