Book Reviews and Feedback


“Your books are of immense value to guide our youth to become first class citizens of our wonderful country."
- Bert Nel, Greytown Children’s Home


An easy and fun way of mapping out the challenges we face in life.  A return to values approach which is so desperately needed in our fast paced lives.’  
-Angelique Serrao, Journalist, The Star
‘Exciting new vocabulary. Straight to the point, tells it like it is. A great handbook for life for everyone’.
-Dudley Forde (leader in education)
‘Broad applicability is superb. Refreshing kind of language understood by everyone. Fantastic; so honest, a great resource.’
 -Mike Greef (CE of St Davids Marist Inanda)
 ‘It’s so great to see people raising awareness on issues that can & will have significant effects on our lives! I like the different spin with giving terms (such as Global Warming, Climate Change) a ‘personal identity’. I feel people will relate well to this!’  
 -Kevin Collett (environmental specialist)
Other reviewerscomments include: ‘Powerful, thought-provoking, life-changing’and ‘should be read by everyone from the age of 10 to 100’.



Our moms want the best for us and often hand us the best advice – even though we don’t always think so at the time. Izabella Little has put together a treasure trove of important life lessons for her own daughter as well as other young South Africans. It offers a mix of great guidelines that’ll help you along the sometimes rocky road of growing up, making your life easier, happier and more fantastic to live. Easy to read, simple and practical, you’ll find 60 tips on everything from communication, careers and relationships straight through to music, manners and money matters. If there’s one book you’d be smart to hold on to your whole life through, it’s this one!
– Thandiwe McCloy, Uncut loveLife
“Some readers may remember when they were teenage girls, the questions they had about sex, love and other personal issues they were too embarrassed to ask their parents. And for mothers of teenage girls, it can be just as hard to talk about these issues. Izabella Little – herself a mother of a teenager – has done a good job in compiling sensible answers to 60 burning topics. If you don’t have the answer or the right way to express it, you’ll find it in this book. A rebellious teen may be more likely to sit down and think carefully about what Izabella Little says rather than take her mother’s word. It’s all here: life skills, sex, relationships, feelings and love, as well as practical stuff and facing challenges such as drugs.”
- Eugene Nkabinde, DRUM magazine
“A common-sense guide covering topics from relationships and life skills to money and careers, this book could be good basis for encouraging dialogue between parents and daughters.”

“The book Life Talk for a Daughter offers tips to parents on how to broach every subject from sex to money matters. The advice is down to earth and helpful – a must have for mothers of teenagers.”


“The book is a toolkit of information covering 60 different topics. Life is like walking a tightrope. It’s how you slip and recover that counts. The book isn’t just cool, it’s super cool!”

- Jayne Southern, A New Chapter literary club

“This book was originally a series of letters written by a mother to her daughter with advice she wished she’d had as a teenager. The author realised all teenage girls go through the same situations and problems and compiled her letters into this extraordinary book. It deals with most issues in a teenager’s life, with advice on everything from self-consciousness to dealing with an eating disorder or parents divorcing. It gives concise information and practical advice in a way that will help you make a tough decision or deal with a difficult situation. A unique, encouraging and helpful book and a must-have for all teenage girls.”

- Kate Verster (17), YOU Magazine

“This is a toolkit of lessons for life, with warm common sense and practical insights galore.”


“The book – aimed mainly at teenagers but which could offer inspiration to people across the spectrum – takes an honest, open look at the difficulties of teenage life. It provides solid, practical solutions and skills on subjects ranging from marriage and job interviews to choosing a career. It also gives a healthy dose of inspiration about the joys of reading – and of seeing the world. It looks at life skills, such as communication and the importance of listening. It devotes a chapter to the importance of passion – ‘the ingredient that turns mediocrity into fireworks’ – it provides practical steps towards attaining success … gives practical information and advice on relationships, feelings, love and sex… One chapter gives wonderful tips on how to make and keep friends… My favourite chapter is entitled ‘Lighten Up’, in which Little urges her readers not to take life too seriously and not to be too weighed down by life and its inevitable demands.”


“Ewe suksesvol is die leefgids vir meisies geskryf deur ‘n ma. As jou dogter op Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul is, is hierdie ‘n deeglike, toeganklike, moderne, boweal plaaslike handleiding vir die hantering van dwelms, eensaamheid, verhoudings, dalk jou ouers se egskeiding; jou voorbereiding vir ‘n rugsaktoer deur die wereld of ‘n werkonderhoud;hoe jy kan leer koek; jou verhouding met jou liggaam, troeteldiere, die natuur, jou geld. Die heel belangrikste is: Die stemton is deurgaans warm en meelewend, maar nugter.


