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Making Bad Stuff Good

Making Bad Stuff Good Cover
Author:
Humphrey, Sandra McLeod
Subjects:
Guidance; Values; Problem Solving; Character Development
Age:
9, 10, 11, 12
Grade:
4, 5, 6, 7
ISBN:
978-0-89824-379-6
Latest edition:
November 2012
Order code:
3796
Price:
$12.99
Website Price:
$10.00
Class sets:
10 or more: $7.00 each. Order code: 3796S

At the same time that we heard Making Bad Stuff Good has won a 2013 Mom's Choice Gold Award, we also  learned that the author is no longer with us.  We are devastated to announce that Sandra Mcleod Humphrey and her husband lost their lives in a house fire in late November.  We mourn the loss of a great contributor to children's lives and send our sincere condolences to her family.

This book was the result of Sandra's more than 35 years of working with young people as a clinical psychologist and helping them through the years of growing up. In it we follow the conversations and experiences of a group of middle schoolers in an after-school club, the No-Name Club, as they learn some strategies for dealing with problems, mistakes, and failures. We travel with them as they find out that meeting a challenge can be fun and that happiness is an attitude, not a condition!

The main premise of the book is that how you respond to what happens to you is more important than what actually happens to you, and how you interpret what happens to you is, of course, determined by your attitude. Problems aren’t necessarily “bad.” They are a part of life, and dealing with them constructively can make you a stronger person.

 The six members of The No-Name Club learn through their weekly meetings more than they expected.They not only learn some problem-solving strategies, but they also learn that they can work together for the common good and that each of them can become stronger in the process.

 The questions and suggestions following each chapter can facilitate some great discussions both in the home and in the classroom.  

PRE-PUBLICATION REVIEWS:

Relevant...Important...delightful...innovative....effective strategies....a valuable service for young people... highly recommended

“Problems are just questions that need to be solved and Ms. Humphrey presents unique and innovative strategies to help kids solve problems both now and in the future. This is a great resource for both the home and the classroom.  Highly Recommended !” Gene Bedley, PTA National Teacher of the Year

“Welcome to the weekly meeting of the “No Name Club,” a time to enjoy comfort food, discover self-awareness, and learn effective problem-solving.  strategies. Sandra Humphrey's delightful book expertly explores ways to positively and effectively deal with the myriad of dilemmas and troubles facing contemporary adolescents. Problems are not just obstacles to be overcome but can be opportunities for growth and progress if faced with a positive attitude and intelligent choices. Highly Recommended!” Philip Bigler, 1998 National Teacher of the Year

“As someone who has worked with thousands of young people in the area of character education, I can see this book as being a great help to young people who want to grow through their problems rather than be defeated by them. I particularly liked the book’s emphasis on the connection between positive thought and positive outcome. This book challenges young people to reframe their problems and make small goals for themselves that are ‘positive, specific, and in the present.’ I’d say the same three things about this book:

It’s positive--great problem-solving strategies that any young person can use. It’s specific--no pie-in-the-sky rhetoric here. It’s in the present--the examples are relevant and real.

Kudos to Ms. Humphrey for giving today’s youth a hands-on resource to help face their everyday problems with courage and confidence.” Jane Leyden Cavanaugh, Retreat Director, The Vineyard, LLC

“This book for tweens emphasizes the importance of Attitudes in creating a happy peaceful life. Your Attitude is Everything. This book is a valuable resource for both the home and the classroom.” Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., Co-Author of A Mini Course for Life

 “Making Bad Stuff Good is an effective tool for  helping young people learn how to cope with life’s problems from a positive and optimistic approach. The common sense story leads tweens to understand the thought process to deal with daily difficulties in a healthy, proactive manner.

 Humphrey’s years of experience and expertise lay the groundwork for an intriguing story that is an adventure of self-help for tweens, with questions and comments at the end of each chapter to initiate thought and conversation.

 Set in an afterschool study club, each student quickly takes on a role suited for their own personality and sees a variety of scenarios from each other’s perspectives. At first, the members are resistant to their assignment, but as time goes on, they learn to support one another and to build lasting connections and trust. The No Name Club gives them a safe place where they can explore and test strategies to view life’s challenges while staying positive.

