XOXO: ‘113 Things To Do By 13'

Being a tween can be hard – you're not old enough to drive, enroll in high school or hit the prom. You're not quite a kid, but not an adult either. But that makes it a lucky time too – a period in life in which you can get away with fun things like food fights and not washing your hair for three days — so says 14-year-old Brittany MacLeod, who penned celeb-filled tween guide "113 Things To Do By 13" with her mom, Access Hollywood producer, Terri MacLeod.

Brittany and Terri teamed up for the book, which features tips for tweens, covering all of the fun ways a young person can take advantage of their youth – both silly and community-minded — while they still have it.

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"Right before my 13th birthday, I put together a list of 100 things I wanted to do before I became a teenager. Then, I showed it to my mom and she thought it was terrific and a great idea for a book," Brittany explained to AccessHollywood.com. "I wanted to make it a total girl power guide and also remind tweens to have fun and don't stress about all the crazy stuff happening in our lives — like crushin' on boys or mean girls in school or just that our parents understand nothing about us."

In between tips like, "Send a secret Valentine to your crush," and, "Make dinner for your parents," the MacLeods ushered in advice from a host of celebs including country cutie Taylor Swift.

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"Taylor Swift wrote me a two-page letter on how she made her music dream come true at a young age," Terri said. "Selena Gomez really loved the book idea and wanted to pass on the message to young kids not to judge others. The 'Camp Rock' crew chimed in on what makes a BFF. Plus, 'Twilight' co-stars Ashley Greene and Rachelle Lefevre both got on the phone with me and chatted about their own experiences with mean girls — they want young girls who maybe are the victim of bullying to know that they will survive and it's often the mean girl who is insecure and has the issues."

Brittany hopes the poptastic book, filled with colorful pages and cute celeb cutouts, provides a positive message to people in her age group.

"I hope tweens get the message to have fun and not stress all the drama in school," she said. "Plus, I think it's important for young kids to try lots of different things and discover their talent — and get involved in your community. There's a lot of things tween can do — volunteer, start a business, join a club, play sport — just do it!"


And with Terri's help, the book has a mom touch too.

"I wanted the book to speak from a tween and mom perspective," she said. "I remember [the age of] 13 being major drama. It's a tough time… And, as a parent, it's good to remember those crazy tween years and get a better understanding of what's happening in your daughter's life. Sometimes, we as parents get caught up in our own busy lives and forget to take time out and connect with our kids. It's so important to establish a dialogue and be aware of the challenges and obstacles today's tweens face."

"113 Things To Do By 13" is out now on Harlequin Press.

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