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How to be a girl

Everything You Need to Know about
Growing Up Female
Kahaner
1993

Actually I think you can never have too many health/sex education materials available to a wide variety of upper elementary and teen students.  Tidying up the library I always find these kinds of titles stashed under chairs and jammed behind shelves.  I know they are getting used even if I don’t have circ numbers to back me up.  (I would segue into a deep conversation on how circ numbers don’t do teen library usage justice, but that would probably only interest me and maybe Holly if I bribe her with a beer.) There really isn’t anything particularly wrong with this title.  It’s just old and the pictures look dated.  Like the counterparts in the adult section I think the 5 year or so rule should apply.  Go weed teen health everyone!

Mary


0 Responses to How to be a girl

  • You need to wear lipstick and scarves, shave a variety of embarrassing body parts, and do your hair. Be responsible by keeping appointments and getting there promptly. Be especially careful when you drive (especially if you’ve got cramps)! And plus, horses are so cute!

    I can’t imagine any teen I serve today finding these messages appealing.

    • i know…you can just picture the cover design guy; ‘ok…what kinda crap do girls like? horses! cool…frikkin scarves, just throw them on there…christ am i hungover…oohh, goddam ‘english test’. ok, now just some random girly shit-lipstick, a pink razor…jeez, aah…a watch? why the hell not? ok, background…this weird, sickly blue that i’ve never seen before should do it. great. we’re done here.’

  • Ah, the ‘Everything you need to know’ series. I’m pretty sure I could find a few of them on the shelf at my school library if I look hard enough.

  • Is there a chapter about avoiding David Bowie who inevitably leads to teen pregnancy & bulimia?

  • Gosh,I was watching some things on television lately about how young women are being used by men or being treated like $hit by boyfriends,and the amount of abuse that women go through from husbands/boyfriends…and it leads me to say this…teen girls really need to stop thinking about hairbrushes,lipstick,and whatnot. This junk just does not matter,it’s a matter of bringing up a girl to a woman who’s smart and knows a good guy from a bad one. How to be “pretty” is so like playing into this role,that is nowhere. I think girls need to think about education,college,and getting smart about relationships. These girly books are stupid!
    These books are useless,to the real world of 1 out of 4 women that are raped. It makes me angry to see this book…and how stupid it is that Mom’s think this is enough education about things.
    I sincerely think books for and about teens-young women need to be re-written. Not with a fearfulness of the world but a real things you need to know guide.

    • Why can’t a girl have both kinds of books? Life can’t be all about “You’re going to be abused, raped, and murdered.” Everyone needs joyful things too. Like the right shade of lipstick.

      • Surely every magazine ever printed can cover the whole range of “pretty”, which changes from season to season anyway?

      • Books are a little more detailed. Plus most deal with a wider range of body types then magazines do. When’s the last time you saw a magazine give a teenage girl advice on what to wear if she has fat arms?

      • You really think this book would cover fat arms?Not likely. Not within the realm of the Need To Know Library.

      • You’ve obviously never read a book on how to dress. Unless you get one of the ones by that Nina whatever her name is who thinks all women are a size 2 and should wear real fur, they cover a multitude of body problems, including fat arms!

    • Stephanie, if you write that book, I’ll buy 3 copies: 2 for the library and 1 for my own daughter.

  • I remember reading this kind of thing as a teenager, so I guess some still do it.
    After being one for 6 years having 5 kids and a career as a school librarian I still haven’t figured out the teen mind.
    Fortunately they leave my jurisdiction after 6th grade.

  • Oh I agree with you, Mary. One of the things I always tell volunteers and pages is to always check behind shelves and in any little crack they can find. Three types of books are always hidden – various books on sex and puberty ranging from outdated titles like above to the Kama Sutra, fiction books involving teens whom are homosexuals such as the short story compilation “Am I Blue?”, and for the little kids – The Magic Tree House. Every year there’s at least one kid who’s not allowed to read TMTH at home, so he or she will take every copy they can find and hide them so they can come back and read them in the library while mom or dad is checking their eBay account.

    For a couple of years it was also Junie B. Jones but she pretty much stays on the shelf now.

    • Wait, why couldn’t kids take TMTH home? What objection could anyone possibly have…oooo, except the word “Magic”!

  • As someone who has worked in highschool libraries for a “few” years I totally agree that these books are rarely checked out but are often worn out. I also agree that we need both the how to do hair and makeup and how to not get pregnant/raped/abused books in every collection. We also have quite a few gay positive books in our fiction collection

  • what is so bad about the cover? most women i know drive, shave their legs, wear lipstick, and make lists..its so odd, this whole “deny your femininity” movement.

    • Well, I would argue most teenagers don’t really wear lipstick. Lip gloss seems to be quite a bit more popular.

      But I agree. It’s not the most amazing cover ever, but it isn’t awful.

    • It’s lacking imagination, and very stereotypical. It wouldn’t have appealed to me as horse-hating, non-lipstick OR scarf wearing teen.

      • I can see what you mean, but i would say that the majority of teenage girls do like wearing makeup, among other things. we cant censor everything for the minority..that is whats wrong with things today in the first place.

  • I have to say, their portrayal of PMS is much more realistic than the carefree gals on the tampon commercials who always look DELIGHTED to welcome that time of the month.

    • Yep, especially the periods experienced as a young teen. They were brutal!

      I feel for girls who start young, like at 9 or 10…too young for adult strength Advil, but experiencing adult strength pain on a monthly basis.

  • Why would Magic Treehouse get hidden?

    • Some parents have an objection to “Magic” in the title of anything.

      Not all. In fact our Christian parents are the ones who encourage their kids to read Harry Potter more then anyone. But there’s a few that think magic = evil.

      Plus I’ve heard a few people say that Magic Tree House is one of the most badly written series they’ve ever seen – well, at least until Twilight.

      • That’s crazy talk. TMTH series is perfect for kids who are ready to read beyond “easy” books. Each adventure requires the characters to read and research, which helps them avoid trouble and achieve their quest. Like any series, there’s a basic formula, and the vocabulary is predictable so young readers can succeed. Adults might not like the repetition–suck it up for your kid!

      • I’m not – nor will I ever be – a parent – I just know what the parents tell me.