Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters” as Want to Read:
The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  40 reviews
On the heels of his influential bestseller The Wonder of Boys Gurian outlines a groundbreaking and provocative approach to raising girls drawn from state-of-the-art research on biology, hormones, and the female brain.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Atria Books (first published June 1st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wonder of Girls, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wonder of Girls

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 511)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Marie
The best part of this book is the straightforward description of female brain chemistry and hormones and how they differ from that of males and affect behavior, moods, relationships, etc. I like that he looks at common adolescent problems through that lens, looking for biological answers rather than simply blaming family and/or culture (e.g. eating disorders aren't necessarily simply about wanting to look like a model). Another highlight was his "womanist" re-reading of the Cinderella fairy tale...more
Christina
Jan 16, 2008 Christina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents of girls, anyone seeking to make sense of women
Recommended to Christina by: Cynthia Russell
Shelves: parenting, women
An expert in psychological and neurobiological research, Gurian presents a thouroughly interesting look into the female brain and its growth and development from conception through adulthood. Though written from a very secular perspective (his claims of men's and women's brains evolving into the complicated and distinctly different organs they are today are even more preposterous in light of the miracles of brain development his research reveals) the author, in doing an intense study of God's cr...more
Jennifer
Thought-provoking and encouraging. I learned a lot about myself and my fellow females and gained new perspective on both parenting a teenage girl and on being a wife and mother. The cycles we go through are dramatic and exhausting, but they're also thrilling and exciting. I love the idea of watching all the emotion flow by like a river sometimes. Just letting the feelings wash by, feeling them and then letting them go, without needing to analyze or react to every one. I like the idea of being a...more
Erika
Incredibly helpful as was his The Wonder of Boys. Puts an understanding of the issues related to raising girls (and boys) into so many contexts that one doesn't usually find in this kind of book, including biochemical, genetic, sociological, historical and all the usual. Very useful.
Heather
Sep 22, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents of daughters.
This author was recommended by my sister in law Lisa. It is very insightful. I like that Mr. Gurian encourages good values in parenting and ways to keep our children healthy and happy as they grow- with biological explanations to back things up.
Marjana Simic
The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters by Michael Gurian was recommended to me by a good friend who has read the same book. Since I had a baby girl recently, I was stacking up on worthy parenting books and decided to buy this one after doing some digging on it. The book is filled with controversy where the author talks without boundaries about topics such as sexuality, mental disorders, and differences between male and female. Luckily, I love controversy and the au...more
Jen
I was pretty impressed by this book. Some highlights for me:

* a perspective on girls' hormonal and brain development and how it affects emotions and socialization

* specific age-specific lists of social and emotional changes to expect as daughters develop

* an appreciation that males and females are truly different in important ways, including that females have an intimacy imperative, or need to bond with and nurture others

* specific parenting techniques, including how to deal with daughters' sad...more
Heather
Jan 04, 2009 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, women who want to understand their brains better
Shelves: nonfiction
2nd reading: I'm learning more about how my own brain chemistry and hormone cycles affect my day to day. I'm probably learning more about myself than my daughter but I think knowing myself better helps in that department anyway. It really is interesting to learn how body systems affect mood and emotional outlook so I will look for additional information on this subject.


I liked how this author pulls from different disciplines such as biology, sociology and spirituality to draw insights into the d...more
Carrie
While I don't agree with the author's evolutionary points, the science and psychology of girls' brain development and how it affects them at different stages is fascinating. It really opened my eyes to why girls are the way they are at different stages and what they need from us as parents. The scientific facts are presented in an easy-to-read way, especially for someone like myself who does NOT like to read nonfiction science books, and the scientific evidence for the neurological differences b...more
Sergei Nemirovsky
Dec 11, 2007 Sergei Nemirovsky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fathers
Recommended to Sergei by: ERL
Overall very good, informative book, especially for the fathers of teens and pre-teens. I still have a "luxury" of a few years before I get there myself, so I'll probably re-read it again at that point if it withstands the test of time.

The book covers developmental stages of girls pretty much from birth to adulthood, and based on biological and physiological facts, it all makes sense. The only negative I noticed was too much space the author spent at the begining laying out the proof that girls...more
Kim
Sep 14, 2009 Kim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Lisa Cox
A detailed look at the Biology of girls. I enjoyed the science but wished the remainder of the book was more concise. It reads like it is written by a therapist (which it is) and some of the stories were hard to relate to. However the information on what a girl needs from mom at different stages was a good reminder for me, a mother of a teenage girl. The author's take on feminism and what he calls womanism is interesting as well I just could have done without some much summarization - made it dr...more
Jenn
My daughter will have a roller coaster of emotions because she has hormones and lots of them. Stay clear of any food items that have added hormones because that is the last thing girls need -more hormones.

