Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Book Review - The Daring Book for Girls

“For every girl with an Independent spirit and a nose for trouble, here is the no-boys-allowed guide to adventure.”

I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to review The Daring Book For Girls . Almost as much fun as it’s been to peruse with my own daughter! She is ten and I handed it right off to her after quickly looking through it the day it came in the mail. Within an hour, she was standing beside my desk, hugging the book to her chest exclaiming, “This is the coolest book ever!!!” I kid you not, I couldn’t make this up... she and a friend down the block are using the book to make their own, Daring Girl Club. They’re thinking of inviting another girl who is a number of years younger, proclaiming that they, and the book, can teach her the ways of the world... okay, I chuckle slightly, but it’s still a nice thought that they want to include a younger girl.

They are especially psyched to check out the website as there are fancy dancy badges there, that they can earn by mastering some of the activities in the book.

Okay, so you, as the parent or older relative of a girl might want to know what’s so great about this book? Why should you buy them this book? What exactly does it teach them? Everything and so much more... It’s like an encyclopedia of your childhood. Look through it with your daughter or the younger girl in your life. It quite probably has every game you ever played with your girlfriends in childhood. It has the rules to sports, directions on crafts, and a good bit of history and necessary facts couched in a fun format – my daughter actually sat for quite a while looking through the chart on states (when they became a state, what the flower is, etc...)

More than the knowledge though, I found pages of games I’d played that I never would have thought to tell my daughter about – how fun to not only be reminded of my own childhood but to share it with the next generation. Plus, what I find a great perk to this book, it gives them formats on letter writing skills, advice on finances, and it’s very girl power oriented – when a book comes along that encourages girls to be both strong and, well, GIRLS, it’s a great thing. In the joking kind of way, the back cover admonishes to exclude boys – but the book actually gives them credence to be themselves and to enjoy each other. It strives to make girlfriends the best commodity, and to me, that’s far better than admonishing the perfect, and very expensive, outfit or best new gadget. This book revels in a girl’s imagination and spirit. If I had stars, I’d give it the highest amount.

But don’t just buy this for your daughter and be done with it. Sit down with her and page through it, use it as a tool to communicate your own past with her present... it’s a useful book for her alone, but what a gift if it can help you both relive memories and create new ones.


Angela WD said...

This sounds great - and what a good tip for me while I'm thinking of a gift for my niece. Thanks for the advice!

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Angela,

I have it earmarked for two girls' Christmas gifts, myself, I really think it's fabulous..

Seems it will be a booksies kind of Christmas, I have Lottery earmarked for a few adults I know, too.

Mary Witzl said...

This sounded like a great book when I first heard about it, and I was DYING to review it! My youngest daughter is still young enough for this book and both of my girls love the idea of doing sporty, adventurous things. Maybe I will buy it for a Christmas present!

When I was a kid, my sisters and I had something similar to this book which had ideas for scavenger hunts, puzzles, games, clubs, things to collect, make, etc, but while our book was ostensibly for both sexes, we could tell that it was largely for boys. I think there was a girls' sections with stuff about embroidery and cooking. Grr!

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Mary,

I think they're a little clogged up with reviewers right now, this was the last one I was slotted for and I haven't received any new offers.

But this is a great book, I highly recommend it - I'm getting it for two of my girlfriends' daughters for Christmas, they're not old enough for it yet, but they'll have years of growing into it... besides, I think my friends will have a fun time looking through it as well.

Sun Singer said...

Nice counterpart to The Dangerous Book for Boys!


Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Malcolm,

Actually, I'm going to look into that one for my boys... though I'm not quite certain they need any more encouragment in being dangerous.

Jen / domestika said...

What a great line -- "like an encyclopedia of your childhood"! I'm a fan of the vintage _American Girl's Handy Book_ despite its obvious dated gender-role assumptions, so I'm sure this one would find a place on my bookshelf. Kids? Ha, it's us grown-ups who need books like these! ;)

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Jen,

Happy thanksgiving to you - and you'll definitely like this one, it's got a bit of the old and a bit of the new and some pretty practical advise of the odds and ends.

silken said...

sounds a little like "A Girl's Guide to Life", only bigger and perhaps better. I'll have to check this one out!

Rachel said...

I am buying the Boy and Girl versions this year even though Princess is only 4 and Monkey is 1! I need lots of time to read these myself and prepare after all! LOL! I see lots of these being purchased in the future!!

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Silken,

I really do recommend it, you can share it with your sisters, too, I'm sure you'll have fun reminiscing over all of the games you played together.

Hi Rachel,

So nice to meet you. My daughter's ten, so it's the perfect book for her age, but I'm buying copies for two of my friend's daughters for Christmas, one's just a year and the other is six, I think this is one of those books that defies age - besides, their moms will enjoy it, too!