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Daring Books for Girls

The Daring Book for Girls

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The Daring Book for Girls  is the manual for everything that girls need to know—and that doesn't mean sewing buttonholes!  Whether it's female heroes in history, secret note-passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets, double dutch, cats cradle, the perfect cartwheel or the eternal mystery of what boys are thinking, this book has it all. But it's not just a guide to giggling at sleepovers—although that's included, of course! Whether readers consider themselves tomboys, girly-girls, or a little bit of both, this book is every girl's invitation to adventure.

288 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2007

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About the author

Andrea J. Buchanan

22 books119 followers
Andrea J. Buchanan is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book is THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING, which was a finalist for the 2019 PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing. Her other work includes the multimedia young adult novel GIFT, the internationally bestselling THE DARING BOOK FOR GIRLS, her essay collection on early motherhood MOTHER SHOCK: LOVING EVERY (OTHER) MINUTE OF IT, and seven other books. Before becoming a writer, Andi trained as a pianist, earning a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from the Boston Conservatory of Music and a master's in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. Her last recital was at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. She lives with her family in Philadelphia.

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5 stars
1,391 (40%)
4 stars
1,131 (32%)
3 stars
677 (19%)
2 stars
205 (5%)
1 star
72 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 361 reviews
187 reviews33 followers
January 1, 2009
It's a shame that the "For Boys" author decided to arbitrarily divvy up childhood fun by gender. I considered these as Christmas presents for a niece and a nephew, but perusing them in the store, I could not justify telling a girl that her job is to make friendship bracelets while her brother makes the model rockets. All the activities in both books looked fun, but one's quantity of X chromosomes really shouldn't factor into whether one enjoys skipping stones or not.
19 reviews2 followers
February 11, 2008
Every girl between the ages of about 8 and 14 should have this on her shelf. What other book contains a bio on Amelia Earhart, instructions on how to make peach pit rings and cat's cradle, the periodic table, and slumber party games? The ultimate guide for the 21st century girl because of its balance between erudition and fun, and the book most likely to be handed down to her daughter.

A note re: some of the other comments: if you read the portions of the book some others refer to as "supernatural," they're not being touted as truth, but are offered in the same spirit (no pun intended) as the old-fashioned kids' games. Further, the fact that some of the denser sections are slightly over my 8-year-old's head is a great deal of the appeal of this book, which will grow with her for the next several years. Heck, my sister-in-law and I spent most of Xmas reading it almost cover to cover and we're well over the alleged target age. It's great stuff.
Profile Image for Kristina.
272 reviews28 followers
September 10, 2020
I found this compendium to be fun and nostalgic. There was a nice balance of knowledge and skills and I found myself smiling often as I remembered playing many of the games and making many of the projects included in this volume. The illustrations were suitably inclusive also and I loved the authors’ impeccable pronoun usage. Overall, I think this would be most appropriate for elementary and middle school girls (and all adults over 30, obviously)!
Profile Image for C.
16 reviews2 followers
August 7, 2008
This book is more for parents who wish to take a trip down memory lane, back to the fun times in their childhood. But give it to a girl older than eight, it's going to be a huge disappointment. Not to mention slightly insulting.

Tag? Four Square? Double Dutch? Putting my hair up with a pencil? Snowballs? Really? That's daring? All these things have been done and is old news by the age of eight, at the most. The book sticks to much to the stereotypes for girls and talks down slightly to the reader.

I think this book is more appropriate for girls in first to third grade. Past that, don't waste your time.
Profile Image for Jessica.
36 reviews
January 27, 2008
At first I thought I would love this book, since we love The Dangerous Book for boys. However, after looking at it further and seeing the sections on: Conjuring up the spirit of Bloody Mary, Palm reading, Levitation, and Summoning spirits... It will not be a book I will let me girls have and keep in my home. I don't know why they had to include this garbage.

