book cover

Too Old For This, Too Young For That: Your Survival Guide For The Middle-School Years

by Harriet Mosatche, Ph.D., and Karen Unger

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback, 189 pages
  • Published by Free Spirit Publishing, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Publication date: March 2000
  • Dimensions (in inches): 0.51 x 8.95 x 7.01
  • ISBN: 1575420678

Order This Book

KidSource OnLine Book Review

These days it feels like our kids are having to deal with the "issues" associated with growing up at younger and younger ages. I have watched children, as early as seven or eight years old, struggle to deal with serious challenges to their sense of self and some really mean bullies. No parent casually accepts the pain witnessed when our child loses a friend or is exquisitely embarrassed by their changing body, or is made to feel "less than" by a bully. Their bodies are changing as well as their relationships with others. As parents, we want to hold them, and comfort them, while at the same time, we want them to be strong enough to weather these abuses and stand up for themselves. They seem too young, and at the same time, too old.

Our children, too, are feeling too old and too young, and this wonderful book may make parents and children as young as eight feel better about their changing reality. Too Old For This, Too Young For That is full of suggestions for dealing with getting older, and offers practical advice to help kids feel better, even in the face of braces, glasses, and peer pressure. There are activities to help young people clarify their feelings, relax, deal with fear and anger, and create a reality at school or home in which they feel confident. The sections on friends acknowledge the importance of feeling like you belong with a group and may help youth distinguish between real and phony friends. In addition, Too Old For This, Too Young For That provides great advice on conflict resolution, on-line safety, recognizing sexual harassment, even how to succeed with homework and class projects. This is all-around great book for children who are dealing with middle-school issues.

Better yet, it encourages communication with trusted adults, suggests ways to start difficult conversations, and lets kids know that they should enlist the help of an adult if a friend is in danger. Too Old For This, Too Young For That also gives suggestions for other books about parenting preteens and provides exercises for families to do when discussions about chores, rules, allowances, and consequences lead to arguments.

This book is written for youth, however I encourage parents to read it first in order to be ready to offer suggestions for dealing with school, peer, or family conflict, and to be able to help their child try the suggested activities, and look for additional resources for dealing with the particular issues causing them to feel Too old for this, too young for that.

-- Nancy L. Brown, Ph.D.


No wonder it's called "middle school"! If you're in grades 6-9. you're not a child anymore… but you're not grown-up, either. You have more freedom…but not enough. Your life is more exciting…but it's more stressful.

Suddenly you have a ton of questions—about your body and your feelings, family and friends, school and life in general. You're facing a lot of new decisions, and it's hard to know where to go to for advice. Your friends? They may be confused, too. Your parents? They might not understand everything you're going through.

This book can help. It's there when you need it, day or night. And it answers all kinds of questions. Like:

Full of straight talk, helpful tips, good advice, and quotes from real kids, Too Old For This, Too Young For That! is just what you need to make the most of middle school—and beyond.

About the Authors

Harriet S. Mosatche received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the City University of New York. Her career in the academic world included a dozen years as a college professor, with six of those years Chairperson of the Psychology Department at a college in New York City. During those years, she wrote many scholarly articles and a book, and presented papers and workshops at professional conferences throughout the United States and Canada.

Harriet is currently the Director of Program Development for the Girl Scouts of the U.S. A. In this position, she has written and directed the writing of numerous books and articles for girls from ages five to seventeen and the adults who work with them (Girl Scout leaders and staff). Since 1997, she has written an advice column for girls called Ask Dr. M, the most popular section of the Just 4 Girls pages of the national Girl Scout Web site (

In addition to her position with the Girl Scouts, Harriet is a consultant to schools and community agencies on program development and evaluation, and she conducts workshops on a variety of topics related to child and adolescent development and family relationships. She lives in New York with her husband Ivan Lawner and their two children, Robert and Elizabeth.

Karen Unger is a writer and editor primarily of books for young people. She has directed projects, trained staff and volunteers, and written many books and articles on matters of importance to young girls and young women through her work with youth-serving agencies such as the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. Karen has also worked as a senior editor for a children's book publisher. Currently, she is Membership and Program Consultant for the Girl Scouts. She also writes articles on parenting and teen issues for a family-focused web site.

Karen once served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa, which lead to a teaching English as a Second Language as a college instructor, as well as serving as the director of a college-level intensive English language program. After receiving her M.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the Queens College of the City University of New York, she had a short story based on her liberian experiences published in Grand Street literary magazine. When she isn't busy writing, Karen is enjoying her time with her husband and young son.