 This is a must-read for the classroom and for individual young readers searching for an understanding of why bad things happen and how to successfully make good choices through their growth and development.” Deb Landry, Certified Parenting Coach and Children’s Author of Sticks, Stones and Stumped!, Yankee Go Home, and The Comfort Zone

“Yet another life-changing message from Sandra Humphrey! Her new book Making Bad Stuff Good will help young people think through difficult situations in new ways and will shine a light on circumstances that may seem impossible.” Lee Ann Butler-Owens, Founder of Lullalee Productions & Services, Literacy Programs for Children

 “Making Bad Stuff Good is a book that will help kids learn--and own--the skills to make good things happen. Each chapter is rich with tools that kids can use right now. Empowering tweens with this information is brilliant.  Don’t underestimate the way this book can shape young lives for the good!” Laya Saul, Author of the teen book, You Don’t Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way

“What a helpful book! No matter how successful a child is in school, at times he or she struggles with failure, self-esteem, and alienation. Every year I see kids fight great internal battles, see kids who let one bad test score shatter their self-image, and see kids who let one insult ruin weeks of their lives. The saddest part of this is that too often kids struggle on their own, or without effective help. Making Bad Stuff Good can help any tween overcome their problems. It delivers useful psychological tips and instruction that young children can understand, and delivers its lessons in a respectful, easy-to-read format. Parents, kids, counselors, and teachers will benefit tremendously from this book. I wish it had existed when I was in middle school!” Michael Smart, 2008 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

"I recommend this book for young people to learn problem solving skills in a way that is appealing to them. Problem solving skills are essential in these turbulent times and at this turbulent age, Humphrey's book provides a valuable service to our young people." Dr. John E. Mayer, Clinical Psychologist and School Consultant, Author- ‘Mayer's Memo’

“This truth – Attitude is everything! -- permeates Sandra McLeod Humphrey’s new manuscript: Making Bad Stuff Good.  Human beings are 99% alike; the all-important 1% which remains (attitude) determines the whole of life as yeast does to flour.

 The tween characters are placed within a club setting that meets weekly.  Each person takes turns facing problems (downers/discouragements) on every front, but they learn through interactive, verbal exchanges how best to deal with the hard-thrown curve balls in life.  They speak in the vernacular tongue of their age group.

 Extensive, action-oriented dialogue consistently moves the story line from a problem mindset (the initial, negative reaction) toward the positive, constructive end of the attitude continuum.  As the book unfolds, the author puts into play all the helpful elements that psychological and educational research suggests will help tweens shift from a problem orientation to a challenge/opportunity mind-set.  For example, ask the right questions, exercise good process steps, value the feeling piece, utilize body language and motion, and draw upon help from older siblings and other resource people.  

 Excellent reinforcement is achieved by Sandra Humphrey for the basic themes and helpful steps for tweens; like the early dawn turning to full day sun, she deliberately weaves them into multiple stories which are selectively spaced and sequenced.  Different foods eaten by Tweens are cited in nearly every chapter; “eating” favorite foods usually comes at the time in the story line when a bad situation has already turned to good, which subtly emphasizes (a kind of reward for) good thinking and sound decision-making.

 Deep introspection is encouraged by the gradual unfolding of these well-crafted stories, one chapter after another. Also, more deliberate introspection is boldly set forth in a question format in the final section to each chapter that is called, More to think about. Anyone working with tweens one-on-one or in small and large groups can use these probing questions to promote reflection, encourage participation, and develop deep insight.

 The final chapters deal with the really bad problems faced by tweens, by which time the earlier chapters have already laid a solid groundwork for helpful resolution.  The last chapter, “A Final Note,” summarizes the points that were made earlier throughout the book and uses “we” and “I” (the reader’s perspective, first person) to maintain a solid connection between the mind and heart of the author and reader.

 Finally, the last page includes “My Ten Rules to Live By” which brings final clarity to the wisdom this writer shares with her audience. Sandra McLeod Humphrey is truly masterful in understanding her targeted youth audiences, their needs, and how best to communicate with them. The pragmatic tools she includes within this manuscript will truly advance the maturity of tween judgment and action in a host of every day, life situations. Donald R. Draayer, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools, 1971-1995, National Superintendent of the Year, 1990, Educational Consultant, 1995 to present.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sandra McLeod Humphrey is a retired clinical psychologist a character education consultant, and an award-winning author of eight middle-grade and young adult books. She has more than 35 years of experience working with young people and was the recipient of the 2000 National Character Education Center's Award, winner of several Mom's Choice awards and the 2005 Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children's Literature.

She has been married to Brian for fifty years and they have three children, four grandchildren, four dogs, and a cat. Among her interests she lists swimming, tennis and riding (she is a former horse show exhibitor), volunteering: as a Sunday School teacher, a sponsor or judge of several writing contests and awards, and with the Death Row Ministry.

