Parents' Guide to

How to Be a Girl in the World

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Engaging coming-of-ager tackles sexual harassment of tween.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (1 ):

This powerful tale of a girl trying to make sense of the world is an urgent and necessary book to keep conversations going in our post-#metoo era. How to Be a Girl in the World's preteen characters are realistic and sympathetic. The various forms of violation described in this story advance the book's central questions: Is any form of unwanted touch acceptable? Who gets to decide? Author Caela Carter trusts her readers' ability to handle nuance and decide for themselves. Carter's writing is well-paced and clear, her characters are interesting, and the resolution is quiet satisfying.

The lack of depth regarding why so many girls in this book seem to accept sexual attention, and, at times, to actively desire it, may bother some readers. This may unintentionally imply that some girls want such attention, since they aren't vocally objecting to it. It's also never quite clear why Lydia doesn't reach out to her family for help sooner. These concerns aside, this is a strong and memorable story, one that can inspire tween readers to stand up for themselves and others when faced with unwanted attention.

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