Girls Reading List

Books on Raising and Understanding Girls... Teens and In-Betweens

This is a collection of books on a variety of topics that may help parents to better understand issues their daughters may encounter.

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls.

If your daughter has ever come home from school upset because her friends didn't walk with her to lunch, if she has wanted to stay home or has run up to her room in tears, and won't tell you why, you might need this book. These may seem like minor problems - who cares about notes passed behind your back, or a nasty look, or a party you're not invited to - but they aren't, and they can have a lasting effect on a girl's self-esteem.

Author Rachel Simmons shows in the book Odd Girl Out that the secret world of girls' aggression is just as harmful as the aggression of boys, but it's harder to recognize. Girls are not encouraged to express their anger, and so it goes beneath the surface. Relationships have an important bearing on a young girl’s life. For girls, losing friends or becoming the object of a clique's ridicule can be devastating.

Odd Girl Out shines the light of understanding on the secret lives of girls. By articulating the dynamics of this behavior, she helps us see where it comes from and offers parents and teachers ways in which to help our daughters and students.

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls

Everybody who has survived adolescence knows what a scary, tumultuous, exciting time it is. But if we use memories of our experiences to guide our understanding of what today's girls are living through, we make a serious mistake. Our daughters are living in a new world. Reviving Ophelia is a call to arms from Dr. Mary Pipher, a psychologist who has worked with teenagers for more than a decade. She finds that in spite of the women's movement, which has empowered adult women in some ways, teenage girls today are having a harder time than ever before because of higher levels of violence and sexism. The current crises of adolescence - frequent suicide attempts, dropping out of school and running away from home, teenage pregnancies in unprecedented numbers, and an epidemic of eating disorders - are caused not so much by "dysfunctional families" or incorrect messages from parents as by our media-saturated, lookist, girl-destroying culture. Young teenagers are not developmentally equipped to meet the challenges that confront them. As they encounter situations that are simply too complex for them to handle, their self-esteem crumbles. The dangers young women face today can jeopardize their futures. It is critical that we understand the circumstances and take measures to correct them. We need to make that precious age of experimentation safe for adolescent girls.
Girls on Track: A Parent's Guide to Inspiring Our Daughters to Achieve a Lifetime of Self-Esteem and Respect

Offering a proven plan for guiding young girls toward a more self-confident, independent, and healthy lifestyle, Barker explains to parents her successful ten-week self-esteem building program. Activities, games, and lessons encourage parents and daughters to get to know one another through working together

Dealing With The Stuff That Makes Life Tough: The 10 Things That Stress Girls Out and How to Cope with Them

Growing up brings new concerns and pressures for many kids. Dealing with the Stuff That Makes Life Tough: The 10 Things That Stress Girls Out and How to Cope with Them by Jill Zimmerman Rutledge addresses body image, depression, boys, smoking, drinking and drugs, divorce, homosexuality and other sources of stress and anxiety for teenage girls. Testimonials of girls who have faced difficult situations reassure readers that they're not alone and provide concrete suggestions for addressing problems.

Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence

Author Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes provides an insightful, useful, and sometimes painful primer for parents of teenage girls. Having spent more than ten years in the inner sanctums of adolescence -- the classrooms, bathrooms, cafeterias, and malls of America -- Wiseman decodes the gossip-and-clique-filled "Girl World" of teenagers. Much of what she finds there is a dangerous hierarchy -- from the "Queen Bee" who dictates rules such as who wears what and who dates whom, to the "Wannabe" trying ingratiate herself into a clique or the poor "Target" of a clique's wrath. And while these may seem to a parent like stock characters in a teen drama, Wiseman warns that these roles are "powerfully and painfully reinforced every moment of every day."

