This is the perfect book to share with your daughter/ granddaughter/that special girl you know who is a tween or young teen. It has just the right mix of articles - informative, fun, and stimulating! When the "Dangerous Book for Boys" came out I wished for a version for girls and this book is as good as the one for boys if not better.
When you first flip through its pages it will remind you of the time you were her age. You probably read a book almost like this but not quite. I say not quite as this book does a perfect balancing act between skills and general knowledge, between techniques we learned from our grandmothers and the ones that became popular later. It tells you "how to press flowers" but also "five karate moves". "Make your own quill pen" is preceded by "how to change a tire". I remember reading a book almost like this in my childhood. I dearly treasured that book till its pages were yellow and stiff into my college days. I spent many afternoons after school experimenting with the projects. I remember the bitter candy apples I made from a recipe in that book, or the quill pen with which I wrote my "secret language" notes for my friends and this book brought back those memories. With more words than illustrations, the Daring book for Girls will encourage the girl who reads it to use her imagination.
This book will appeal to the "girly-girl" in every girl with the sections like "Palm reading", "Hopscotch", "Princesses today" or "Boys"; to her sense of adventure with articles like "Going to Africa" (short section on each country), "Hiking", "Reading tide charts"; and to the "builder" in her with sections like "Building a campfire", "Tree swings", "Every girl's toolbox". There is a ton of useful information and facts in this book too for those rainy or quiet days - "from French terms of endearment" to "Queens of Ancient world" to "Women Inventors". Sports are covered too - basketball, softball, netball, bowling, playing cards and more.
My daughter was thrilled to get this book. I wasn't sure she'd like it as much as I liked my childhood book. But she began her next project "how to tie a sari" in minutes and over dinner started telling me about the women inventors in the book. We have now designated this book the "mother-daughter time" book. Each weekend, we pick up the book and try something new! What a great antidote to the "Mom, I'm bored" refrain!
Some are activities she can attempt on her own and for others like building the ultimate scooter she will need help as it requires some sawing and drilling. It is a challenge for me too as I've not really attempted to build anything from scratch before. I'm ready with my saw and drill and as excited as her to begin that project!
This book gives just the right kind of stimulation for a younger girl's (or boy's) curious mind and their thirst for new knowledge and skills. This book will also grow with the reader as it gives practical advice and even contains chapters like "Stocks and shares" and "Negotiating salaries." This book is therefore highly recommended and will make a great gift for a 7-14 year old.
on November 12, 2007
There are certain things that every girl should learn in her young life, like how to press flowers, what games to play at a slumber party, and how to put her hair up with a pencil. You know, girly things. But they also need to know things like salary negotiation, self defense with karate, and how to change a tire.
She'll get that and more in The Daring Book For Girls, by authors Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. This wonderful collection of projects, primers, and practical advice is so compelling and fun to read that I found myself browsing through it for hours after my daughter went to bed.
The letters of Abigail Adams, the history of women in the Olympics, making a lemon-powered clock... The book is packed with stimulating knowledge and activities. It's sure to stir my daughter's imagination for years to come. The authors have wisely designed the book to appeal to a wide range of ages, from 8 to 18. I'm well beyond those years, and NOT a girl, and even I'm envious of the new worlds of information that will be introduced to my daughter through these pages.
If you're the parent, or grandparent, of a girl, think twice before you spend your holiday money on some new toy or electronic gadget. The Daring Book For Girls will be the gift that gets the most attention this year.
on November 13, 2007
I am a fifth grade school teacher, so I see a lot of books meant for kids who are growing up. many of these books, especially the books geared for girls tend to be very dramatic, social survival guides that delve into the social ins and outs of growing up at younger and younger ages.
This book rises above all of that in the same way that the Dangerous book for boys (also a staple in my classroom) did. It tells kids that it is OK to be kids, it is OK to have a lot of interests, from sports to science to history to literature, to enjoy life by doing.
when I discovered this book on amazon I looked at the table of contents and was delighted at what I saw; the rules of basketball, how to tie a sari, campfire songs and many more topics. I called the girls in my class over, some who are jocks, some who are girly-girls, some who are science minded, and our social butterflies. accross the board each and every girl found something to love about this book, to the extent that there was a fight over it when it arrived in our classroom.
I am convinced that if there were more books like these telling kids to be kids and live life rather than play video games or watch TV all day, the world would be a better place.
on November 8, 2007
I don't know what I like better -- The Daring Book for Girls or the fact that it's written by two women I greatly admire, Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz.
Written as a sequel, of sorts, to last year's The Dangerous Book for Boys, The Daring Book for Girls is a compendium of activities and information to help today's girls rediscover that there are ways to have fun besides shopping at the mall, watching Hannah Montana or IM'ing their friends.
