Girls Speak Out: Finding Your True Self

Overview

Many girls lose self-esteem when they reach adolescence, and this interactive guide is designed to help them reverse that process and make positive changes that will last a lifetime. This handbook offers images of women and their roles throughout the ages, excerpts from works by writers such as Alice Walker, and more.

A handbook on self-esteem for girls.

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Overview

Many girls lose self-esteem when they reach adolescence, and this interactive guide is designed to help them reverse that process and make positive changes that will last a lifetime. This handbook offers images of women and their roles throughout the ages, excerpts from works by writers such as Alice Walker, and more.

A handbook on self-esteem for girls.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW said that this book, developed from Johnston's nationwide series of girls' personal growth workshops, "is probably best reserved for feminist adults who wish to learn techniques for conducting workshops of their own." Ages 9-14. (Mar.)r
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Transposing her nationwide series of girls' personal growth workshops to book form, activist educator Johnston aims for the casual, questioning tone of an adult who really listens to children. Sojourner Truth and bell hooks changed their names to reflect who they were inside, she tells her group participants; "What new name would you choose?" On the page, this and other attempts to duplicate workshop interactions lose their force. More inspiring are excerpts from feminist fiction by Alice Walker, Kyoko Mori and Sandra Cisneros, among others. Writings by workshop participants are interspersed throughout, but their sincere self-affirmations often read like repetitive clichs: "You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else." Johnston's girls improvise a talk show, examine prehistoric artifacts representing women and play a game called "Tunnels" which simulates rebirth, but the exuberance that must infuse the workshops is sadly lacking in print. This book is probably best reserved for feminist adults who wish to learn techniques for conducting workshops of their own. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 10-up. Feb.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
This is Gloria Steinem for teeny-boppers. In fact, the book is an offshoot of Steinem's "Take Our Daughters to Work," and other projects, and is introduced by her. The contents describe a self-help radical feminization seminar of the same name. An extensive walkthrough of the two-day program is presented, together with excerpts of stories used, and testimonials given by participants. All of this is concluded with a watered down history of goddess cult figurines. The obvious message seems overplayed, but might be useful in some quarters.
The ALAN Review - Joyce A. Litton
Girls Speak Out takes its name from a nationwide effort to improve self-esteem for young adolescent girls. The book attempts to replicate what Johnston and her colleagues do in Girls Speak Out programs across the country. Girls learn about ancient matriarchal societies where goddesses were worshipped, read about early feminists such as Sojourner Truth and from contemporary ones like Alice Walker, are encouraged to be interested in science, and are discouraged from pretending to be dumb to attract boys. The literary excerpts and the focus are multicultural; the book is well written and provocative. Occasionally its attempts at political correctness are silly - e.g., references to "goddess mothers" and "goddess daughters." Since most readers come from the Judeo-Christian tradition, the author might profitably have talked about God having feminine and masculine strains.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-A book based on a self-esteem and consciousness-raising workshop for young women, developed by the author and Gloria Steinem. It's an intriguing account, but it may be more meaningful to parents and teachers than to its intended audience. "Girls Speak Out" is the name given to the workshops, typically given on two consecutive Saturdays and characterized by the author as "an experience we have in a room with other girls and women." The workshops explore a broad range of subjects, from prehistoric images of women to understanding sexism to self-discovery, encouraging young women to find their own true voices and "speak out" through discussion, games, and writing. "Even if you can't be in this room with us," Johnston explains, "you can have some of the same experiences with the book." Thus, this title explains how the workshops are run and presents some of the responses and writing that participants have contributed across the country. Although no doubt the actual workshops are powerful and empowering, this presentation lacks focus and practicality: it's not really designed as a how-to guide, nor is it inspirational for private journals or self-study. However, the actual writing of the girls is compelling; adults working with adolescents may find the "Girls Speak Out" concept and model easy to use and adapt in different settings.-Cyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA
From the Publisher
A splendid sister of Free to Be ...You and Me and Take Our Daughters to Work, GIRLS SPEAK OUT envisions a world where girls revel in their power-and then provides a vibrant, animated map of how to get there.-Marlo Thomas
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590897969
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1996
  • Pages: 212
  • Age range: 9 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 7.58 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

ANDREA JOHNSTON is the founder of the Girls Speak Out Foundation, an advocacy organization working with girls and their supporters on five continents. A 30-year veteran of public and private school teaching, Andrea convened and helped organize the First National Girls Conference at UNICEF House in New York in 1997. She has appeared in a Lifetime documentary, on CNN’s Talk Back Live!, and on local and national radio shows. She has also been a frequent keynote speaker at YWCA youth conferences, on college campuses, for parenting organizations, and in the General Assembly and Trusteeship Council of the United Nations. She has a son, Jesse, and lives in Northern California.

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