In this revised edition of
The Girls' Guide to Life: Take Charge of Your Personal Life, Your School Time, Your Social Scene, and Much More!, Catherine Dee offers support, information, inspiration and activities to guide teens and help them prepare for adulthood. Here they can learn to cope with the issues confronting them today. Boosting self-esteem, dealing with sexual harassment, and becoming politically aware are just a few of the topics covered in this compendium of activities, poetry and personal experience stories that make the feminist issues of today come alive.
Girls! You can take on the challenge of being a one-girl revolution and then get your friends involved. The transition to adulthood is marked with hidden hazards, and Catherine Dee shares her thoughts to help you navigate them and feel good about yourself.
Here are lists of resources and quick quizzes on relevant topics with extensive source material; lists of organizations, bibliographies and a comprehensive index presented in a fun-to-read, illustrated book to help you and your parents.
This book would be a wonderful gift for that adolescent girl on your list. It is inspiring and helpful without being preachy.
(Beverly J. Rowe)
Much has been written about girls' vulnerability to depression, low self-esteem, and behavioral and psychological disorders as they make the transition from childhood to adolescence. It's well-recognized now that the best defense against this treacherous period of development is a good offense. This book provides girls with advice, reassurance, and empowerment....If you know any girls, especially ages 10-13, buy it. (November 24, 1997)
This savvy handbook is more than just the "how-to" guide its title suggests. In a provocative and friendly style, Dee demonstrates that typical feminine characteristics such as silence in the classroom, insecurity about appearance, and intimidation about sports or science are not the irrevocable fate of being female but simply the result of growing up in a society that maintains a deep-seated bias against girls and women. She uses snappy, teen-magazine-style chapters to illu-minate these biases: what they are, how to recognize them, and how to change them. Each chapter explores the facts of a particular issue, such as sexism in the media, sexist language, sexual harassment, etc., then personalizes that issue through boxed first-person narratives and poetry , comic strips, anecdotes, and quizzes. A list at the end of each chapter provides information on related books, videos, pamphlets, and organizations that will help give girls their bearings. But it's the book's activist feature, "Things to Do," that will have girls writing letters, joining organizations, and kicking that old passive stereotype good-bye. Go, girls! A bibliography of resources for parents and teachers, source notes, and an index are appended. (July/August 1997)
Here's a concept: Why not try to give teen girls a supportive, informative guide for coping with life and preparing for adulthood, and put it in a form that will (gasp) actually appeal to them in the way Sassy or Seventeen does. Far from a boring self-help tome, Catherine Dee's new Girls' Guide to Life patterns itself after the teeny-bop mags, from the bright, stylin' cover straight on through. But when the cover teasers--you know, the ones that normally read "50 Ways to Make Him Notice You" and "How Anorexia Can Help You Beat Split Ends"--say "Discover Your Political Power" and "Learn the Secret of Self-Esteem," you know you're in for something completely different....I'll bet it leaves more than one 13-year-old with her head spinning....Dee is clearly onto something here. ( August 14, 1997)
Dee ambitiously touches on a wide range of salient issues from self-esteem to working women. She easily moves back and forth between two poles, noting both the progress made by women and girls to date and the gender bias still in place. Dee's book is full of challenging ideas, neatly packaged so as to spur girls to think of themselves as players in the game of life. (July 27, 1997)
San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle
This book is such a good idea it's a wonder no one did it before. Catherine Dee of Palo Alto has taken a world of facts, information and resources and produced a lively, magazine-style book aimed at giving
teen-age girls some things they should know....The Girls' Guide to Life is instructive and informative without ever becoming patronizing. (June 4, 1997)
The Girls' Guide to Life contains an interesting collection of stories and statistics about women and their roles in society. It attempts to empower young girls by providing general information, role models, and inspirational stories. The stories, advice, and excerpts are about and by powerful, confident women taking charge of their own lives and defying stereotypical gender based roles. While timely, much of the content is too intense for the younger end of its targeted audience (10-to 15-year-old girls). An excellent supplement or reference for boosting any young girl's self-esteem.