I did like the idea of the book, and found something similar on the Bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble a couple weeks ago, that was reprinted from the late 1800's and looks great so far: The Original Girl's Handy Book. Another great option by the same author is: The American Girl's Handy Book: Making the Most of Outdoor Fun (bookcloseouts.com has this right now for only $5.99) Just a couple other options!
Profile Image for Kimberly.
29 reviews7 followers
January 7, 2008
This book receives the four star rating because, despite the authors' most detailed instructions, combined with my best efforts, I still cannot whistle with two fingers.
Profile Image for Kelly.
193 reviews12 followers
January 1, 2008
Well this book has some very cool biographies about important women who have helped shape history, sandwiched between articles on the "History of Palm Reading" and "How to Frost a Cake." This eclectic mix won't appeal to most girls and might offend some. The text is written above the target audience level, making it appropriate for only confident readers in grades 4 & 5.

The text heavy articles wouldn't appeal to many of the students at my middle school, and I can't use it as a source for research because there is no index. I would say this is most appropriate for adults seeking a bit of nostalgia. Teen girls today might be interested in about 10% of what this book has to offer....and that's the part conservative parents won't like.
Profile Image for Julia Zuklie.
36 reviews1 follower
November 4, 2016
If your a girl, and you want to be daring, read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
GIRL POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
Profile Image for Scott.
236 reviews
November 10, 2008
While the Dangerous Book for Boys truly was dangerous--it goes against the grain of popular wisdom on how boys should be--and indeed for boys--audaciously confirming that masculinity is okay for boys--the "daring" counterpart for girls is neither daring nor quintessentially feminine in the sense parallel to the zesty masculinity of the original. Instead, it tries too hard to be a girl's version of the original, seeming to go out of its way to show that girls can be both boys and girls too.

The point of the original was not to promote androgyny--we don't see in the Daring Book for Boys any sections on how to embroider (something I enjoyed as a child), the art of cross-dressing (another thing I enjoyed, but my parents discouraged), how to plant, arrange, and dry flowers (more fun from my childhood) or even something completely practical but gender-bending like sewing on a button or baking bread. I intentionally used examples of things I learned and enjoyed from my childhood to show that I'm not opposed to androgyny (I am glad my parents mostly encouraged it) and that I think it is healthy as long as it is provided alongside clarity about gender.

What I think would have been truly daring would be to publish a book that revived the almost-forgotten activities that girls used to both find joy in and affirm their girlhood through (in the same vein as the building of forts, go-carts, and treehouses for boys). That would be more welcome than a pink book that seems to attempt to recast the world as an enormous Lake Wobegone (the home of Garrison Keelor), where the men are men, and the women are too. :(
Profile Image for Cathy Douglas.
329 reviews21 followers
November 12, 2016
This for-girls version of the Iggulden brothers' book covers an eclectic range of topics: how to tell a ghost story, stories of female spies, making your own backyard tent, the rules for hopscotch. I thought it was pretty interesting, though I just skimmed through some topics. Some people have criticized it for being too girly-girl, but I only noticed that in a few places. For the most part, it encourages girls to have fun and take risks and learn a variety of skills. I would have liked it when I was a kid.

Since I read it in Spanish, I'm going to have to give it a point off for the translation. The translator obviously struggled with unfamiliar topics. For example, the original English verse about poison ivy ("Leaves of three, let it be") got translated to something that means "Leaves of tree, let it be," which isn't going to be much help to a girl out in the woods. They should have picked a more outdoorsy translator.
134 reviews
April 3, 2008
I don't really expect Rebecca to pick up this book and do the activities herself, but right now, I love reading it and teaching her some of the things I missed as a kid and some of my favorite things. I also thought the authors did a good job collecting a large variety of activities, showing what a girl can do, and not telling a girl what they should do.

Now my job is to make sure Rebecca has enough free time to try out the things she wishes to do and is not over-scheduled with extracurricular activities. This book is a great resource for directing independent play in school-age children.

And just so you know, this book is for me, too. You won't see me hand-clapping, practicing my knots, or jump-roping to rhymes in public, but please know, I'm having as much fun as Rebecca with this stuff.
Profile Image for Marissa Elera.
1,328 reviews31 followers
January 5, 2012
Girls are given a marvelous, widely varied manual on making their daring endeavors happen in this engaging non-fiction read. Learn everything from how to tie a sari, make daisy chains and ivy crowns, and about princesses today, to how to make a lemon-powered clock, change a tire, care for your softball glove, and what should be in every girl's toolbox. Giving the reigns to girls in deciding what unique mix of interests they choose to explore, this celebration of adventure and fun, technology free activities opens a wealth of introductory knowledge to inspire a new generation of spirited young girls. Perfect for those summer days! Ages 8 and up.