What's a parent to do? Wiseman has plenty of practical advice (e.g., Never call boys "boys" -- they're "guys" now), including a strategy for parents to start opening channels of communication, but it requires careful attention and patience. Her highly readable and authoritative insights are sometimes shocking, but they provide parents an invaluable view into the modern adolescent world. Ultimately, this book can help you and your daughter navigate the barbed path that leads to womanhood -- together. (Jessica Leigh Lebos)

Bullies and Victims: Helping Your Child Through the Schoolyard Battlefield

SuEllen Fried, a dance therapist and community activist who has headed the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, and her daughter Paula, a psychotherapist, here collaborate on a thorough analysis of peer abuse among children. The book opens with a definition of bullying that examines when harmless teasing crosses the line to become abuse. Later chapters examine physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse among peers, with key ideas clarified by real-life examples. The final chapters suggest ways to empower children, including adult intervention and educational programs in school settings. Both broad and deep, this thoughtful overview of a common problem is recommended for public and academic libraries. Kay L. Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills., Md.

The Bully The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander

It's a deadly triad: bullies who terrorize, bullied kids who are afraid to tell, bystanders who watch, participate, or look away, and adults who dismiss the incidents as a normal part of childhood. Drawing on her decades of work with youth, this practical book by bestselling parenting educator Barbara Coloroso explains: The three kinds of bullying; and the differences between boy and girl bullies, Four abilities that protect your child from succumbing to bullying, and Seven steps to take if your child is a bully…

Girl Wars: 12 StrategiesThat Will End Female Bullying

In recent years, aggressive behavior has been redefined as a more serious social problem with long-term effects for bullies, victims, and society. These books present step-by-step approaches toward addressing the problem and increasing the emotional intelligence of youth. Rooting Girl Wars in Mary Pipher's groundbreaking Reviving Ophelia, Dellasega (Pennsylvania State Coll. of Medicine; Surviving Ophelia) and Nixon (psychology, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie) present 12 strategies for combating "relational aggression." These range from preventative skills to coping mechanisms and creative techniques for mobilizing fathers and community organizations in promoting antibullying behavior…

Parenting Teens With Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood.

Love means giving your teen opportunities to be responsible and empowering them to make their own decisions. Logic means allowing them to live with the natural consequences of their mistakes and showing empathy for the pain they will experience.

Parenting With Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility.

This well-known child psychiatrist has written a book to help parents raise kids who are self-confident, motivated, and ready for the world by teaching them responsibility and the logic of life by giving them the opportunity to solve their own problems from the earliest possible age.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk provides all the know-how required for happier, more constructive parent-child relations. Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes interaction with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. The authors share their latest insights and suggestions based on feedback they've received over the years. Their real-world methods offer children's negative feelings; express anger without being hurtful; set firm limits and maintain goodwill; use alternatives to punishment; resolve family conflicts peacefully.

The Hurried Child: Growing up Too Fast Too Soon

With the first two editions of this landmark work, Dr. David Elkind eloquently called our attention to the dangers of exposing our children to overwhelming pressures, pressures that can lead to low self-esteem, to teenage pregnancy, and even to teenage suicide. Internationally recognized as the voice of reason and compassion, Dr. Elkind has shown that in blurring the boundaries of what is age appropriate, by expecting -- or imposing -- too much too soon, we force our kids to grow up too fast, to mimic adult sophistication while secretly yearning for innocence.

In the two decades since this groundbreaking book first appeared, we have compounded the problem, inadvertently stepping up the assault on childhood in the media, in schools, and at home. Taking a detailed, up-to-the-minute look at the Internet, classroom culture, school violence, movies, television, and a growing societal incivility, Dr. Elkind here shows us where hurrying occurs today and why. And as before, he offers parents and teachers alike insight, advice, and hope for encouraging healthy development while protecting the joy and freedom of childhood.

Dads and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand, and Support Your Daughter when She's Growing up So Fast

As the primary male role model in a girl's life, fathers influence their daughters in profound ways, from how they see themselves to what they come to expect from men and the world at large. But men often don't realize the importance of their interactions or may shy away from too close involvement because of their inexperience, or conditioning. Especially as girls move into adolescence, fathers may find themselves feeling distant from their daughters or awkward with the changing dynamic. Communication becomes difficult and parenting issues more complicated. But this is also the time when daughters most need their fathers to be an even greater presence in their lives. Dads and Daughters is a tool to bridge that gap and build a rewarding and joyful father-daughter relationship.

