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Books to boost girls' lives

One of the many pluses of being an older woman is our opportunity to contribute to the lives of younger women and girls. Here are two recent books that can help us do that.

The first is 10 Things Girls Need Most, by Australian psychologist Steve Biddulph, who’s been writing about good parenting for decades. His other books include The Secret of Happy Children, Raising Boys and The New Manhood.

This book grew out of parents’ concerns about bringing up healthy, resilient girls and while it’s aimed at mums and dads, it’s a useful read for any adult involved in the lives of girls. 

The ‘10 things’ include a secure and loving start, friendship skills, spark, aunties, backbone and strength, and spirit.

The second book is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 tales of extraordinary women by Americans Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.

There’s a one-page story and an illustration of each of the extraordinary women, who range from politicians, sportswomen, spies and scientists, to activists, explorers, artists and writers. 

Cleopatra gets a spot. So do Marie Curie and Michelle Obama. The women are from all over the world, though there’s a USA bias. I think the only Australian is sailor, Jessica Watson. But don’t let that put you off; they’re still good stories worthy of being told. 

As one of the back-cover comments says, these bedtime stories trade princesses for women who changed the world. That’s got to be a good thing. 


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Monday, November 27, 2017 | Rhonda Anderson