Review: The Daring Book for Girls


The Daring Book for GirlsAndrea J. Buchanan; HarperCollins 2007WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder

This is the perfect book to share with your daughter/ granddaughter/that special girl you know who is a tween or young teen. It has just the right mix of articles – informative, fun, and stimulating! When the “Dangerous Book for Boys” came out I wished for a version for girls and this book is as good as the one for boys if not better.

When you first flip through its pages it will remind you of the time you were her age. You probably read a book almost like this but not quite. I say not quite as this book does a perfect balancing act between skills and general knowledge, between techniques we learned from our grandmothers and the ones that became popular later. It tells you “how to press flowers” but also “five karate moves”. “Make your own quill pen” is preceded by “how to change a tire”. I remember reading a book almost like this in my childhood. I dearly treasured that book till its pages were yellow and stiff into my college days. I spent many afternoons after school experimenting with the projects. I remember the bitter candy apples I made from a recipe in that book, or the quill pen with which I wrote my “secret language” notes for my friends and this book brought back those memories. With more words than illustrations, the Daring book for Girls will encourage the girl who reads it to use her imagination.

This book will appeal to the “girly-girl” in every girl with the sections like “Palm reading”, “Hopscotch”, “Princesses today” or “Boys”; to her sense of adventure with articles like “Going to Africa” (short section on each country), “Hiking”, “Reading tide charts”; and to the “builder” in her with sections like “Building a campfire”, “Tree swings”, “Every girl’s toolbox”. There is a ton of useful information and facts in this book too for those rainy or quiet days – “from French terms of endearment” to “Queens of Ancient world” to “Women Inventors”. Sports are covered too – basketball, softball, netball, bowling, playing cards and more.

My daughter was thrilled to get this book. I wasn’t sure she’d like it as much as I liked my childhood book. But she began her next project “how to tie a sari” in minutes and over dinner started telling me about the women inventors in the book. We have now designated this book the “mother-daughter time” book. Each weekend, we pick up the book and try something new! What a great antidote to the “Mom, I’m bored” refrain!

Some are activities she can attempt on her own and for others like building the ultimate scooter she will need help as it requires some sawing and drilling. It is a challenge for me too as I’ve not really attempted to build anything from scratch before. I’m ready with my saw and drill and as excited as her to begin that project!

This book gives just the right kind of stimulation for a younger girl’s (or boy’s) curious mind and their thirst for new knowledge and skills. This book will also grow with the reader as it gives practical advice and even contains chapters like “Stocks and shares” and “Negotiating salaries.” This book is therefore highly recommended and will make a great gift for a 7-14 year old.


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