Underestimated: The Wisdom and Power of Teenage Girls (Hardcover)
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
“If you have a teenage girl in your life, you need to read this.” —Oprah Daily
In the vein of Reviving Ophelia and Untangled comes a fresh, unexpected, and empowering guide to better understand teenage girls, revealing how their insights can create heartfelt connections and impactful change.
Written with warmth and humor, Underestimated is the first book to invite us into a teenage girl’s brain and heart, as told from the point of view of a beloved and trusted mentor. Chelsey Goodan is a highly sought-after academic tutor who has worked with hundreds of girls from all different backgrounds, earning their trust, confidence, and friendship. They in turn have shared with her their innermost concerns, doubts, and what they wish they could communicate to their parents and the world at large.
With topics and language directly chosen by the girls, Goodan reveals how the solutions to a girl’s well-being lie within her. She offers parents the exact words they can use to help her discover these solutions and demonstrates how adults can better support a teenage girl’s voice to create positive change.
Rather than dismissing teenage girls based on our own fears or treating them as problems that need to be solved, Goodan encourages us as parents, and as a society, to help girls unleash their power and celebrate their intrinsic wisdom, creating more healing and connection for everyone. With inspiring ease, Underestimated shows us how to do this with accessible advice, entertaining narratives, and profound wisdom.
About the Author
Chelsey Goodan has been an academic tutor and mentor for sixteen years, with a particular emphasis on the empowerment of teenage girls. She speaks regularly to audiences about gender justice, conducts workshops, and coaches parents on how to better understand and connect with their daughters. She is the mentorship director of the nonprofit DemocraShe and founder of The Activist Cartel. As an activist, she advises public figures, galvanizes volunteers, and organizes large-scale events for national nonprofits, while also serving on the board of A Call to Men. Her passion to explore humanity’s potential for authenticity, liberation, and empowerment permeates all of her work. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Chelsey lives in Los Angeles.
Praise for UNDERESTIMATED:
“I’ve personally witnessed how Chelsey changes the lives of teenage girls for the better by deepening connections and helping everyone feel more heard and understood. With passion and enthusiasm, Chelsey empowers girls to discover their voices in both the most practical and deepest of ways. This book is exactly what we all need right now, for our families and for our future voices in the world.”
- Laura Dern, Academy Award-winning actress and New York Times bestselling author of Honey, Baby, Mine
“To create a world that welcomes girls’ and women’s powerful voices and fosters their agency, we need this book. UNDERESTIMATED masterfully teaches us how to empower teenage girls by simplifying solutions to challenging topics like self-doubt, shame, the beauty myth, and power, offering effective tools for parents, educators, and trusted adults in girls' lives.”
- Jennifer Siebel Newsom, filmmaker and founder of The Representation Project
“Sometimes we wish our children came with an operating manual. Fortunately, that operating manual now exists. If you are a parent, caregiver, or educator who cares in any way about understanding this crucial period in a teenager’s development, in a way that supports thriving rather than walling off, UNDERESTIMATED is essential reading. The powerful wisdom will help you not just as a parent, but in every relationship.”
- Neil Strauss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships
“Chelsey is a godsend. This book is a godsend. In UNDERESTIMATED, Chelsey gives us all the tools needed to have the difficult and much needed conversations with our teenagers. Or any teenagers. I’ve seen her work firsthand and trust me, WE ALL NEED THESE TOOLS. Badly. She brings sensitivity to her work and a ‘just removed enough’ perspective that is impossible for parents to have from close up.”
- Jenni Konner, writer, director, and executive producer of HBO’s Girls
“Chelsey expertly reveals the power of teenage girls. She welcomes us into their minds with curiosity and fun, rather than fear. Underestimated gives insight into ways to create a fairer and more empowering world where girls and women can thrive.”
- Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Play and Find Your Unicorn Space
“What makes this book stand out is the way Goodan allows girls to share their truths openly and without judgment... empower[ing] young women by showing readers what they have to teach adults about the power of (inter)personal authenticity.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“Underestimated provides a critical blueprint for the kinds of conversations that parents and their children are afraid to have, but deeply need. It’s an accessible yet poignant exploration of how parents and teenage girls can grow together rather than further apart. And I can’t think of someone more equipped to help us understand and uplift teenage girls than Chelsey Goodan.”
- Liz Plank, award-winning journalist and author of For the Love of Men: From Toxic to a More Mindful Masculinity
“Chelsey is a total on-it, walk-the-talk, money-where-your-mouth-is, first responder vibe. She is attuned to my child's needs, as a true role model with life-changing tools and hardwired goodness. This book teaches us not only how to bring out the best in teenage girls, but in everyone.”
- Moon Zappa, actress, artist, and author of Earth to Moon: A Memoir
“THIS is the book I wish I (and my parents!) had when I was growing up. Filled with clear, compassionate guidance that debunks the myths around adolescent girls as 'mean,' UNDERESTIMATED gives us the tools to support, embrace, and even learn from our teenage girls, who have so much more wisdom than we may realize.”
- Sarah Jones, Tony Award-winning writer, actor, and filmmaker
“Reading this book made me feel as though I had stumbled upon a pot of gold. Suddenly I had a better understanding of my own often misunderstood mind, and as my daughter grows, I'm hoping I can apply the same compassion and understanding that Chelsey teaches. UNDERESTIMATED is a must read for anyone who has a daughter, is a daughter, or knows a daughter.”
- Becky Lynch, WWE champion wrestler
"A wise, well-articulated handbook to help adults listen to and hold space for teens... practical wisdom that belongs in the toolbox of every teenager."