I didn't learn too much new information from this book, but I think it has more to do with me being a girl and knowing some of the "secrets" already. However, if you are a male, this is worth reading. If anything, you will acquire more patience in your experience with as a father, grandfather,...more
Joel Simon
This is a very good book, especially for dads, to help figure out different ways to connect with and help our daughters through growing up and beyond. It takes a scientific approach to understanding how girls' development is affected by biology, hormones and brain development. This book is not for everyone, but if you are at all scientifically inclined it is fascinating and enlightening.
Ashley FL
I've had this for years and periodically pull it out again and page through it. This time I actually sat down and read the whole thing.

It is essentially a neurobiology view of raising girls. There are some interesting points, but the basic line is: spend a lot of time with your girls. Oh, and your boys too.

Now you don't have to read it!
Carolyn
At first I was really fascinated by the nature of this book. I found the science of it really interesting. He completely lost me when he started in about how moms should spend more time with their children than dads. Seemed a bit too self indulgent on Michael's part. After that, I skimmed the rest of the book and was no longer impressed.
Tish
A must-read for mothers and fathers and caretakers - and women who want to understand what they went through as children. Simply written, this book illuminates the role biological structures play in how and why girls and women think, feel and act as they do, and what they need to grow into strong and happy women.
Joni
Dec 29, 2007 Joni rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has a girl in their life
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is all about what's going on with girls from a biological perspective. Both my husband and I found it interesting and possibly something we will want to have on hand as our girls grow older. It seems to make a lot of sense and he has some practical advice too.
Laurie Dewberry
Some parts were very interesting and I learned quite a bit about my girls and myself, for that matter. I appreciated the author's balanced approach on feminism, but did not agree with some of his ideas. Overall a helpful read for a parent of daughters.
Tonia
I appreciated the first part of the book, I gleaned some rich insights. The second part turned into advise on discipline. I was not looking for guidance of his particular style (coercive, shaming, authoritarian). I did not finish the book.
Dale
I am not sure what to make of Gurian - but I keep reading him anyway. Certainly he provides parents with much to think about. As the father of a daughter, I wanted to read this to get some perspective for raising a girl.
Melissa
Nothing in this book was life changing for me but I really agreed with a lot of it. Its always good to spend some time reading and thinking about how you parent your children and understanding girls in particular was helpful.
Lily
Jan 08, 2008 Lily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mothers
Almost as good as the wonder of boys. Still had lots of useful info. He seems more comfortable talking about boys though- he has written about 10 books on boys and just this one on girls!!
Betsy
I read through the first few age groups, but promptly shut the book for ages 11 - 16 and gave it to my friend with older girls. Not ready for all that. Going to buy this one for my shelf.
Denise
...awesome information!...insight into how to guide my daughter through her second huge development stage...also, help understanding more on how my own beliefs and childhood came to be.
Rob
Lots of insights for parents but slightly dry, compared to, say, Reviving Ophelia. Though it is admittedly more detailed about brain chemistry, etc.

Still, well worth reading.
Jeanne
A wonderful book to helping us understand how out daughters work... in case we've forgotten since we were young girls! There is also a Wonder of Boys.
Sarah
Great book to have to reference during different points in a girls life. I learned a little about myself through reading it!
Jenn
Jul 29, 2011 Jenn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I have been slowing reading several books educating myself about my children... these books have been insightful.
Kristen
So far, I really really like this book! I am excited to learn more and then start on the Wonder of Boys!
Scott
Interesting to learn more about women as I try to love one as my wife and raise one as my daughter.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Your Child's Strengths: Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them
  • Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood
  • Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way
  • Nurture by Nature: How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Responsible Children Through the Insights of Personality Type
  • Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters
  • MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths
  • Hunger Pains
  • Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings
  • Parenting From the Inside Out
  • The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn Out Well
  • What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety
  • The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: Nine Faces of the Soul
  • Raising Maidens of Virtue: A Study of Feminine Loveliness for Mothers and Daughters
  • Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
  • The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy
  • Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
  • Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
The Wonder of Boys The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents The Good Son: Shaping the Moral Development of Our Boys and Young Men The Purpose of Boys: Helping Our Sons Find Meaning, Significance, and Direction in Their Lives

Share This Book