'Daring Book' urges girls to find confidence

Denise Sautters

Being confident makes you daring.

If there is one message for girls of all ages in the New York Times best-seller, “The Daring Book for Girls,” by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, it is the value of confidence.

“The world is a big place, but there is a place for them (girls) in it,” Buchanan said. “Knowing things, learning things and being interested in things make you confident. Then you are able to try things that might seem intimidating at first glance. Really, that is what we want girls to feel like. We want them to feel confident.”

By things, the authors are referring to anything a girl wants to do. The problem, they said, is that often today’s girls are introduced into a grownup world too soon, routinely causing them to miss out on childhood pleasures in their rush to become tweens, teens and women.

Whether a girl wants to learn how to make a friendship bracelet, tie a sari, or build a campfire, “The Daring Book for Girls,” (Collins, an imprint of Harper Collins publishers, $24.95), has it all. It addresses sports and how they are played; identifies famous women inventors, scientists, spies; and even talks about what boys are thinking.

Inspiration

The authors, friends from Philadelphia, were inspired to write the book after reading another New York Times best seller, “The Dangerous Book for Boys.”

“Both books are published by the same company,” said Buchanan, noting that the book for girls is the official companion guide for the book for boys.

“When the book came out in the U.S., we were both really into it and thought, ‘what about girls?’ So, we got to work.”

The women thought about what they knew as girls, what they wanted to know when they were girls, looked to their own daughters, then their peers and pulled together all the information for the book.

“The actual appearance of the book harkens back to the time when books were really books, solid with all the nice end and heavy papers,” Buchanan said. “It kind of speaks more to a kind of quality and craftsmanship. The book is not nostalgic. It is a book for fun, projects, stories, things to do and things to know that really aim to celebrate girls in all the various ways girls are today.”

All ages

The book is geared for girls of all ages, the authors said, noting that Peskowitz’s 90-year-old grandmother enjoyed it as much as a 7-year-old reader did. They believe that is because there is nothing about technology in it, and it doesn’t talk about passing fads.

“We wrote the book so every kind of girl would enjoy it,” Peskowitz said. “Every girl is different and every one of them have a different take (on life).

“It is a positive book,” she continued. “We wrote it in the spirit of kindness and positiveness.”

So, what makes it so daring?

“It is very daring for girls to do something they may not be perfect at,” Peskowitz said. “We write in the book about the 200 time rule. Girls get the message these days that they have to be perfect, and they have to be perfect on the first try. To that, we say anything you want to do and you can’t, try it 200 times. By the end of that, you will be able to do it. We think that counteracts all the messages we get about if you can’t get it right the first time, don’t even bother trying. We believe you keep trying until you get it, and that builds a great deal of confidence.”

Reach Repository writer Denise Sautters at (330) 580-8321 or e-mail denise.sautters@cantonrep.com