Life Talk, ‘n praktiese, verstaanbare gids vir enigeen, maar veral vir tienermeisies. …Sy gesels in die boek oor lewenvaardighede soos eerlikheid en maniere, oor verhoudings en die liefde, praktiese dinge soos geldsake, reis, diere, musiek, ‘n loopbaan, oor uitdagings en problem soos veranderings, verleidings, egskeiding en dwelms. Deurgaans word wyse raad gegee oor die onvermydelike gebroke harte en probleme wat jong mense op hul reis deur die lewe sal ervaar.”


“Die boek motiveer ‘n mens en is ‘n groot hulp. Alle tienermeisies moet dit he.”


This book is one of the first from newly launched Oshun, a division of Struik, showcasing women's writing and women's issues.

Izabella Little started compiling the letters that influenced this book when her daughter was five years old. She broaches sixty issues over a broad spectrum of life experiences including work ethic, popularity, drugs, sex, eating disorders and loneliness. She writes refreshingly from the heart not as a counsellor, teacher or psychologist but a mother. The advice is well founded; largely common sense based on her experiences and the observation of others. It is current and progressive enough to be palatable to its target audience. It is also a handy guide to today's issues for parents feeling left out of the loop.

I remember once seeing a bumper sticker, 'Hire yourself a teenager while they know everything.' With that in mind, there will be teenagers who will not welcome the advice. I would buy the book and leave it lying around anyway. They just might read it while they are sulking in their room.

- Christine Weston , The WRITE Co.

Life Talk for a Daughter is an amazing contribution to wellness in its broadest sense. It helps and identifies for people many pathways to health and vitality. The emotional wisdom contained in this book is a must for every young (and not so young) person. I certainly will be recommending this book to my clients and patients at the Back 2 Health Wellness Centres in South Africa. Well done to the author – a powerful contribution to humanity.” Dr Rajen Cooppan, Back 2 Health Wellness Centres

“The book should be in every home where there are adolescents who are looking for answers to everyday challenges. It is a survival kit for mothers to be able to steer their daughters in the right direction in an ever-changing world; where guidance is essential to lead them through the mine-fields of life, and peer pressure can take them in the wrong direction.” Peter Munns, Chairman, The Ark of Compassion.

"I love it! Nearly every chapter has something for me. It's so interesting and just what I need." Sue, 16.

“Despite the title, the contents are for all 'children' from age nine to ninety-nine - it is a wonderful communications tool for families, especially on touchy subjects.” Jayne Southern, A New Chapter Literary Club

Tool of knowledge will conquer Aids (published in The Star 02.03.2006)

“… I would like to refer to a book which is having a powerful impact on youth, behaviour and values in South Africa. The advice and guidelines contained in the books Life Talk for a Daughter and ( Life Talk for a Son) when applied, have a potent impact on the actions and thought-process of adolescents and young adults. Written in a non-judgmental tone, by a South African author, the books provide advice and much food for thought on a broad range of topics, and they succeed in getting the reader to stop and think about his/her actions, the consequences, and the best way forward. According to readers, the content is powerful, life-changing, and has the ability to spark a change of direction and behaviour in its audience. If everyone were to read one of the books and if they applied the messages, particularly those that deal with sexuality, relationships, love, and life’s challenges, it is our belief that a significant shift in sexual and moral behaviour would take place and fewer cases of HIV would result. Is it thus not worth to make this valuable tool available to all high-school pupils and all tertiary students?”

Cheryl-Lynne van Egmond - The Ark of Compassion


1. Guy Pearson – Rector: Michaelhouse

Essential reading. A relevant, comprehensive book that deals with issues faced by parents of teenagers in a thought-provoking and helpful way, with up-to-date experts’ input. I cannot think of any topic faced by parents that Izabella has left untouched.

2. Stephen Lowry – Rector: St Stithians College

I highly recommend the book. It serves to inform, to provoke thinking and to suggest solutions. There are many suggestions and ideas for actions and approaches to particular situations, which if implemented, have the real potential to change difficult situations and objectionable behaviour involving one's teenage child.

I think this is essential reading for any parent about to embark on adolescence with their teenage child. Even if your child is already through adolescence you will still gain many insights for future parenting challenges.

All the topics are comprehensively covered giving clear suggestions and ideas to parents about parenting and dealing with some of these very difficult matters. The experts’ input is interesting and it does not leave you feeling as though you can only be an expert in order to be a parent.

3. Lisa Benning – Head: Kingsmead College

A most informative and vital book. It is a wonderful educational resource. The topics covered are ones that are continually being raised by both parents and teachers.