Sandra believes "It is never too early to begin talking with our young people about personal values and helping them define their own code of moral conduct." 

 SPECIAL HOLIDAY PRICE: $8.00

At the same time that we heard Making Bad Stuff Good has won a 2013 Mom's Choice Gold Award, we also  learned that the author is no longer with us.  We are devastated to announce that Sandra Mcleod Humphrey and her husband lost their lives in a house fire in late November.  We mourn the loss of a great contributor to children's lives and send our sincere condolences to her family.

Making Bad Stuff Good was the result of Sandra's more than 35 years of working with young people as a clinical psychologist and helping them through the years of growing up. We follow the conversations and experiences of a group of young people in a middle-school, after-school club, the No-Name Club, as they learn some strategies for dealing with problems, mistakes, and failures. We travel with them as they find out that meeting a challenge can be fun and that happiness is an attitude, not a condition!

The main premise of the book is that how you respond to what happens to you is more important than what actually happens to you, and how you interpret what happens to you is, of course, determined by your attitude. Problems aren’t necessarily “bad.” They are a part of life, and dealing with them constructively can make you a stronger person.

 The six members of The No-Name Club learn through their weekly meetings more than they expected.They not only learn some problem-solving strategies, but they also learn that they can work together for the common good and that each of them can become stronger in the process.

 The questions and suggestions following each chapter can facilitate some great discussions both in the home and in the classroom.

PRE-PUBLICATION REVIEWS:

Relevant...Important...delightful...innovative....effective strategies....a valuable service for young people... highly recommended

“Problems are just questions that need to be solved and Ms. Humphrey presents unique and innovative strategies to help kids solve problems both now and in the future. This is a great resource for both the home and the classroom.  Highly Recommended !” Gene Bedley, PTA National Teacher of the Year

“Welcome to the weekly meeting of the “No Name Club,” a time to enjoy comfort food, discover self-awareness, and learn effective problem-solving.  strategies. Sandra Humphrey's delightful book expertly explores ways to positively and effectively deal with the myriad of dilemmas and troubles facing contemporary adolescents. Problems are not just obstacles to be overcome but can be opportunities for growth and progress if faced with a positive attitude and intelligent choices. Highly Recommended!” Philip Bigler, 1998 National Teacher of the Year

“As someone who has worked with thousands of young people in the area of character education, I can see this book as being a great help to young people who want to grow through their problems rather than be defeated by them. I particularly liked the book’s emphasis on the connection between positive thought and positive outcome. This book challenges young people to reframe their problems and make small goals for themselves that are ‘positive, specific, and in the present.’ I’d say the same three things about this book:

It’s positive--great problem-solving strategies that any young person can use. It’s specific--no pie-in-the-sky rhetoric here. It’s in the present--the examples are relevant and real.

Kudos to Ms. Humphrey for giving today’s youth a hands-on resource to help face their everyday problems with courage and confidence.” Jane Leyden Cavanaugh, Retreat Director, The Vineyard, LLC

“This book for tweens emphasizes the importance of Attitudes in creating a happy peaceful life. Your Attitude is Everything. This book is a valuable resource for both the home and the classroom.” Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., Co-Author of A Mini Course for Life

 “Making Bad Stuff Good is an effective tool for  helping young people learn how to cope with life’s problems from a positive and optimistic approach. The common sense story leads tweens to understand the thought process to deal with daily difficulties in a healthy, proactive manner.

 Humphrey’s years of experience and expertise lay the groundwork for an intriguing story that is an adventure of self-help for tweens, with questions and comments at the end of each chapter to initiate thought and conversation.

 Set in an afterschool study club, each student quickly takes on a role suited for their own personality and sees a variety of scenarios from each other’s perspectives. At first, the members are resistant to their assignment, but as time goes on, they learn to support one another and to build lasting connections and trust. The No Name Club gives them a safe place where they can explore and test strategies to view life’s challenges while staying positive.