Children's Literature - Trina Heidt
In The Girls' Guide to Life, Dee provides a historical background of women's rights and discusses current issues of relevance to adolescent girls and women, including self-esteem, appearance, household chores, personal safety, classroom equality, sexual harrassment, athletics, gender-biased media and speech, public policy, and careers. In addition, Dee suggests ways girls can examine these issues in relation to their own lives and ways in which they can work to positively change their situations. Some of her suggestions include keeping a journal, talking with friends, grading media for biased speech and sexist portrayals of women, and interviewing women working in a career of interest. To improve their situations, Dee says girls also might talk with parents, teachers, or counselors about concerns, write letters to public officials and media executives, take a self-defense class, confront harassers, participate in team or individual sports, and join girls' organizations. Throughout the book, Dee stresses activism, but in the conclusion, she reminds girls that they do not actually have to go out and do anything. By reading this book, they have taken a first step toward awareness. Dee also highlights the facts that girls should respect other people's differing opinions and appreciate boys who are sensitive to their beliefs. The author is concerned with gender equity, not male bashing. While the author is fair overall, she could show more tolerance for traditional female interests, such as beauty pageants and liberal arts studies. Dee calls the reader to activism against beauty pageants, while some teen girls continue to show interest in pageants. To her credit, the author acknowledges that everyone is concerned with their looks, but when concern turns into obsession, there is a problem, she writes. Also, while emphasizing math and science, she seems to devalue the liberal arts, as might be apparent in this line: "You've got a schedule to follow, friends to see, a math test to take, history class to stay awake in after lunch." It is important to stress to girls that they are capable of excelling in math or science, but not to invalidate other subjects they might be interested in. Each chapter is followed by a list of books and/or organizations that can provide further information. Dee recommends a variety of resources, including titles from Rosen's Coping With... and Staying Safe... series. Interspersed throughout the author's text are personal experiences reported by females and males of all ages. Poetry, photographs, cartoons, and comic strips accent the text. The graphics are blurry, which I hope will be corrected in the finished version. Contributors include Maya Angelou, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, and author Marie G. Lee. The appendix includes resources for parents and teachers, a list of organizations, and a bibliography of principal sources. The majority of sources are from the 1990s, although about ten to twenty are from the 1970s and 1980s. Overall, this is a worthwhile addition to any public or school library. Libraries serving communities that value women's issues and gender equity should purchase this work. Dee has produced a worthwhile starting point for girls who need a place to turn when facing problems in their lives. Illus. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Quizzes, quotations, cartoons, poetry, projects and excerpts from authors such as Gloria Steinem and Maya Angelou make up this workbook-looking volume. It grabs the reader's attention immediately. Cyndi Lauper, the singer, is quoted as saying, "When I was 10, I was told somebody's got to clean the fish. Well, my idea of feminism is that everyone cleans the fish." This is the tone of the book: frivolity interlaced with seriousness. Catherine Dee puts important information and resources in a lively format. There are useful ideas here, such as how to write a letter to someone who is harassing you. The book does an amazing job of enticing readers to learn and be empowered. The author's website is www.empowergirls.com and is well worth a look. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Little, Brown, 144p. illus. bibliogs. notes. index., Ages 12 to 18.
In this self-help book for teen girls, Dee provides well-researched information and advice that covers topics such as self-esteem, body image, relationships, sexual harassment, career opportunities, sports, political activism, and artistic expression. Dee's voice speaks directly to the reader in an easygoing, friendly manner. It appears that the author's main goal is to educate female readers aged nine to fifteen on the ways to defeat sexism by giving historical background information about the feminist movement and show some steps that can be taken to improve the future of women. In addition, Dee uses other tools to demonstrate the knowledge and advice that she offers, including quizzes, real-life stories that highlight and illustrate each chapter's theme, poems, inspirational quotes, and a "Things to Do" section that gives tips and action plans to encourage young teen girls to get active. Web sites and booklists for further research and reading, contact information for organizations, source notes, index, and a special parents' and teachers' resource section complete the book. Although biased in some ways by being at times overly feminist, this book will make an excellent addition to a young adult nonfiction collection and should be considered an essential buy for public and school libraries. With pushing and marketing, this book will circulate and be helpful for teen girls who wish to learn about their gender's past and make sure their futures are just as strong and hopeful. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Little Brown, 144p.;Index. Illus. Photos. Charts. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 15.
A fact-packed and thought-provoking information and activity book from Dee, who notes that she grew up with Marlo Thomas's groundbreaking Free to Be You . . . and Me.
With her definition of a feminist (a person "of either gender who believes in equality for both genders"), Dee establishes her notions of the struggle for equality, and provides enthusiastic support for girls in many arenas. Some topics covered: being "ladylike"; personal safety; assertive behavior in the classroom; sexual harassment; athletics and politics; advertising images of girls and women. The format is inviting, with quizzes, projects, cartoons, poetry, and excerpts from authorsMaya Angelou and Gloria Steinem among them. Extensive source material is appended (notes, lists of organizations, bibliographies) as well as meted out at logical intervals throughout the book. The attractive chapters, numerous black-and-white illustrations and photographs, and abundant information offered with Dee's light touch add up to a pleasing and valuable guide, not necessarily to be overlooked by members of either sex.