Soul Searching: A Girl's Guide to Finding Herself

Soul Searching: A Girl's Guide to Finding Herself

4.1 7
by Sarah Stillman, Susan Gross
     
 

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An updated, indispensable guide to empowerment and self-discovery for teens.

While fashion magazines, television programs, and websites emphasize the superficial and foster insecurities, Sarah Stillman directs teen girls to a healthy place where a strong sense of self and direction take center stage. Originally written when the author was just sixteen,

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Overview

An updated, indispensable guide to empowerment and self-discovery for teens.

While fashion magazines, television programs, and websites emphasize the superficial and foster insecurities, Sarah Stillman directs teen girls to a healthy place where a strong sense of self and direction take center stage. Originally written when the author was just sixteen, Soul Searching has been fully updated and expanded to address the concerns of today’s teens, bringing girl power to the printed page by offering young women a clear path to self-discovery and empowerment. Through fun quizzes, insightful exercises, and provocative statistics, Stillman guides young women through the complex maze between adolescence and adulthood.

Featuring updated sections on safe cell-phone use, social media, health, and gender, as well as including updated resources throughout, Soul Searching is a must-read for teenage girls.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Bethesda, MD teen Sarah Stillman felt bombarded by media images of perfect, skinny celebrities. Magazines for young women were chockfull of advice on boys and fashion—and offered zip on exploring goals and enhancing self-awareness. So sixteen-year-old Sarah took pen in hand and wrote her own book—Soul Searching: A Girl's Guide to Finding Herself. And judging by its success¾Teen People Book-of-the-Month and Scholastic Book Club selections, Soul Searching is the book a lot of teens have been waiting for. Sarah poses questions to her readers to help them discover and follow their passions. She offers guidance to stressed teens on keeping a journal, creating a calm, personal space, and helping others through community service. Sarah says she wrote the book "for girls who desire happiness and are willing to seek it." Sarah's publisher, the Oregon-based Beyond Words, also should get big kudos. The mission for all their books—from children's to parenting to photography—is "to inspire to integrity." And they're certainly doing that with titles like their two-volume Girls Who Rocked the World 1998 and 2000, each $8.95, with brief bios of heroines, from Harriet Tubman to Mia Hamm. For other offerings, check out their web site at www.beyondwords.com. 2000, Beyond Words, $10.95. Ages 9 up. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Stillman, a teenaged sage, has written a well-researched guide that includes sections on creating personal space, setting one's body free through yoga and massage, relaxation and mediation, journaling as a way to discover one's soul, and dream interpretation. The wordy tome ends with a chapter on world religions that asks readers "Is There a Buddha in You?" Each chapter provides a wonderful list of resources. Unfortunately, despite the essentially good ideas and sound advice, the text is pretentious and stilted, and Stillman seems far too worldly and sure of herself for a 16-year-old. Mindy Morgenstern's The Real Rules for Girls (Girl Press, 2000) and Karen Bokram and Alexis Sinex's The Girls' Life Guide to Growing Up (Beyond Words, 2000) may not include as much soul-searching, but they are much better choices for anyone who wants some simple advice for living.-Elaine Baran Black, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Stillman’s guide addresses many topics pertinent to contemporary teens. The empowering message of acceptance of self and others permeates this text, providing inquiring readers a starting point for their journey of self-reflection."
—Kirkus Review

"The author’s unpretentious yet stellar intelligence endears readers who are likely to consider this book a new BFF. Destined to become a popular item."
—Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME
SLJ, March 2012

"The book is a powerful example of the wisdom of young adults and the truths they can find in everyday things. This reviewer enjoyed this far more than expected."
—Devin Johnson, Teen Reviewer.
VOYA, December 2011

VOYA - Devin Johnson
Being a seventeen-year-old male, this reviewer figured the book would be filled with girly-girl talk about growing up and "The Talk." Luckily, this new version of the book by Stillman, who wrote the original version at sixteen almost a decade ago, shattered these preconceptions. The book is littered with methods to make your life more rich and meaningful, and even though the book is written with a young female audience in mind, many activities can be applied by men as well, as long as they are willing to break their manly-man mold. Overall, the book is a powerful example of the wisdom of young adults and the truths they can find in everyday things. This reviewer enjoyed this far more than expected. 5Q, 4P. Reviewer: Devin Johnson, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Barbara Allen
Soul Searching provides young girls an opportunity to do just that. Stillman uses philosophy, religion, yoga, and all manner of topics to help them find out who they really are and what they really like. In a world of toothpick-thin models and mixed messages from the media, girls need a beacon to help guide them through the rough waters of adolescence, and this book just may be it. This guide is hands-on and provides further readings on all subjects broached. This is not a hard book to get girls to read. All of us want to know more about who we truly are. Finding this out takes time and sometimes help from an outside source. Stillman uses language that preteens and teens can understand without ever sounding patronizing due to the fact that she was a teenage girl when she wrote the original draft. This book contains illustrations, workbook-style pages, and suggested readings. It is a must-have for any library that includes teen girls. Reviewer: Barbara Allen
Kirkus Reviews
Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Stillman's guide addresses many topics pertinent to contemporary teens. Describing "soul searching" as the endeavor to discover one's inner voice, the author introduces various methods to achieve self-awareness, including yoga, meditation and journaling. She offers various examples of how to implement the ideas and includes quotes from fellow teens for inspiration. Readers can investigate the fundamentals of philosophy and world religions, learn about Feng Shui, discover dream interpretation and practice daily affirmations. In this updated version of the book she wrote at age 16, Stillman addresses the isolating and time-consuming aspects of modern technology. Readers are encouraged to create a quiet space and carve out time for themselves, free from the distractions of technology. While the text does not delve very deeply into any one subject, each chapter concludes with a list of resources for further exploration. The narrative voice is a blend of sage older sibling with the easy affability of a close friend. Quizzes and opportunities to record their own thoughts give readers the option to actively participate in this contemplative process. The empowering message of acceptance of self and others permeates this text, providing inquiring readers a starting point for their journey of self-reflection. (Nonfiction. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582703428
Publisher:
Simon Pulse/Beyond Words
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Sarah Stillman graduated from Yale with simultaneous Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Anthropology before pursuing her PhD at Oxford—an inspiring example of what a self-confident teen can achieve. Active in the international global justice movement, she has worked with migrant factory workers in southern China, refugees in rural Guatemala, and HIV/AIDS patients in Thailand. In 2008, she was embedded with the 116th Military Police Company in Iraq as a foreign correspondent for Truthdig, following which New York University named her the inaugural recipient of The Reporting Award. Stillman has written about her experience in Iraq for The New Yorker and currently works as a fellow at Yale’s Morse College, where she co-teaches a course on the Iraq war with a U.S. Army captain.

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