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Not what I expected.
on June 7, 2007
After reading the reviews posted here, I fully expected that I would dislike this book. I read it, and was very surprised. I do think the book is a product of its time, and I can see that it might appear dated and irrelevant to many readers. However, I think several of the reviewers were unfair. To mention a few examples: The book does not say that women shouldn't wear make up, it says they shouldn't be fixated on their appearance and try to look like the women in make up ads (and if you have seen some of the prepubescent models wearing ridiculously heavy make up, you probably agree that your daughter shouldn't be encouraged to copy this style). The book does assume that many or most of its readers will be housewives, however, it says that proper ambition is good for a girl and she can be a successful businesswoman. It also seems to me that the book has more advice on WHAT a girl says, how kindly she means it, and how gently she expresses it, rather than what her voice naturally sounds like, as one reviewer implied. The idea that everyone (men AND women) should be careful about what they say and the tone they use to say it is hardly unbiblical (see James) or misogynistic (since when does anyone like a snappish, interrupting, crude, bitterly sarcastic person?).
I also noticed, since I'm in a grad school course on adolescent psychology, that in many points this book follows what we know about adolescent development based on scientific research very faithfully (especially identity development, cognitive development, etc). I think all her points are Biblical, and it is useful to have a guide to adolescence that brings together many of the teachings of the Bible in one volume. I would advise parents to consider using this book, and as they read through it together, discuss how the book can best be applied to modern life (I think it is better to train a child to think critically and carefully about every text they read rather than struggle in vain to find something you agree with exactly). I think it would make an interesting conversation starter, at least.