Monday, April 4, 2016

Gutsy Girl Week

I have a gutsy daughter.  I have no idea how I got a gutsy girl, but I am not complaining.  My daughter is the one who picks up snails, climbs up piles of dirt, crashes on her skateboard and comes home with knees full of permanent scars from soccer.  I was the girl who was always afraid and it takes everything inside of me not to yell out to my daughter to be careful.  But I don't because I want her to be brave.

A recent study came out from the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology that suggests that  parents caution their daughters more than their sons.  Parents are much more likely to encourage their sons to "face their fears" all the while telling their daughters to "be careful".  If we want women to take risks and be bold in their lives, it needs to start young, as it does for boys.

The book I am profiling today looks at a woman who has filled her life with taking chances.  Sometimes she succeeds and sometimes she fails, but she always learns and grows.  While I don't think this book would have turned a kid like me into a seasoned kayaker, I hope that it broadens the view for all girls of what they are capable of when they look fear in the eyes and decide to relegate it to a lower position in their value chain.

Whether it's squashing that spider or skinning their knee, let's empower girls to live lives that are fuller than the edge of their comfort zone.  This week I am featuring books about gutsy girls who have adventures and escapades and feel empowered to ask for the things they need.  Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss a single post where brave is fun and self reliance is encouraged!

Title: The Gutsy Girl

Author: Caroline Paul

Target: Grades 5-8

Series: No

What this book is about: 
Caroline Paul takes us on a journey through many of her life adventures, starting with a milk carton pirate ship she crafted when she was thirteen all the way to her exploits as one of the first female firefighters in San Francisco.  Her experiences are often harrowing and test the boundaries of reasonable activities, but they always end in the lessons learned and a journaling opportunity for kids to see how they can recognize their feelings, understand what they want and identify not only their dreams but the steps they can take to get there.

Why I love this book:
  • First off I love that she fails on so many of her escapades.  So often I think girls feel that if they fail it wasn’t worth doing.  Caroline Paul shows kids that everything you take with you from that failure helps you in the next adventure.
  • The writing style is very conversational, making this book a lovely read.  You feel as though the author is sitting across from you sharing stories from her life. 
  • She gives boys and girls a view of women which is not delicate or fragile.  Now don’t get me wrong, being delicate and fragile is not always a bad thing.  It is however a bad thing when it is the only way women can be portrayed.  She opens up the view of what women can physically accomplish and that is a good thing.
Who this is for: 
Great for any girl willing to expand her view of what she can attain.  As a young girl there is no way after reading this book I would have set out to do the things Caroline Paul undertook, but I hope it would have pushed me outside my boundaries, even if that just meant getting on a pair of skis.  Yes, I was a bonafide wimp!

Final thoughts: 
A gutsy girl looks different for each and every young woman, but I hope for my daughter and yours it means resilience and an openness to the things available to them.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Gutsy Girl.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.


  1. I'll have to take a look. one of my mom's favorites stories to tell about me is that my kindergarten teacher told them I was bossy. Why? I wouldn't play with the girls because I was the smallest and forced to be the "baby", so I played with the boys and just told them I was the captain of the ship, or the sheriff, or in charge of whatever the game was that day. I think they were so surprised they just said "ok!"

    1. Ha! Love that. You will definitely appreciate her first story in the book about making a pirate ship.