As the mother of a seven-year-old daughter, I was thrilled when I learned that the founders of MotherTalk would be writing this book and couldn't wait to see what it would have in store.
When it arrived, my daughter and I were both very excited because it's just got so much STUFF! Where to begin? There was so much to take in after I was done ooh-ing and aah-ing over the beautiful teal cover with the sparkly silver letters (yes, that did appeal to the "girl" in me!)
How to make a lemon-powered clock (really!)? Reading the chapters on women who were pirates and spies? How to make a tree swing or check out the list of books "that will change your life?"
Aimed at the "tween" girl market, it is perfect for that age group, billing itself as the book "for every girl with an independent spirit and a nose for trouble."
If you're the parent of a daughter who could use a little nudging to take off the headphones and get a little fresh air, then this book is just what the doctor (or Santa) ordered. There are so many great craft ideas and topics to spark the imagination of a girl it's hard to know where to start.
Since the book's release, some commenters have questioned whether this type of book can really have an impact on the way our daughters are socialized today -- can we really hope that a book that is an homage to our childhoods in the 1970s will be the tonic that will drag our girls out from behind the laptops and forsake the sassy outfits?
Can it really get our girls away from the world of Libby Lu parties, Bratz Dolls, and questionable Halloween outfits?
Is it too much to take the feminist optimism we had as girls of the MS. generation and help our daughters discover that they can do "boy" things, too? I think it's imperative. At seven, my daughter is already succumbing to the phenomenon of boys having too much sway on her budding self-esteem. If a few of the activities in this book can help boost her already waning self-confidence, then I'm going to go for it.
Perhaps it is too much to expect that one book can start a new feminist wave for our daughters of the 21st Century. But if we don't start somewhere, who will?
As a parent, I can't be responsible for reclaiming the girlhoods of all the "tweens" in America by making them turn off the Disney Channel and sit down to make a quill pen or learn about Queens of the Ancient World. But I can start with one excited second-grader and I'm planning on doing just that.
What I can do is take one second-grade girl, who is chomping at the bit to dig into the activities in The Daring Book for Girls, and help her discover things she never thought she could do. And I can make sure other moms know about it, too.
on June 11, 2009
Honestly, I want to hand this book to every girl I know, and the boys as well (pink typeface and Girl label be damned, this book is a powder keg of information and ideas for any kid). I am pleased that it covers so many topics I want my kids to know well, e.g., batik techniques and history (p.99), commonly confused words like imply and infer (p. 141), and the specifics of quality private eye work (p. 177).
What I truly appreciate, and what makes the Daring books transcend the How To label, is the activities' historical and often rebellious context. Why should our kids want to know how to waltz (p. 78)? How about because it was considered scandalous -- the dancing partners touched! And vulgar, forbidden -- it was easy to learn and didn't require a dance master!
Mostly, I am dazzled by the amount of good, hard, enticingly written information amassed in the Double Daring book. I want kids to know everything in it. I want them all to know exactly who Eleanor of Aquitaine was, and how startling her long, accomplished, independent life was compared to most women of her era. I want them to know the fundamentals of rhetoric, how to make a raft, the story of Ada Lovelace, how to join the circus, how to say thank you in scores of languages, how to make snowglobes, how to conduct an orchestra, and how to make rope ladders.
The Double Daring book is buoyed by positivity, and focuses on cultivating competence, independence, willingness to experiment, and open-ended fun. It provides multiple short biographies of women whose lives exemplified these attitudes. These role models are an antidote to heavily-marketed (and in some cases marketing-originated) books like The Clique series, which my daughter and her friends crave, and in which junior high-aged girls live lives of insecurity, negativity, and cruelty, while obsessing about label-spangled fashion, unrealistic body images, and social machinations. Ptui.
If you want your girls to value knowledge and abilities like they do store-bought items, get them The Double Daring Book for Girls. I truly believe it has the power to inspire and edify any child with a curious mind, while simultaneously countering media-induced materialism. It is a treasure.
on July 6, 2009
How can you not like a book that tells you how to dye your hair with Kool-Aid, how to make a lava lamp, how to perform a Japanese Tea Ceremony, what the meaning of courage is, how to catch a fish, how to run a magazine, how to be a private eye, how to become President of the United States, all about the Underground Railroad, how to dance the Cotton-Eyed Joe, how to shoot pool, how to say no (and how to say yes), and -- for pete's sake -- how to run away and join the circus. And that's less than 10% of the topics in the book. The information in here is terribly important, it is positively invaluable lore and instruction.