"Girls like pink, girls like flowers, girls are neat and clean, girls are frivolous, girls are emotional. Are ANY of these things true about all girls? Of course not!"
5 reviews
September 17, 2009
this is a fun way to figure out something to do today its a good book and has a bunch of interesting things to read about. i recomend it to all girls who get bored during the day
Profile Image for Megan.
424 reviews57 followers
April 26, 2011
I didn't "read" this per se. I went through the whole book and only read the chapters that interested me. It's a rather large book, so I think it would keep a young girl interested for a long period of time. It's a book she could refer to as she ages since the activities and articles vary in difficulty and age appropriateness. If I had a daughter I would definitely buy this for her bookshelf. It covers a wide variety of subjects and projects (sports, games, crafts, experiments, and stories). Here are a few chapter titles so you get an idea of what it covers:

*Fourteen Games of Tag
*How to Whistle with Two Fingers (I am sadly still unsuccessful at this)
*Five Karate Moves
*Vinegar and Baking Soda (good cleaning tips as well as the customary volcano experiment)
*Friendship Bracelets (I actually want to make one of these now, for old time's sake)
*Slumber Party Games
*Modern Women Leaders
*How to Negotiate a Salary (good for aspiring young babysitters and lemonade stand commanders)
*Cootie Catchers (another fun throwback)
*Make Your Own Paper
*Books That Will Change Your Life (best part!)
and lots more...

Overall, I think this would be a great tool for young girls to beat boredom and try new things. It's very informative and surprisingly educational (there are mini history, science, and math lessons squeezed in between entertaining hobbies and projects). A good book for those with young girls or for those who want to relive their childhood.
Profile Image for Josie.
1,438 reviews29 followers
March 13, 2011
I would have loved this book when I was growing up! But flicking through it as an adult, there are definitely bits that I can still appreciate. (Namely: how to change a tyre, ho ho. Wish I'd known that last week.) I think this is a book that will grow with a girl -- for example, the section on must see travel destinations features a few places that I want to see too (and plan to see, now that I am all grown up and earning!). I love how this book recommends Everest/the Himalayas as a cool place to visit, and says something along the lines of, "Girls HAVE climbed Everest in the past, but you don't have to -- you can just go and look at it, if you like. But there's nothing to stop you climbing Everest if you train hard!" Now THAT'S the kind of attitude I like. :D
Profile Image for Amanda.
78 reviews25 followers
August 29, 2008
As soon as I had a peek into this book I knew I had to own it. It's full of cool things that all girls should know, like how to put your hair up with a pencil; how to tie a sari; how to press flowers, whistle with two fingers, make a cloth-covered book, make a willow whistle and even stuff that isn't considered so girly like how to build a good campfire and make paper airplanes; clubhouses and forts, public speaking - this book has everything! It even has a section on boys and several on famous women in history. I'm telling you, EVERY girl should have a copy of this book. It's fantastic.
Profile Image for Amber.
569 reviews2 followers
November 9, 2014
This book is the ultimate "go outside and play" book. It is similar to a Girlscout book and has many ideas, games, how things work, and tells about historical daring women. The perfect gift and antidote for the societal push of the tween bratz culture. Great gift for all the tomboys out there.
Profile Image for Alison.
79 reviews1 follower
January 20, 2008
I was interested after seeing the dangerous book for boys. This just wasn't as interesting. Maybe I'm just too much of a tom-boy.
Profile Image for Jensa.
302 reviews3 followers
September 10, 2009
This came highly recommended from some friends...my daughter and I loved it! She may be a little young, but it'd be perfect for elementary aged girls.
Profile Image for Noor.
30 reviews9 followers
October 21, 2009
It wasn't that bad, it's just that I expected better from it.
Profile Image for Kara Forester.
5 reviews3 followers
November 3, 2010
This book is perfect for girls of any age. I love having it on my bookshelf and I think it would be a great gift to any girl, or woman, young or old, who loves being a female and enjoys adventure!
Profile Image for Andrez.
391 reviews58 followers
September 10, 2015
Aaaah, so nostalgic! I remember I read this book so many times and tried almost every activity in it. I still remember it very fondly
Profile Image for Annie.
19 reviews
May 18, 2011
From how to make your own lemonade stand to, girl guide badges, everything a girl needs to know is in this book. I reccomend this essential to all girls any age!
Profile Image for Daniel Bowman.
Author 1 book4 followers
February 20, 2014
Not just for girls. It focuses on females heroes, but I think most boys would love this book--so long as their friends don't see the title!
Profile Image for Meagan Bell.
9 reviews5 followers
May 28, 2015
My almost seven year old daughter wants to review this book -
I LOVED IT! It tells you everything a girl should know. Mommy even wants to read it. I learned so much from this book.
8 reviews
May 23, 2022
I thought it was so daring and I found out so many secrets.
15 reviews
November 17, 2016
Buchanan, A., & Peskowitz, M. (2012). The daring book for girls. New York: Collins Publishers.

Citation by: Kristin White

Type of Reference: Handbook

Call Number: Ref 790.194 Buch 2012

Content/Scope: This general handbook is known as the manual for "everything girls need to know." Including everything from females in history to giggling at slumber parties, The Daring Book for Girls offers young girls an adventure on every page. It is filled with fun activities and interesting facts that girls of every personality will surely enjoy. Although this is more a handbook for entertainment than true learning, it does offer some insight into factual information in terms of history and science for females.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: This book hit the shelves a few years ago, and our public library has it on its reference shelf. I can't speak to the authors and/or publisher, but "Reference Skills for the School Librarian" references this handbook as a fun guide into the world of handbooks for young female readers. Since it is mostly all in fun, the text is light and unbiased.

Arrangement/Presentation: The Daring Book for Girls begins with a Table of Contents, so readers can go directly to any topic that is most of interest to them. Past the table of contents is a list of "essential gear." Then, the book jumps from one activity/story/blurb to another, keeping readers engaged and thumbing through for more. The work includes diagrams, sketches, and pictures when necessary to give the reader more information.

Relation to other works: The Daring Book for Girls is similar to past "How-To" books of prior years, but this take on the old classic inspires girls to reach for whatever they want to do and/or be. Additionally, there is a separate yet similar volume for boys entitled, "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by different authors.

Accessibility/Diversity: This handbook is accessible to all girls, although the intended age is most likely 3rd grade and up. It offers a variety of topics for girls of varying personalities, backgrounds, and interests.

Cost: $16.99

Professional Review: Fesko, S. (2008). The Daring Book for Girls. School Library Journal, 54(1), 134
Profile Image for Jessica Briggs.
33 reviews4 followers
February 5, 2019
While some think this book is outdated for the 21st century, I love that my young lady is enjoying and learning some old fashioned information. Some parts of the book I can do without- like the bit on levitating and seances- but overall tips about old campfires, women who were bold and daring, etc. is fun. My 9 yo daughter picks this up to peruse for fun often.
15 reviews
Want to read
April 12, 2015
Peskowitz, M., Buchanan, A. J., & Seabrook, A. i. (2007). The daring book for girls 1st ed. Collins.

Citation by: Susan Scott

Type of Reference: Handbook

Call Number: 646.70083; 646.70083/42

ISBN: 0061472573

Brief Description: This book is geared towards girls in grades 4-8. This details games, trivia, biographies and games to play.

Content/Scope: This book, a companion to the Dangerous Book for Boys, is geared towards girls from grades four through eight. This book also attempts to capture a nostalgic feel of activities that girls completed in the past. The book includes biographies of famous women, the history of writing cursive, how to put your hair up with a pencil, "daring" facts, and making a lemon-powered clock.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: The author of this book intended to gear their topics towards girls, which may alienate the boys from reading this book. Additionally, the author made all of these activities "girl" activities, which presents some bias.

Arrangement/Presentation: This 279 page book is not organized in any specific order, but rather offers an assortment of information including biographies and directions to complete certain activities. The book also includes maps, illustrations and bibliographic references.

Relation to Similar works: This library does not currently have any handbooks. This book may peak some girls interest in this "old-fashioned" handbook.

Accessibility/Diversity: This book is geared towards girls, which does not include the whole population. However, this book does offer some historical perspective.

Cost: $26.95

Professional Review: Yabroff, J. (2007). The daring book for girls. Newsweek , 150(23), 16.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 361 reviews

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