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33 Things Every Girl Should Know: Stories, Songs, poems, and Smart Talk by 33 Extraordinary Women Paperback – February 17, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Editor Tonya Bolden makes no bones about it: "It's no secret. This book is about girl build-up." Accordingly, the pieces collected in 33 Things Every Girl Should Know have the spicy flavor of rabble-rousing. But instead of a radical call to arms, readers will find more of a call to self-esteem, self-respect, and a summons to keep their eyes on a bright future. Subtitled "Stories, Songs, Poems, and Smart Talk by 33 Extraordinary Women," this collection offers young women first-hand advice from such diverse luminaries as Lynda Barry, Sandra Cisneros, Johnetta Cole, Alice Hoffman, Lauren Hutton, M. E. Kerr, Rebecca Lobo, Natalie Merchant, Faith Ringgold, Tabitha Soren, Vera Wang, Wendy Wasserstein, and Sigourney Weaver. These grown-up girls hearken from many realms and backgrounds, with widely varying experiences and skills, but all join their voices here to offer insight, advice, and a surprising expanse of common ground.

From a fiercely funny comic strip about mean girls, to a moving essay about living with spina bifida, to a forensic discussion of why it's not a crime for girls to love science, these stories reflect and encourage female wit, wisdom, and perseverance. Most of all, the essential 33 things display the infinite range of options for girls, and will inspire young women to pursue the pathways paving their dreams. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 UpAMuch has been written and studied about the fragile self-esteem of adolescent girls. These selections, all by different authors, aim to offer advice that could help make them more confident and give them a positive direction and outlook. The contributors, such as M.E. Kerr, Vera Wang, Wendy Wasserstein, and Faith Ringgold, represent a wide range of backgrounds and professions and include scientists, athletes, artists, sociologists, writers, and others. A varied spectrum of quality is found in the stories, essays, fairy tales, poetry, cartoons, and memoirs. Some, though well written, give clich?d advice. Judith Ortiz Cofer recommends, "Love your work, and enjoy your play." The actress Sigourney Weaver touts the benefit of hard work and commitment. The underlying message throughout shouts that readers must be true to themselves and follow personal passions. The topics covered vary greatly and include dealing with one's sexual orientation, overcoming and triumphing despite physical handicaps, combating the pervasive "thin is beautiful" culture, dealing with insensitive people, and just finding oneself. Some selections are heavy-handed and preachy, but others speak with a true voice easily heard by adolescents. There's something here for everyone. Perhaps the title is a bit misleading since it seems to promise 33 different ideas. This is a worthwhile purchase for any library. The challenge is to channel it to its intended audience.ARenee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; 1st edition (February 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517709368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517709368
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
In the forward to this book, Tonya Bolden explained that these authors know what adolescent girls are feeling right now. I was skeptical. The times have changed, how could they know?? Well, the authors of the book proved me wrong! I learned very important lessons about growing up, and hope to pass them on to my daughters. People would say that this is only a good book for girls ages 11-around 15, but I think that mothers could also learn a lesson about their daughters. Sometimes mothers think they know what's best, but this book may get the mother's a little more informed! I loved this book! You must read it, TRUST ME!
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By A Customer on November 4, 1999
Format: Library Binding
This book was a really good book showing girls how to pull through struggles, not let yourself get down, being strong and many other vital things girls need to know and aren't taught.
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By A Customer on May 12, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Funny, witty, moving inspiring. Lots of role models of different types dealing with emotional, physical, intellectual, social challenges of growing up. Wish I'd had such a book when growing up.
Minor caveat -- lots of discussion of different things girls can be when grown up, but no mention of being a mother. I understand that one does not want to be encouraging teenage girls to have babies, but on the other hand would have been nice to have something addressing what is likely to be a significant portion of a woman's life. For instance, they could have had an essay by a physician who works part-time and is home with kids part-time, to make the point that getting a good education and a skilled professional job can make it easier to do flex-time and work from home. Something to prepare girls to get ready to balance work and family, to be thinking about the choices they will be making, and to acknowledge the importance and satisfactions of the drive to nurture.
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By A Customer on June 23, 1999
Format: Library Binding
The book is really good. The book talks about different women that have have grown up and are telling others their stories. They help others realize that the world is not perfect and how to get though it. I would give this book to anyone I know.
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Format: Paperback
Someone gave me this book about 10 years ago, when I was a young teen. Flash forward to 10 minutes ago, when I pulled this off the bookshelf in the process of moving out of my parents' house.

Immediately I remembered how incredible this book was. It's insightful without being preachy, lighthearted without being silly. And more than anything else, as I flipped through the pages, I realize how much it sticks with you. 10 years later, I still remember many of the short stories. They'd flit in and out of my mind over the years, as I dealt with being "nerdy" in high school, with struggling to become independent in college, and even now as I move onto the next big step. I know I've totally outgrown it, and yet, it's such a thoughtful book that I'm tempted to bring it with me!

Highly recommended for all girls!
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Format: Paperback
My daughter loves this book. She reads me poems and stories from this book all the time. I think all teenagers should purchase this book.
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Format: Paperback
This July at the 150th anniversary of the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, First Lady Hillary Clinton mentioned "33 Things Every Girl Should Know" in her speech before 15,000 people. Two hours after the speech, "33 Things..." was flying off the shelf at a book signing at the Women's Rights National Historical Park. My 13 year old daughter, Elizabeth Jenkins-Sahlin, an author of one chapter called "Get Involved!", autographed 205 books. The books ran out before her writing hand tired. She is the great, great, great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, early founder of the women's movement. There is no question this chapter and this book empowers girls. Oh, by the way, Elizabeth says, "Even my 50 year old dad likes the book."
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By julie74brsy on September 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm so glad I bought my 12 year old this amazing book...it has so much insight on teenagers..treats stories...poems...quotes...and so much more..this is a must have for any mom to give to there daughters..I'm so glad I found it there's so much they can cry laugh or think about...awesome ty
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