Monday, October 30, 2017

Girling Up - Mayim Bialik

Title: Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart, and Spectacular
Author: Mayim Bialik
Publisher: Philomel Books (Penguin Random House), 2017 (Hardcover)
Length: 177 pages
Genre: Children's/Young Adult; Nonfiction
Started: October 29, 2017
Finished: October 29, 2017

From the inside cover:

Growing up as a girl in today's world is no easy task. Juggling family, friends, romantic relationships, social interests and school...sometimes it feels like you might need to be a superhero to get through it all! But really, all you need is a little information.

Want to know why your stomach does a flip-flop when you run into your crush in the hallway? Or how the food you put in your body will affect you in the future? What about the best ways to stop freaking out about your next math test?

Using scientific facts, personal anecdotes, and wisdom gained from the world around us, Mayim Bialik, the star of The Big Bang Theory, shares what she learned from her life and her PhD in neuroscience to tell you how you grow from a girl to a woman biologically, psychologically, and sociologically.

Want to be strong? Want to be smart? Want to be spectacular? You can! Start by reading this book.

I love The Big Bang Theory, so when I heard through the grapevine that Mayim Bialik was publishing a book about growing up female, I was so in. I honestly thought it was going to be a book from the parental perspective about raising girls in our society, but instead it ended up being a book intended for girls themselves to read about growing up in real time.

The book is divided up into six sections: how our bodies work, how we grow, how we learn, how we love, how we cope, and how we matter. The first half of this book is all standard fare that you can find in any number of puberty books for girls. If all you want is information about puberty itself and bodily changes then I'd actually suggest those other books since they are illustrated more than this book is (which for that type of information I'd argue visuals are key).

The latter half of this book is where the author really shines, talking about love and dating, how we cope with stress and which coping skills signal a problem (information kids need but don't get), and how to make decisions about your future and what you want to do with your life. These latter sections contain information most puberty books for girls don't even touch, the type of sage wisdom one usually gets from their mother or other female role models in their life.

Perfect for older pre-teens or young teenagers who need information about growing up female that they aren't likely to find from the usual sources.

Thoughts on the cover:
I'm not sure why the author is donning a superhero cape here (beyond the one reference in the summary it's not brought up again, and it's not like the book is a magical cure all for their growing pains), but it does make for a more dynamic cover.

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