Title: The Girls’ Guide to Conquering Middle School
Author: Erica & Jonathan Catherman
Genre: Youth Non-Fiction
Publishing Date: October 16, 2018
About the Book:
The transition from elementary school to middle school skirts the borders of traumatic for many girls. Their bodies are changing, their moods are shifting, their friendships are tested, and boys can become a big distraction. Girls may begin to struggle with grades, behavior, and relationships with family and friends. How do they know what to do and what not to do in this new environment with new expectations?
Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer girls ages ten to twelve the practical help they need to make the move to middle school as painless as possible. The “do this, not that” format covers a hundred relevant topics and situations middle school girls will face, including the first day, bullies, test taking, cell phone use, homework, gossip, leadership, respect, sports, PDA, and many more.
Depending on where you live, middle school can be a number different grades. For the current town that I live in, middle school is from 5th to 8th grade. For the town I grew up in however, it was only 7th and 8th grade. I MAY consider recommending this to girls if they were entering middle school in 5th grade, but feel it is far too basic (offensively so) for 7th graders. One example would be step-by-step instructions for putting on deodorant. