This is a well written, excellently researched, engaging book on how the lives and expectations of adolescent and teenage girls has changed over the y...moreThis is a well written, excellently researched, engaging book on how the lives and expectations of adolescent and teenage girls has changed over the years. By examining major markers in a girls life that generally signal her ascent into womanhood and how those now occur solidly when society still thinks of her as a girl, Flanagan looks at how this can take a toll on girls.
It's definitely a read for those who either have or work with girls regularly. For me it really reminded me how difficult being a teenage girl is. Using women of the past to illustrate the continuity of experiences Flanagan's observations become universal. One critique however is that when examining sex in Girl Land (which is what she calls that transitionary time when a works through who she is to become and sometimes parents wonder where their daugher went) she ignores the topic of orientation. Sex is difficult enough without factoring in that it a time when many girls are figuring out their own preferences not just in terms of sex in general but in gender of partners.
What Caitlin Flanagan advocates is making your girls room an internet/cell phone free zone. She argues that girls need that "unplugged" time to really sort through thoughts, feelings etc without the pressures of the outside world. While I agree with this, it's difficult to make that happen this way. I would recommend parenting vigilance and fostering as open communication as you can. Absolutely time away from the bombardment of FB and texting and gossip sites is crucial, but so is teaching your daughter (and son!) to be a proper internet user.
All in all it was an enjoyable and interesting read and one that I think is valuable.(less)
As a teacher this book was an eye opener. Yes, I new textbooks are not the end all and always seek to supplement but I had no idea it was this pervasi...moreAs a teacher this book was an eye opener. Yes, I new textbooks are not the end all and always seek to supplement but I had no idea it was this pervasive. I wish I had read this while going through my teacher education classes. I will certainly look closer at the texts I use in my classroom.
This has made me reflect quite a bit on what I have been taught and now seek to take the best of that and find ways that work well for my students.
Every teacher, especially English and Social Studies, should read this book.
Her tone is easy to follow and doesn't get bogged down. It is engaging and electric. She's also very open about her connections within the educational system and how she went about things. I know we often wonder why students can't engage with the subjects presented them and this prevents one answer, because it's not engaging as presented in their texts. It is so watered down and sanitized that students can't reconcile the world they see in the texts with the one in their everyday lives. Is it a wonder that everyday life wins?(less)
This was a very good book for a first effort. Fans of ballet and/or Center Stage will find the story a bit familiar. There is a LOT of ballet terminol...moreThis was a very good book for a first effort. Fans of ballet and/or Center Stage will find the story a bit familiar. There is a LOT of ballet terminology sprinkled throughout the book. It deals fairly well with a lot of the issues that go hand in hand with professional ballet (eating disorders, exhaustion, delayed puberty, unrealistic body expectations, etc). As a former professional pointe shoe fitter I cringed inwardly when she described how she broke in her shoes. While a common enough practice amongst companies whose shoes are bought in bulk and generally from one supplier, young ballerinas should not take those lessons to heart.
It would make excellent reading to accompany any ballet class as a great way to introduce issues that may come up pursuing a professional career or for any parent of an aspiring dancer.
The terminology and dance references are handled expertly in the hands of a former NYCB corps member. It also began to make me wonder at how children are pushed beyond their limits for the sake of art. Isn't it time for ballet to change?(less)
This was an interesting take on the water horse myths. Not a side that I had heard before but an interesting one. I like when a book presents somethin...moreThis was an interesting take on the water horse myths. Not a side that I had heard before but an interesting one. I like when a book presents something mythical that occurs and completely normal and accepted. No one is surprised at these horses, in fact they prove a tourist draw. It simply happens and this makes it easier for the plot to roll along easily. It's well told from dual points of view
Ultimately it's a story of home, growing up, courage, loss and finding your place in the world. (less)