Parents' Guide to

Rules for Being a Girl

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Teen finds her voice after sexual assault in moving tale.

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Kids say (4):

In this fast-paced, engaging story, a high-achieving teen girl starts to question herself and her world view when a teacher molests her. At the beginning of Rules for Being a Girl, we meet a Marin who laughs at sexist jokes and slut-shames other students. But when the school principal singles out a girl for humiliation in front of the school for dress code violations, Marin starts to understand the damage caused by the conflicting, judgmental messages girls receive from a young age. When she's bullied and doubted after reporting her teacher's assault, she feels it at a deeply personal level. Readers get a good glimpse at the ripple effect that assault has on the victims and why it is difficult for them to come forward. Marin's character growth is the best part of the story. Even though she has to deal with the emotional trauma of her teacher's assault, she stands up for herself and channels her emotions into self-education on feminism, writing editorials, and making new friends. Most of the other characters are one-dimensional, and the ending could be more satisfying, but Rules for Being a Girl is a good book for sparking conversations on important issues facing young women.

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