33 Things Every Girl Should Know

Book review by
Tanya Smith, Common Sense Media
33 Things Every Girl Should Know Book Poster Image
Poems, stories, and comics about being a girl.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Sexual abuse, STDs, and alternate lifestyles are covered here.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Substance abuse mentioned.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the diversity of contributors will appeal to a wide range of interests. There are some mature themes, including substance abuse, STDs, sexual abuse, dysfunctional family dynamics, and alternative lifestyles.

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What's the story?

Life as a girl can be complicated, but it's also rewarding--that's the message of this ambitious compilation of poems, short stories, comics, and essays. Endearing, biting, and at times in-your-face, the entries are aimed at girls who want to know they're not alone as they face challenges and doubts on the road to adulthood.


Is it any good?

Designed to help girls navigate the transition from kid to young adult, the book employs a mostly feel-good tone. "Move!" "Get a Game Plan!" and "Ride the Waves!" are a few of the entry titles that signal the essentially upbeat tone of this "collection of girl talk." The contributors sympathize and exhort, challenge and soothe, as they examine the joys and obstacles of growing up female. Most reinforce a positive "I'm okay, you're okay" philosophy.

Finding the entry you want can be difficult; in many cases, actual titles of contributions, according to the subjects' biographies, are different than those given in the table of contents. Disappointingly, some of the contributor's biographies are more interesting than their entries. But teenagers will appreciate the book's respectful tone and the fact that it doesn't talk down to them. This is a well-intentioned, reassuring book for girls growing up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the mature issues touched on in the book. This could be a good entry point for talking about sexual activity and responsibility, relationships of all types, and dreams for the future.

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For kids who love great media for girls

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