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Strong, Smart, and Bold: Empowering Girls for Life Hardcover – March 6, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

Numerous books are available that discuss statistics on the changes young women go through between ages 8 and 14. New educational programs and new opportunities for girls in sports are just a couple of positive changes that have resulted from such titles as Reviving Ophelia and In a Different Voice. If you're wondering how to put these theories into practice, Strong, Smart, and Bold is the book you're looking for; here you'll find a wealth of specific suggestions based around "The Girls' Bill of Rights". Start with evaluating what chores your daughter is responsible for around the home--do they fall under traditional "female" responsibilities like doing the dishes, cooking, and laundry? It may be time to turn the tables and get her started on chopping wood, mowing the lawn, or computer hardware installation. One practical idea is sponsoring a "Girls Under the Hood" program for your daughter and her friends--shouldn't every driver know how to check tire pressure, change the oil, and refill the fluids? Some suggestions are more about opening up communication, and use open-ended questions like "When do you feel safe?" and "How do you feel about your looks?" There are also many opportunities for mothers to ask similar questions of themselves--do you remember what strange fashions your friends liked when you were a teen? These may be some of the most important questions in the book, as according to nationally sponsored essay contests, "99 percent of girls chose their mother as the person they admire most in their lives because of the advice they've been given by her." --Jill Lightner

From Library Journal

Based on the principles and programs of Girls Inc. (formerly Girls Clubs), Strong, Smart, & Bold provides relevant advice to those who are parenting the 36 million girls of school age in America. Girls Inc. is a national advocacy organization for girls between the ages of six and 18. The title is the motto of Girls Inc., and each chapter is based on one of the principles of the Girls Inc. Bill of Rights: freedom from gender stereotypes and freedom of expression, and the rights to take risks, appreciate their bodies, have confidence, and prepare for work. Many practical exercises are offered to parents and mentors for advancing these ideas, and examples are used throughout, making the text very readable. Because of its exclusive focus on school-age girls, this book fills a niche in the market of parenting books. Appendixes offer resources, web sites, and references. Actress/producer Jane Fonda, chair of the Girls Inc. Rights Campaign, offers a stirring foreword. Recommended. Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (March 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060197714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060197711
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,868,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carla Fine is the author of nine books, including No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Suicide of a Loved One; Touched by Suicide: Hope and Healing After Loss; Strong, Smart, and Bold: Empowering Girls for Life; and Married to Medicine: An Intimate Portrait of Doctors' Wives. She lectures frequently throughout the U.S. and internationally about how suicide affects those who have been left behind. Carla lives in New York City and her website is

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book reminded me of the thoughts I had when our younger daughter was born. How could my wife and I help her to have an open door to pursue the opportunities that meant the most to her? I wish this book had been available to us then!
Give this book to parents when their daughters are born.
The foreword by Ms. Jane Fonda particularly moved me. She describes how she went from being a person with strong ambitions to a teenager who was timid and concerned about how others would see her. For many years, her "inner voice" was lost, and she finds herself only recapturing it in her sixties.
The model of this book is to have girls know their rights as people and to be advocates of those rights for herself and others. Girls Inc. was founded in 1945 and has done good work in helping establish equal opportunity by gender.
The organization has established a bill of rights for girls that includes the right to:
-- "be themselves and to resist gender stereotypes"
-- "express themselves with originality and enthusiasm"
-- "take roles, to strive freely, and to take pride in success"
-- "accept and appreciate their bodies"
-- "have confidence in their selves and to be safe in the world"
-- "prepare for interesting work and economic independence."
Many people would agree that these are worthy goals. What I liked was that the book reported about research that Girls Inc. has conducted to find out how parents can help.
As you may have guessed, girls look to their Moms to lead the way. In a recent survey, 99 percent replied that Mom was their heroine and guide to planning their own lives.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who has a daughter, niece, sister. For mothers who were once-upon-a-time daughters. For fathers, uncles and friends. This is required reading and requested sharing. It is a realistic definition of "empowering" -- but more, of "inspiring" -- girls to find/use their voices and goals within a society that still has a "pink and blue" mentality. The base -- an organization, Girls Incorporated, that has inspired millions of girls for more than 80 years to discover, stretch, and own their possibilities. The content is not anti-male but is full of realistic (and research-based) ideas to help young girls (based on Girls Inc. experience with girls nationwide) reach their full potential. Everyday tips and experiences; teachable moments; eye- and mind-opening opportunties. No lectures; no heavy research -- just a solid dose of reality. Valuable for grown-up girls, too! (Mid-life crisis gift??)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Pekelny on March 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The book is put together by Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that focuses on the needs of girls from toddler age, all the way through adolescence, and is meant for anyone who is raising a girl or who has a significant relationship with a girl. The book is an easy read and is full of exercises, some of which the adult does by herself, but most of which are done with the girl. All the exercises are aimed at helping you, the adult, get to know the girl and yourself, and to help both her and you navigate some of the pitfalls that are encountered by girls and women in our society, while paying special attention to what the individual girl actually feels wants and needs. As such, the book is light on dogma, and this is one of its best features. It includes a lot of sensitive exploration and practical advice, which is a relief for any parent or concerned adult who is bewildered or heartbroken at seeing a girl in her life struggling with and falling into gender traps.

Because the book is based on the experiences of Girls Inc. it contains lots and lots of examples and quotes, from actual women and girls. The discussions and exercises are broken up into six chapters and a conclusion: Raising a Girl Who Knows Her Rights, Resisting Gender Stereotypes, Speaking Freely and Openly, Taking Risks and Achieving Goals, Accepting and Appreciating One's Body, Being Confident and Safe, and Preparing for Economic Independence and Crating an Equitable Society. The structure of the book is based on the Girls Inc.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By on March 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
While many books now box girls into gender sterotypes,this book shows girls how to reinforce their confidence so they can overcome societal pressure to conform to the myths about girls and their abilities.You do not here the usuall "girls can't do math" or "girls are less aggressive" those being the sterotypes to overcome..what you read are insightful tools to reinforce confidence and individuality.
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By R. Williams on November 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book with some great information and activities for empowering girls. I highly recommend that anyone that works with girls (and even parents) to read this book.
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