From father to father and with insights from many other dads, Joe Kelly shows men how they can strengthen their relationships with their daughters and explores the tremendous rewards this relationship can bring. Starting with a self-assessment quiz titled "How Am I Doing as My Daughter's Father?" dads can immediately see what kind of role they play in their daughter's life. To educate fathers and offer solutions when problems arise, Dads and Daughters then offers thoughtful coverage of the most pivotal issues today's girls face, such as sex and dating, body image, alcohol and drugs, media culture and violence, money and responsibility, and the future. In doing so he both illuminates the culture our daughters live in and shows fathers how to guide their daughters toward rewarding, healthy lives.

Puberty Issues

The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition Paperback (Age 8 and up)

Our best-selling body book for girls just got even better! With all-new illustrations and updated content for girls ages 8 and up, it features tips, how-tos, and facts from the experts. You'll find answers to questions about your changing body, from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bras, periods to pimples, and everything in between. Once you feel comfortable with what's happening, you'll be ready to move on to the The Care & Keeping of You 2!

The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls

This thoughtful advice book will guide you through the next steps of growing up. With illustrations and expert contributors, this book covers new questions about periods, your growing body, peer pressure, personal care, and more! Written by Dr. Cara Natterson for girls 10 and up, The Care & Keeping of You 2 follows up the original bestseller with even more in-depth details about the physical and emotional changes you're going through.

My Changing Body Paperback (Age 9 and up grade 4 and up)

Filled with practical, insightful facts about the changes girls go through before and after puberty, My Changing Body is the ultimate know-your-body manual for girls. Included here is everything girls need to know about their periods, breasts, and reproductive systems—-along with fascinating explanations for all those other mysterious physical and emotional changes that accompany growing up. Includes information on relationships, mood swings, body image, body hair, hygiene, pimples, cramps, and more.

The Period Book

Karen Gravelle and her fifteen-year-old niece, Jennifer Gravelle, have written a down-to-earth and practical book that answers any questions you might have about your period, from what it is and what it feels like, to how to choose pads and tampons, to how to talk to your parents about it. The Period Book will help guide you through all the physical, emotional, and social changes that come with your period, as well as related issues like dealing with pimples, mood swings, and new expectations from friends and family. Debbie Palen's funny and sympathetic cartoons ease the confusion and exasperation you might feel, and celebrate the new sense of power and maturity that your period can bring. Perfect for sharing, The Period Book is a trusty friend that can help you feel happy and confident about this new phase of your life.

My Body My Self for Girls

In the million-copy "What's Happening to My Body?" series for preteens and teens (9-15-year-olds), in a fresh new edition (previously sold over 90,000 copies), this fact-filled and fun-filled journal/activity book, expanded to include more letters from kids, answers the questions girls ages 9 to 15 have about growing up. Illustrated with drawings, cartoons, and photos, here are stories, quizzes, exercises, checklists, suggestions for diary keeping, illustrations, and lots of personal anecdotes about physical changes and the different feelings girls have about them. Everything affected by the onset of puberty is covered, from body image, diet, height, weight, pimples, and cramps, to first periods, first bras, and first impressions.

(check out other books from author Lynda Madaras)

Books For Pre-Teens and Young Teens

No Body's Perfect (Book for young people)

A trio of titles speaks directly to tweens and teens. Kimberly Kirberger, best known as co-author of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, presents No Body's Perfect: Stories by Teens About Body Image, Self-Acceptance, and the Search for Identity. Each of the more than 20 sections ("Get to Know Yourself," "Sweeten Your Self-Talk," "Have Faith," etc.), introduced by Kirberger, contains stories and poems by real teens, as well as inspirational quotes from the likes of Gandhi and Oscar Wilde. A companion No Body's Perfect Journal offers questions for teens to think about and space for writing their responses.