I defy anyone to pick up this book and tell me that they made it through reading the Table of Contents without smiling, reminiscing, and also being intrigued. It's a seemingly random collection of really neat stuff that you find you are thrilled someone had the time, energy and brains to actually document. It's the stuff that's told around the campfires, discussed over dinner tables, and taught over sidewalk chalk in the driveway.
Get it for your daughter, get it for your niece, or get it for yourself. It makes a wonderful addition to any girl's book collection, and when you give it was a gift, you will know that you've struck gold.
As with The Daring Book for Girls a certain amount of derivativeness was inevitable in a book that was clearly (and admittedly) written in order to fill the niche left unfilled by the brilliant but for-boy's-only The Dangerous Book for Boys, but it was probably a mistake carrying it as far as the title. As the Brothers Iggulden point out in their justification, most boys (and only some girls) seek out danger (or at least the APPEARANCE of danger), but most girls don't. Ms. Buchanan and Ms. Peskowitz appear to recognize this, but apparently felt pressured into the rather misleading use of "Daring" in the title when "Fun" would have been more appropriate. (The only "daring" in this book are the daring deeds recorded in the exploits of the female princesses, queens, heroines, pirates, inventors, scientists, explorers, spies, leaders, athletes, and other historical figures included for inspirational purposes.)
Again the authors have assembled quite a number of fun activities for girls in pursuit of their admirable stated goals of slowing down the early termination of girlhood and the forced induction into grownup-hood, "becoming tweens and teens and adult women before their time."
Note: if you already have or plan to purchase the original book or either or both of the pocket books: The Pocket Daring Book for Girls: Things to Do or The Pocket Daring Book for Girls: Wisdom & Wonder, I can assure you that none of the material in this book duplicates anything in the first three books; neither does anything in this book depend on owning or even having read any of the first three books, though occasional reference is made back to similar items included in earlier books.
Note: Anyone who has been reluctant to purchase the original big blue book because as I and a number of reviewers have noted, it includes a handful of truly questionable activities, which devout Christians will consider dabbling with the occult, and which others may question because in the absence of supernatural powers they are arguably a big fat waste of time, have another reason for choosing to purchase this book. Having read all the way through it, I can assure them that no such offending items have been included in this book.
This is not a girly book. It's not sexist or anti-male. It's a book full of fun, wonderful, clean adventures and lots of useful information for girls of all ages. And don't girls need all the help they can get? I sure wish this had been around when I was a girl.
The book begins with all the essential gear girls just have to have. Included are a swiss army knife described as a key tool for survival, a bandana to keep your head cool, rope and twine to help learn about knots, a journal (that's a big one), a hair band for girls with long hair-- duct tape, to fix almost everything, and patience--which is described in the book as a quality and not a thing.
The book tells girls to not try and be perfect. (Good for all of us.) In the face of frustration, your best tools are a few deep breaths, and remembering that you can do anything once you've practiced it two hundred times. Isn't that wonderful advice? Girls especially are sort of perfectionists. As girls, we tend to think we have to be better and never make a mistake. This books helps girls to discover they don't need to be perfect BUT that if they keep trying, they'll be great!
on May 22, 2009
Rarely does a book come along that makes me wish I were a kid again. This book by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz does just that. I absolutely loved The Double-Daring Book for Girls.
Chock full of daring information, ideas and stories, this beautiful hardback would have occupied me for at least a whole summer when I was a kid. From "How to Paint a Room" to "Putting on a Show" to making your own "Worry Dolls," I would have disappeared into the daring world of ideas and instructions for putting those ideas into action.
I am thrilled that my six-year old daughter will have access to this book. It's just the antidote to video games that we need in our family.
on January 2, 2008
I picked up this book in the store and realized it is representative of what I learned as a girl scout brownie over twenty years ago (friendship songs, how to make bracelets, pressing flowers, outdoor things, etc). Maybe this is what girls wanted to know in the fifties, but it is less than "daring" for girls of this era.
What bugged me was how terribly silly it seemed when compared to "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by Conn and Hal Iggulden on the same store shelf. The version written for boys (also published by William Morrow) was amusing and easy to read, included intelligent and interesting information: how things work, mechanics, astronomy, herbology, entomology, how to make a treehouse, etc. I bought the boy book instead.
My recommendation: Scratch out "Boy" on the title, write "Girl" instead, and give the "Dangerous Book for Boys" to your little girl - she will get much more out it, learn many meaningful/useful things, and enjoy herself in the process.
I know I did.
- Based on other reviewers feedback updated this review from 2 to 3 stars. There are a few positive aspects that while not quite congruent with my opinion of "daring" are at least relevant and interesting: sports rules, karate, female pirates, first aid, knots.
- Noted that the images in the kindle version of this book are not really functional, if this book is right for you, would strongly suggest against the kindle version.