 This is a must-read for the classroom and for individual young readers searching for an understanding of why bad things happen and how to successfully make good choices through their growth and development.” Deb Landry, Certified Parenting Coach and Children’s Author of Sticks, Stones and Stumped!, Yankee Go Home, and The Comfort Zone

“Yet another life-changing message from Sandra Humphrey! Her new book Making Bad Stuff Good will help young people think through difficult situations in new ways and will shine a light on circumstances that may seem impossible.” Lee Ann Butler-Owens, Founder of Lullalee Productions & Services, Literacy Programs for Children

 “Making Bad Stuff Good is a book that will help kids learn--and own--the skills to make good things happen. Each chapter is rich with tools that kids can use right now. Empowering tweens with this information is brilliant.  Don’t underestimate the way this book can shape young lives for the good!” Laya Saul, Author of the teen book, You Don’t Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way

“What a helpful book! No matter how successful a child is in school, at times he or she struggles with failure, self-esteem, and alienation. Every year I see kids fight great internal battles, see kids who let one bad test score shatter their self-image, and see kids who let one insult ruin weeks of their lives. The saddest part of this is that too often kids struggle on their own, or without effective help. Making Bad Stuff Good can help any tween overcome their problems. It delivers useful psychological tips and instruction that young children can understand, and delivers its lessons in a respectful, easy-to-read format. Parents, kids, counselors, and teachers will benefit tremendously from this book. I wish it had existed when I was in middle school!” Michael Smart, 2008 Minnesota Teacher of the Year

"I recommend this book for young people to learn problem solving skills in a way that is appealing to them. Problem solving skills are essential in these turbulent times and at this turbulent age, Humphrey's book provides a valuable service to our young people." Dr. John E. Mayer, Clinical Psychologist and School Consultant, Author- ‘Mayer's Memo’

“This truth – Attitude is everything! -- permeates Sandra McLeod Humphrey’s new manuscript: Making Bad Stuff Good.  Human beings are 99% alike; the all-important 1% which remains (attitude) determines the whole of life as yeast does to flour.

 The tween characters are placed within a club setting that meets weekly.  Each person takes turns facing problems (downers/discouragements) on every front, but they learn through interactive, verbal exchanges how best to deal with the hard-thrown curve balls in life.  They speak in the vernacular tongue of their age group.

 Extensive, action-oriented dialogue consistently moves the story line from a problem mindset (the initial, negative reaction) toward the positive, constructive end of the attitude continuum.  As the book unfolds, the author puts into play all the helpful elements that psychological and educational research suggests will help tweens shift from a problem orientation to a challenge/opportunity mind-set.  For example, ask the right questions, exercise good process steps, value the feeling piece, utilize body language and motion, and draw upon help from older siblings and other resource people.  

 Excellent reinforcement is achieved by Sandra Humphrey for the basic themes and helpful steps for tweens; like the early dawn turning to full day sun, she deliberately weaves them into multiple stories which are selectively spaced and sequenced.  Different foods eaten by Tweens are cited in nearly every chapter; “eating” favorite foods usually comes at the time in the story line when a bad situation has already turned to good, which subtly emphasizes (a kind of reward for) good thinking and sound decision-making.

 Deep introspection is encouraged by the gradual unfolding of these well-crafted stories, one chapter after another. Also, more deliberate introspection is boldly set forth in a question format in the final section to each chapter that is called, More to think about. Anyone working with tweens one-on-one or in small and large groups can use these probing questions to promote reflection, encourage participation, and develop deep insight.

 The final chapters deal with the really bad problems faced by tweens, by which time the earlier chapters have already laid a solid groundwork for helpful resolution.  The last chapter, “A Final Note,” summarizes the points that were made earlier throughout the book and uses “we” and “I” (the reader’s perspective, first person) to maintain a solid connection between the mind and heart of the author and reader.

 Finally, the last page includes “My Ten Rules to Live By” which brings final clarity to the wisdom this writer shares with her audience. Sandra McLeod Humphrey is truly masterful in understanding her targeted youth audiences, their needs, and how best to communicate with them. The pragmatic tools she includes within this manuscript will truly advance the maturity of tween judgment and action in a host of every day, life situations. Donald R. Draayer, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools, 1971-1995, National Superintendent of the Year, 1990, Educational Consultant, 1995 to present.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sandra McLeod Humphrey is a retired clinical psychologist a character education consultant, and an award-winning author of eight middle-grade and young adult books. She has more than 35 years of experience working with young people and was the recipient of the 2000 National Character Education Center's Award, winner of several Mom's Choice awards and the 2005 Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children's Literature.

She has been married to Brian for fifty years and they have three children, four grandchildren, four dogs, and a cat. Among her interests she lists swimming, tennis and riding (she is a former horse show exhibitor), volunteering: as a Sunday School teacher, a sponsor or judge of several writing contests and awards, and with the Death Row Ministry.

Sandra believes "It is never too early to begin talking with our young people about personal values and helping them define their own code of moral conduct." 

 SPECIAL HOLIDAY PRICE: $8.00

Makimg Bad Stuff Good pages 1-18: View online or Download PDF