Little Miss Merit Badge

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Ronda Beaman developed an intense addiction at a young age – to Girl Scout merit badges. Born to young, immature parents who generally had more interest in each other than in the three children they produced in a short amount of time, Ronda grew up feeling an all-consuming need for recognition, a need that she filled by attempting to be the best at everything, including earning the most badges. It didn’t help that the family moved often, forcing Ronda to change schools (and Girl Scout troops) with a frequency that undermined any attempts to develop close friendships. Despite this, her desire to better herself through scouting helped her to develop into the accomplished woman she is today, not to mention helping her come relatively unscathed through a childhood that, by any account, sounds “challenging.”

On the surface, some readers might dismiss Beaman’s memoir as just another book about a difficult childhood with eclectic parents, but that would be a mistake. What makes this book fun is Beaman’s style of storytelling, her sense of showmanship: relating childhood anecdotes through the lens of Girl Scout badge-earning is simply genius, and something that many women will be able to relate to on some level. On top of that, these stories are heartwarming; some are just plain funny, others are poignant in their brutal honesty. At times, it can be hard to read about some of the methods her parents employed, but at other times, it is clear that despite everything, these children were loved, and ultimately, Beaman’s work ethic allowed her to overcome some particularly adverse circumstances. Ultimately, Beaman’s story has a happy ending, which makes it easier to endure some of the more heartbreaking passages. Little Miss Merit Badge is a fun and uplifting read that will be appreciated by readers of all kinds.

Join Little Miss Merit Badge, Ronda Beaman, for a book signing, pick up your own souvenir badge and win antique scout pins on March 3 from 1-3pm at Samuel Scheuer, 340 Sutter Street.


Reviewed By:

Author Ronda Beaman
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 233 pages
Publisher Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing
Publish Date 18-Feb-2012
ISBN 9781936214471
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2012
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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