The suggestions are practical and I enjoyed the fact that many of the comments came from ‘real life’ experiences of the young people. This does, of course, make the reading more frightening. Parents can no longer think that their teen might be immune to what is happening in our society.

As Head of a school, I am so aware of the huge pressures our young people face on a daily basis and would love all parents to read the book so that they can react to situations in an informed and rational way.

It is interesting and an easy-read, written in a clear, uncomplicated style and the way it has been set out makes the topics easily accessible. I really enjoyed the fact that the topics are current and the information is relevant and right up-to-date – and I enjoyed the comments from the ‘experts’ in their fields.

4. Malcolm Williams – headmaster: St David’s Marist Inanda High School

This book gives parents a straightforward, easily accessible ‘ready reference’ book which deals with a broad range of issues facing adolescents.

I believe this book would serve as a very good resource for parents needing direction in terms of dealing with these issues with their children.

Izabella has a knack for raising and dealing with issues in a way that would, I believe, result in positive outcomes for those who strive to implement the suggestions.

5. Andrew Cook – headmaster: Beaulieu College

It is a “must read”. I would love to have a copy of Life Talk for Parents on my coffee table – better still, make it prescribed reading for parents! I would love to have had something like this when I raised my own sons. It’s not prescriptive, but it does not avoid uncomfortable issues and conclusions. Izabella has tackled some of the most alarming issues our youth face, as well as some that are upbeat. I have no doubt there is hunger for information in this field.

6. Mike Fennell – headmaster: King Edward VII School

The book is a must-read, informative and thought provoking, and may assist in changing lives. Topics are relevant and comprehensive. Experts’ input is both interesting and helpful.

7. Angelique Serrao – Education journalist: The Star newspaper

It is a groundbreaking, comprehensive look at what teenagers are really getting up to. This is the first book I have read that has a real handle on teen culture. Many parents will be shocked to find out what their children are really doing and I am glad that so many teen issues are being brought out into the open.

8. Shamani Pillay – counsellor: St David’s Marist Inanda

Wow, well done! As both a mum and a professional working within a school environment, this book offers insights, tools and skills to make a difference in how we parent our children – and ‘to parent them in a conscious way’.

9. Reverend Eric Sifiso Jali – KwaMashu Baptist Church

This book is a “must read”. It is a “multi-purpose tool” for parents’ and teens’ issues, and it is a must-have for families, schools and churches throughout the world. As both Minister and parent, I find it extremely useful.

There is no doubt that this book will have a positive impact on the life and behaviour of both teens and parents. It has a lot of points to ponder that will definitely turn around even a heart of stone.

Over the years some parents have relied heavily on either the school or church to take care of the sensitive issues described. This book will be a great resource to parents who find it hard to take proactive steps prior to the actual occurrence of various teenagers’ problems.

What excellent research went into the critical analysis of each topic! The book’s practical and straight-to-the-point approach makes it interesting and helpful.

The book is a hands-on resource that will always be there when you need it most. Most parents need a reality check – and the facts that this book fortunately exposes will help parents to keep up-to-date with the latest developments (and will help people to see themselves in its mirror).

10. Dr Eve – family therapist

‘This book touches on the daily challenges parents face in an easily accessible way. I liked the “back -to school-jitters”, as well as the advice on preparing your child for entry into tertiary education – a different kind of anxiety separation! As a trained family therapist, I was in appreciation of the holistic advice offered to parents: solid, value-based, while respecting the importance of including teens in discussion and setting rules for themselves. I see this book being very comforting for parents …’

“What a wonderful find this book is. It’s a must-have for every parent and makes a great gift for parent and teenager.”

Lucia Fidalgo – British Airways UpFront magazine

“It’s a sensible, clear-thinking, easy-to-read book that is good for parents and kids alike, and the chapter headings will give you some idea of the wide variety of life topics covered …
If you’ve a pretty open relationship with your son, you could both read the book and discuss some of the issues together; if you haven’t, just leave it beside his bed – he won’t be able to resist picking it up.
You can’t go wrong with this invaluable toolkit of frank, practical, commonsense lessons for life.”

Kate Turkington – book review
“This is a most important book about how boys can deal with issues that come up in their lives. Communication is the key point in Life Talk for a Son. Little deals with 60 issues including girls, sex and what and how to deal with them. Drugs and alcohol are tackled in a sensible, understanding way. Sport, bullying, the generation gap, pregnancy and last but not least your communication with God are tackled with the same down to earth values. I found this a very easy to read book full of excellent advice and would recommend it to all mothers and fathers and their sons. It will enable them to find answers and live a better life.”

Dee Andrew – The Write Co.
Your book really helps, it's the first place I look when I need help or advice and it's changed my life for the better in many ways. Thank you. L.C.





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