|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews|100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaSexuality in AdolescenceShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
by Julia Devillers
Prima Publishing, 2002
Review by Jamie Attina on May 7th 2003
GirlWise, by Julia DeVillers is true
to its self-proclaimed title, "The Ultimate Teen Girl Bible." Aimed at empowering teens to be
"Confident, Capable, Cool and In Control," DeVillers approaches real
problems that teenagers face with real solutions. While teen self-help literature often tends to be
"preachy" or void of any content, DeViller's taps into a richly
diversified sampling of insight from real women. Over one hundred women and teenage girls contributed in the
creation of GirlWise, making it quite
representative of its very diverse female audience.
Divided into seven chapters, Be Confident, Be Cool and
Comfortable, Be Capable, Be in Control, Be Creative, Be Caring,and Be
Conscious, GirlWise is
well-structured. It has a plethora of
titled subsections and is interspersed with quotes and inspirational pearls of
wisdom, making it an easy and entertaining read for the average teen.
It reads like a teen magazine, with more than a
liberal dose of "like," "you know," "totally,"
and "oh-my-god." This speaks
well for DeVillers in that she is quite familiar with her target audience, and
that she is clearly up-to-date on the latest "valley girl"
slang. This style is a risky one,
however, and the very elements that make it approachable in some instances make
it obnoxious in others. Indeed, the
well-researched discussions by successful women are occasionally so trivialized
by DeViller's cute exclamation points and parenthetic comments, that one begins
to wonder why she didn't dot her i's with little hearts.
In terms of content, however, GirlWise is a definitely a worthwhile read for teenage girls. There is nothing childish at all about most
of the contributions, and female self-help authors often contribute an exact
summary of their "grown-up" publications without any "dumbing
down." The Confident section is full of effective self-esteem enhancing
exercises that a therapist, an older sister, or a friend might recommend. The Be
Cool and Comfortable section is probably of most interest to teenage girls,
containing fashion, beauty and social advice. Be Capable is for the feminist--it serves as a do-it-yourself
instruction manual for the areas in which girls "typically" do not
excel, like math and car mechanics.
The Be In
Control section is the most informative.
It has information on how to win college scholarships, how to apply and
interview for a job, how to give a speech, and how to budget one's income,
among other useful topics. The
subsection on fads is particularly noteworthy for it's shock value. Many teens are not aware of the extensive
measures advertisers undertake to manipulate their spending power. DeVillers outlines this process in strong
and objective manner.
The last three chapters of GirlWise concern the areas of women's lives that are often
neglected in the incessant drive to excel.
Be Creative is about tapping
into one's own talents and hobbies for enjoyment
rather than recognition. Be Caring is a guide to emotional
maturity, and concerns how to relate to friends, family, co-workers and
unpleasant people in a self-respecting and other-respecting manner. The Be
Conscious section ends the book on a high note. This chapter is both centering and inspiring. The contributors to this section finally
have the opportunity to stand on their proverbial soap boxes and share their
philosophies of life with their readers, and offer suggestions as to how
anyone, even teens, can contribute their part to improve the world.
Teenage girls continue to be inundated with images
of sexy pop stars and advertisements that manipulate their self-images. And though "girl power" is a
popular buzzword, "feminist" often takes on a negative connotation in
our society. This interesting dichotomy
leads one to question where the power
in "girl power" is derived. GirlWise is a refreshing source of
intellectual, athletic, successful, well-rounded, and generally feminist role models. And DeViller's winning presentation is bound
to make GirlWise a popular teen read.
2003 Jamie Attina
Jamie Attina is a student at Dowling College,