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Children's LiteratureAs teen readers will know, CosmoGIRL! is a magazine containing mostly ads for makeup. The rest of the text is focused on looks, clothes, and boys, boys, boys. In this how-to manual, the editors offer advice on how to get a boyfriend, how to keep him, and how to cope with the resulting problems. The suggestions are, though not electrifying, pretty solid: first know yourself, respect yourself, have plenty of other interests, and keep in touch with your other male friends and girlfriends. In question and answer form, chapters also deal with breaking up, relationships with other guy friends, problems with family over boyfriends, and how to keep girlfriends through all the complicated intrigues of dating. Some sample advice: "As long as you like yourself, that's what really matters. After all, it's our differences that make us interesting." The super tough questions appear in chapters eight and nine: "Are you Really Ready?" (for sex) and "Serious Guy Issues." To their credit, the editors often advise troubled teens to consult parents or counselors and offer telephone numbers for hotlines that help with issues like rape, incest, violence, and sexual identity. Still, if parents find their Cosmogirl reading this handbook, they will want to check it out to decide whether its editors' values are in accord with their own. 2006, Hearst/Sterling, Ages 13 to 18.
—Barbara L. Talcroft