prom coverProm: The Big Night Out

Take a trip to a wide range of proms, from the first cotillion and debutante balls of the early twentieth century to the integrated and LGBTQ-inclusive proms of the twenty-first century. Hear tips from young adults about how to have a safe and enjoyable prom; learn about creative outfits and fun promposals; see what some teens have done when prom plans changed because of illness or accidents; and meet the brave teens who have gone to court for the right to wear what they want and to bring the person they love to their prom.


School Library Journal:

A brief but thorough overview of the history of the prom and how the event has evolved over the years. The book starts off with the first cotillions and debutante balls of the 20th century and progresses toward the more casual and diverse proms of the present day...A plethora of prom-related tips and tricks are provided, including how to make an outfit, how to be safe and have fun, and what exactly a “promposal” is. VERDICT An entertaining and helpful bit of pop culture for students who crave prom all year round.
–Caitlin Wilson, Brooklyn Public Library


Prom has come a long way from its inception as an alternative to debutante balls. Now, proms are being used as vehicles for social change, whether it’s lobbying for gay students to bring their partners, a transgender prom queen, or an integrated prom. This exploration of the high-school milestone is broken up into five short chapters, starting with the history of prom and moving to what prom is now, including fashion tips and reminiscences from interviews conducted by the author. While there are many heartfelt stories here…the ultimate tone is more realistic about what is often painted as a magical night…this should be an easy sell.
— Erin Linsenmeyer

Kirkus Reviews:

Prom is more than just a night out, as revealed in this work of nonfiction. Although prom began as a middle-class version of the upper class's debutante balls and cotillions, it has become a classic rite of passage for all teens, whether they grew up in the Great Depression, in the 1950s or '60s, or in the latter half of the 20th century. There have been struggles: for teens who wish to wear formalwear that does not conform to their gender, teens who are part of same-sex couples, or teens who wish to hold an integrated prom after decades of whites-only and blacks-only events (in rural Georgia in 2013!). Yet times are changing to allow all teens to have an enjoyable, safe time together, when their biggest worry is what to wear. In peppy yet sympathetic prose, the author details the history of prom and how it has reflected society. Stories about making your own prom attire or finding inexpensive options are welcome, as is a chapter of young 20-somethings reflecting on their own prom experiences. The design is eye-catching, and text, graphics, and white space are attractively balanced. The advice and history in this volume complements and enhances the prom magazines available each year.



ppcoverPicture Perfect: What You Need to Feel Better About Your Body

Jill Zimmerman Rutledge counsels girls with body-image issues and understands that many girls feel they need to be a 'perfect' all-around girl--including having a 'perfect' appearance.

Read other girls' stories about feeling unattractive, worrying about food and weight, finding a unique style, dealing with mean girls--and much more. You'll see how they use positive messages or Special Statements, like 'A beautiful thing is never perfect' or 'I'm a creative chick, not a carbon copy,' to calm down their insecurities. Learn how to discover your own Special Statements and Action Plans so that you too can begin to see your own true beauty--and feel as picture perfect as you already are!


Houston Chronicle:

Mothers will wish that Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge's book Picture Perfect: What You Need to Feel Better About Your Body (Health Communications Inc., $14.95) was published when they were young. It would've spared them plenty of angst... (Unique, Gifted, Lovable You):

If you're spending time worrying about how you look instead of having fun, you'll want to read this book written by Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge, M.S. W., LCSW. It's a great book to help you feel better about your body.

Augusta Chronicle:

A self-help book for teen and pre-teen girls exploring body image, this book looks into the seven major issues of body image including distortion, perfection, food and weight. Quizzes, tips, affirmations and "action plans" make the book readable and informative.

One interesting feature is the advice from girls who have struggled with and solved their body-image problems.

THE VERDICT: Although it sometimes appears to have been written for younger readers, this book is helpful in making body- image issues real and giving worthwhile solutions. (Young People's Press) :

Picture Perfect--What You Need to Know to Feel Better About Your Body, is a new book for pre-teen and teenage girls on the pervasive issue of body image. Written by Jill Zimmerman Rutledge and published by HCI, it gives girls concrete solutions from other girls who have struggled with and solved their body image problems. It provides a formula for dealing with seven body image issues, teaching readers to give themselves affirmations to counteract their negative thoughts. The affirmations then move to action plans.



bookcoverDealing with the Stuff That Makes Life Tough: The 10 Things That Stress Girls Out and How to Cope with Them

With compassion and insight, Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge shows teen girls how to find the solutions to stress and anxiety that lie within

Parents, schoolwork, boyfriends, college . . .it's enough to make any teenage girl wish she could just snap her fingers and make it all go away. But with the click of her heels, she'll soon discover that the means to dealing with stress were always within her power. Dealing with the Stuff That Makes Life Tough helps teenage girls find the wisdom within to overcome stress in their lives.


Publisher's Weekly:

Growing up brings new concerns and pressures for many kids. "Dealing With The Stuff That Makes Life Tough: The 10 Things That Stress Girls Out and How to Cope with Them'' by Jill Zimmerman Rutledge addresses body image, depression, boys, smoking, drinking and drugs, divorce, homosexuality and other sources of stress and anxiety for teenage girls.   Testimonials of girls who have faced difficult situations reassure readers that they're not alone and provide concrete suggestions for addressing problems. (Dec. 8, 2003)

It's the favorite of our intern Lauren--it has real-girl stories and advice about everything: guys, smoking, drinking, parents' divorce, insomnia, time management, and being gay. Plus, it has lots of listings for other resources like Web sites, phone numbers, and reading lists for more info on whatever you're dealing with.


Zimmerman Rutledge strikes a delicate balance: Her writing is never over her young readers' heads, yet it does not condescend. She instructs readers to give themselves affirmations, called "Special Statements," to counteract their negative thoughts about their appearance. Then she coaches them to develop a plan of action for creating new, healthy habits and behaviors. What's particularly powerful are the real-life stories of adolescent girls (three in each chapter), who share their bad body-image experiences and solutions. Topics include weight and dieting concerns, materialism, teasing and bullying, and perfectionism.



© 2022 Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge
Longmont, Colorado • Vail, Colorado • 970-949-0404