BOOK REVIEWS

Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-07 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 21 user ratings
ISBN:0399548602
LANGUAGE:English

" Encouraging fact of life book that addresses issues on growing up without being preachy. Sure to appeal to those teens that have questions about their changing bodies without the fear of being preached to. " said.

"I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I was aware the author was/is an actress and I was impressed that she also had a PhD, but that's about all I knew. I actually ended up being quite impressed with the quality of the writing, the readability of the book, and the wide coverage of topics important to teenage girls. That's not to say that I agreed with everything she said because I didn't, but that's mostly because of my own personal beliefs.


There ended up being a lot of information and advice in the book that I wish I'd had in junior high and high school. Information about puberty and the bodily changes that occur during that time. Advice about emotional and social changes and desires, including friendship and romantic relationships. Bialik goes on to cover topics related to nutrition and exercise, school and learning, and making a difference in the world. I think what makes the book so easy to relate to is the author's willingness to share some of her own struggles with 'girling up' Her suggestions for learning to cope with stress and learning to take care of ourselves in healthy ways are especially valuable.

For those concerned about content, the book does give basic, science-based explanations of the changes that happen to both girl's and boy's bodies during puberty (including diagrams). Descriptions of what sex is, the impact it can have on you as a girl, and the importance of consent are all part of the section on love. Information about contraception and birth control as well as warnings about relationship abuse and rape are also included.
" said.

"Parts are quite good--the section on learning--other parts are too basic. For instance, she dedicates only two sentences to the actual human sexual response, but reiterates over and over and over again about not getting pregnant. *Sigh* This would be a good(ish) book to start the discussion about sex with an elementary aged child who is nine or ten years old. My fear is that a parent will hand this book over to their child and cease discussing any of the content with them. It is the parent's responsibilty to educate themselves further about all of these subjects and have important much more detailed conversation with them." said.

"Rating this book is complicated since I am not in the age range that is targeted. However I still wanted to get this book and read it. This was based in several reasons, the biggest one being all the admiration I feel for the author, Mayim Bialik. Reading this book brought me back memories of all those first times and changes I could not understand back then. I wish I would have had access to this book on those scary years of puberty when you start girling up and need sometimes to know more about those changes. More people should let their daughters read this, even if it is real and graphic. It might help them way more than you think. And yes it touches the topic of sex, but keeping them away from information and the words sex or penis is not going to help. Quite the contrary." said.

"There are so many books on growing up and puberty that this book seemed unnecessary. The topics ranged from puberty to diet & exercise to how to be successful in school to love & dating to safe sex to stress & coping to college and life. Although the author explains her reason for writing this book and the mish-mash of topics, it is something that has already been covered. It would have been so much more interesting if she explored going through puberty as a young actress and how she dealt with changes and included stories from her experiences. She could have tied in her feelings that most teens experience regardless of your financial status or whether you are in school or working a full time job as a child actress. There are some really good points in this book, but it's been done before. My 2 cents. " said.

"Mayim Bialik talks about the different hurdles that young girls face as the are growing up, or girling up for that matter. She tackles these things in a way that makes one feels like she is talking to a friend rather than an adult, which sometimes makes going through these different things a little bit easier.

I gave this book a four star rating more for the fact that it is very well written and I believe it will be very helpful for preteen girls. There are a lot of books for parents to talk to their kids on this subject, but I think it is also important for young women to have a book they can reference to themselves.

I wish there was a book like this when I was Girling Up. I believe it would have helped me tremendously get through my preteen years a little bit better.
" said.

"I'm a good 20-30 years older than the recommended target for this book, so I only read it because I have a lot of respect for Bialik (and I'm a huge fan of her work). I liked that the overall message to pre-teen and teen girls was "it's all okay" - meaning how their bodies are changing, how they feel about those changes, etc. It was a very reassuring, a "you're awesome and normal just the way you are" message. I appreciate that the book dove into weightier topics like sexting and consent. However, perhaps those 20-30 years have made me jaded. The tone and language of it seemed so oversimplified and childish to me. I cannot imagine a 18-year-old girl (the oldest target age Bialik has mentioned on her press tour) reading this and not rolling their eyes on every page at the simplistic phrases and even vague-bordering-on-prudish descriptions of some things. Either that or I have a very poor memory of myself or I had a very large vocabulary as a teenager. However, for pre-teen girls, I think that it could be a useful tool to help start a lot of conversations." said.

"With a calm, factual tone, Bialik describes puberty, dating, social issues, school, and other topics at the top of the minds of many tween girls. The narrative has a nice, conversational aspect that will make this easy going for many tweens who have questions; plus, even somewhat conservative families can appreciate Bialik's emphasis on talking to a trusted adult (such as a parent), and the fact that sex should be saved for later. Only the drawings are subpar. Even though the author is an actress ("Big Bang Theory") she is also a neuroscientist and knows what she is talking about. Very useful, factual, nonjudgmental, and helpful. " said.

April 2018 New Book:

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