Bullies are a Pain in the Brain

Every child needs to know how to cope with bullies, and this book blends humor with serious, practical suggestions that will help kids understand, avoid and stand up to bullies while preserving their own self-esteem.

Cliques, Phonies, and other Baloney

Written for every child who has ever felt shut out or trapped by a clique, this book blends humor with practical advice as it explains how to form positive, healthy relationships. Trevor Romain tackles this serious subject with wit and common sense, explaining what cliques are and why they exist.

Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves!

Uses silly jokes and light-hearted cartoons along with serious advice to help readers recognize the causes of stress and its effects and learn how to handle worry, anxiety, and stress.

Fighting Invisible Tigers - A Stress Management Guide for Teens

Proven, practical advice for teens on coping with stress, being assertive, taking risks, making decisions, staying healthy, dealing with fears, building relationships, and more.

Hot Stones and Funny Bones – Teens Helping Teens Cope With Stress and Anger

Provides an inside look at ways in which teens cope with their stress and anger, such as keeping a journal, meditating, or having a good laugh, and includes advice for parents and other teens.

More than seventy-five teens from across the country were interviewed on a range of topics and issues: parents, friends, sports, clothes, school violence and peer pressure. With the passion and frustration expressed by teens in their narratives, as well as in their artwork and poetry, this book is a unique combination of original teen contributions and effective stress- and anger-management techniques from a mental-health professional. Most important, it was designed expressly for teens.

Mean Chicks, Cliques, and Dirty Tricks: A Real Girl's Guide to Getting Through the Day with Smarts and Style

A guide for coping with girls who are mean to other girls, using the words of teenagers to explore how the meanness can get started, forms it may take, and what can be done to stop it. (age: Teens)

A Smart Girls Guide To Friendship Troubles (AmericanGirl Library)

How do you speak up when you're afraid of hurting your friend's feelings? What do you do after a really big fight? What if your friend leaves you for the popular crowd? Inside you'll find tips, quizzes, and real-life stories that can help solve a girl's most common friendship troubles. When your friendship's in trouble, you need help -- fast. Here's the advice you need to get through the tough times and help you decide how to deal with friendship dilemmas. (Age: Young Adult)

A Smart Girl's Guide to Boys: Surviving Crushes, Staying True to Yourself and Other Stuff (AmericanGirl Library)

From the editors of the best-selling book The Care and Keeping of You comes an insightful, age-appropriate guide to boys, the number one topic of conversation for girls 8 to 12. Here's straight talk on what to do when everyone's wondering "who likes who?" The book explores being friends, going out, getting dumped, being yourself, and much more. Letters from girls and advice from boys, along with quizzes and tips, help a girl get her brain back on track when her heart's in a wreck. (Ages: 8 – 12)

The Care and Keeping of Friends (AmericanGirl)

Heartfelt advice on how to make, keep, and be a friend. Plus crafts, quizzes, and more! (Ages: 8 – 12)

The Feelings Book: The Care and Keeping of Your Emotions (AmericanGirl Library)

This sensitive companion to the bestselling book The Care and Keeping of You helps girls understand their emotions and learn to deal with them. They'll get tips on expressing their feelings and staying in control, plus advise on handling fear, anxiety, jealousy, and grief. Girl-friendly format features fun illustrations and letters from real girls written to American Girl magazine. A special section addresses fears related to events like school shootings and terrorist attacks. (Ages 8 – 12)

Web Sites This site was created to help girls (ages 10-16) learn about health, growing up, and issues they may face. It focuses on health topics that girls are concerned about and helps motivate them to choose healthy behaviors by using positive, supportive, and non-threatening messages. The Family Education Network’s mission is to be an online consumer network of the world's best learning and information resources, personalized to help parents, teachers, and students of all ages take control of their learning and make it part of their everyday lives.