Navigating the windy road of preadolescence can sometimes be a confusing, emotional, and complicated experience, especially for girls. Fluctuations in hormones, increased social conflicts, and unanswered questions about growing up can waiver the confidence of even the most secure girls. In addition to encouraging open dialogue about issues and concerns, parents can foster positive self-esteem and a healthy lifestyle by offering dependable literary resources that can help answer questions and offer guidance.
These following five books cover a wide range of topics, from changing bodies and friendships, to social manners and etiquette. Whether read together with a parent, amongst a group of girls, or individually, these books are great to have on hand as a reference guide to the myriad of changes girls experience as a result of growing up.
By Sarah O’Leary Burningham, Illustrated by Alli Arnold
TCBR Take: This book covers the gamut of taking care of and understanding body changes both internally and externally. The concrete and tangible topics, coupled with a relatable and interesting format that is sprinkled with colorful illustrations and charts, makes this book a terrific resource. Information is disseminated in an unintimidating manner, which has the ability to douse confusion in a practical and useful way.
Publisher’s Synopsis: Being a girl isn’t always easy, and growing up is far from a walk in the park. This time of transition is particularly confusing without a confidante to help. Meet Sarah O’Leary Burningham, a real-life big sister here to coach preteens through all of life’s big moments, from first bras to first periods. Filled with letters and testimonials from real girls—as well as confidence-boosting advice and myth-busting sidebars—this fun, accessible, and highly visual book is a must-have for every girl navigating her way through the preteen years.
Ages 8-12 | 136 pages| Chronicle Books| November 2013 | ISBN 9781452102429
By Annie Fox, M.Ed., Illustrated by Erica De Chavez
TCBR Take: Perhaps one of the most challenging preadolescent and adolescent rites of passage is learning to cope with disappointments, confusion, and conflicts in social situations. This book offers guidance for some of the most common and confusing scenarios girls encounter. The Q & A format is highly effective and Annie Fox’s approach is non-judgmental and positive. Fox encourages readers to be introspective and reflective before taking action, which is a wonderful practice and tool in handling a variety of relationships.
Publisher’s Synopsis: A new girl stole my bff! What do I do? • Why does she keep breaking promises? • Are they really “just kidding?” • Why is my friend being so mean? • How do I find new friends?! • Why are people mean to each other?
When you’ve got great questions like these, you need great answers—ASAP! But where do you find them? Right here in The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friendship Without the DRAMA
50 puzzling friendship questions from real girls, each one insightfully illustrated
50 clear answers to help you make your next best move
25 Super Friend secrets from older girls
5 Quizzes to test your friendship skills
Annie Fox has written a book that gives 8–12-year-old girls the tools and confidence to handle any friendship challenge with courage, empathy and respect. Because that’s the kind of girl the world needs more of!
Ages 8-12| 136 pages | Electric Eggplant | October 2014 | ISBN: 978-1502353443
By Valorie Schaefer, Illustrated by Josee Masse (Medical consultant, Cara Natterson, M.D.)
TCBR Take: The Care and Keeping of You series is a staple guide for young girls and a favorite amongst healthcare professionals, parents, and teachers. The information is factual, detailed, and for some girls, too personal to comfortably discuss openly, which is why having a straightforward guide like this is extremely helpful. The chapters are organized simply by body area, which allows for easy accessibility to information. The illustrations and varying fonts temper the subject matter appropriately for the targeted age range.
Publisher’s Synopsis: Our best-selling body book for girls just got even better! With all-new illustrations and updated content for girls ages 8 and up, it features tips, how-tos, and facts from the experts. You’ll find answers to questions about your changing body, from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bras, periods to pimples, and everything in between. Once you feel comfortable with what’s happening, you’ll be ready to move on to the The Care & Keeping of You 2!
Ages 8 and up | 104 pages | American Girl | March 2012 | ISBN: 978-1609580834
By Cara Natterson, M.D., Illustrated by Josee Masse
TCBR Take: This book goes into more depth on the topics covered in The Care and Keeping of You 1, delving into not only the “what” but also the “why” and “how” to deal with the sometimes volatile and uncontrollable emotional state of preadolescence. In addition, there’s more emphasis on taking good care of the mind, body and spirit, by advocating for things such as good sleep and body image. In both of these books, knowledge is imparted to young girls with the message of living a healthful life with positive self-esteem and confidence.
Publisher’s Synopsis: This thoughtful advice book will guide you through the next steps of growing up. With illustrations and expert contributors, this book covers new questions about periods, your growing body, peer pressure, personal care, and more! Written by Dr. Cara Natterson for girls 10 and up, The Care & Keeping of You 2 follows up the original bestseller with even more in-depth details about the physical and emotional changes you’re going through.
Ages 10 and up | 96 pages | American Girl | February 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-1609580421
By Alex J. Packer, PH.D.
TCBR Take: This detailed reference guide for teenagers is suitable for both boys and girls and covers topics ranging from basic table manners to Facebook etiquette. At almost 500 pages, it is a comprehensive and practical source that utilizes frankness and humor to address relevant and current issues. The format and writing style is entertaining, which is a brilliant and innocuous approach for the targeted teenage audience.
Publisher’s Synopsis: Explaining etiquette from A (“Applause”) to Z (“Zits”), Alex J. Packer blends outrageous humor with sound advice as he guides readers and explains why manners and etiquette are important—because people who know how to handle themselves in social situations come out on top, get what they want, feel good about themselves, and enjoy life to the fullest. Full of practical tips for every occasion, How Rude! is a serious etiquette encyclopedia—and a hilarious read. In 480 pages, this revised and updated edition describes the basics of polite behavior in all kinds of situations at home, in school, online, and in the world.
Ages 13 and up | 480 pages | Free Spirit Publishing | May 2014 | ISBN 978-1-57542-454-5
This list of “Five Guide Books for Girls on Body Changes, Growing Up, Friendships, and Etiquette” was curated by Gi Hallmark. Follow along with our Health Books for Kids and Books for Girls category to discover more great books just like these ones.