A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that "The Gutsy Girl" is an illustrated memoir of anecdotes detailing author Caroline Paul's adventures being a firefighter, kayaking in Croatia, parasailing, hiking around Denali, and more. Blurbs provide quotes from and details about other inspirational adventurers for women and girls. There are a lot of tips and how-tos, as well as lined pages for journaling to encourage girls to get outside their comfort zones, have an adventure, and not to be afraid of failure. She mentions that one of the adventures detailed, climbing Sam Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, is illegal. Safety considerations are mentioned, and a flowchart for assessing risk is included. Details about how to become braver a little at a time, how to stay focused, and how to manage a large goal by breaking it down into achievable steps are some of the lessons any kid who's timid, but especially girls, can learn. It's a great way to get kids started experiencing the world around them instead of watching it from afar.
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What's the story?
Author Caroline Paul wasn't always THE GUTSY GIRL she is today -- firefighter, scuba diver, kayaker, climber, white-water rafting guide. When she was a kid she was actually pretty timid. So she created this guide to help other timid kids, especially girls, learn how to be brave and start an adventure, one step at a time. Drawing parallels from her own experiences having grown-up adventures, Paul shows girls how they can start being brave by trying some small things first, such as raising your hand in class or repairing your own bike tire. She breaks down the steps to overcoming fear, staying focused, and staying calm when things go wrong. She also shows how much more you can learn from dreaming big and failing than you can from dreaming small and succeeding.
Is it any good?
Exciting, funny, and chock-full of girl power, this memoir accompanied by lively illustrations will thrill and delight big kids and tweens. But the fun's not confined to the pages between the covers. Tips and how-tos give specific examples that parallel author Caroline Paul's adventures and encourage kids, especially girls, to get out into the big, wide world and have adventures of their own.
Paul's wry, humorous voice draws the reader into the excitement and joy that come from trying something you might have thought you couldn't do. But she doesn't shy away from the bumps along the way, either. Mistakes from the embarrassing to the dangerous add to the drama and make her easy to relate to. Each chapter is well-structured with a real-life story, connections for kids to make to themselves and their worlds, and opportunities to write about their reactions to each story, dreams, and plans for their own adventures.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how to start being brave. Have you done anything brave or adventurous before? What's something you're usually too scared or shy to do but you wish you could do?
What's the difference between "gutsy" and "reckless"?
Which adventurer you learned about do you admire the most? Why?
- Author: Caroline Paul
- Illustrator: Wendy MacNaughton
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Great Girl Role Models, Science and Nature
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publication date: March 1, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
- Number of pages: 160
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
Our editors recommend
For kids who love strong girls
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