Monday, November 26, 2007

The Daring Book For Girls

On a recent phone conversation a good friend of mine shared with me something that stuck with me for long after she said it, her words lingering in my mind as I tucked my children into bed.

“Remember, Jen?” she said. Remember when we were young and we were told that we could do anything? Remember?”

I said that I did.

“Well you know what I figured out growing up? I figured out that you could go to Harvard, you could get your masters, but you were still going to earn 70 cents on the dollar to some guy. And I figured out pretty quickly that we couldn’t do everything. I knew that I couldn’t be President, for example.” Her voice broke, and she continued. “And you know what I find so wonderful about this upcoming election? That our girls will maybe be able to see that they really can do anything. That if they really want to, they could become President of the United States someday.” We were both silent for a bit after that, the thought of a woman becoming leader of the free world heavy like perfume for both of us.

This is exactly why I love this book.

The Daring Book for Girls is more than hours of entertainment for your daughter (or son, for that matter). My ten year-old and twelve year- old have devoured this book like I would wine and a wheel of baked brie on a PMS jag. They have argued over who gets to read it at night until lights out. They have ushered in sleep to visions of pirates, monarchs, karate moves, and how to tie a proper knot. They have been filling their minds with visions of strength, curiosity, empowerment, and fun.

For the past few weeks they have been reading about how they can. How they should. How to do, be, and learn. It is an astounding book, and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to have reviewed it (truth be told, I haven’t had much chance to read it, as it is currently in the clutches of my ten year-old, its pages already dog-eared and stained with smudges of Halloween candy). My glimpses into its pages remind me of a thrilling adventure ride, of things I used to wonder about, or want to try, or know more of. It is like a treasure box. For my girls, who have long fancied themselves spies, this book is also like a secret manual.

Truly, if you have a girl of reading age in your home, or on your Christmas gift list, you couldn’t do better than to send this book their way for the holidays. In their hands, this substantial hardback book has enough information, illustrations and drawings to fill a mind for months (with everything - literally almost anything fun you can think of that you'd like to see a child doing) - and you will also be sending a clear message.

Yes, you can.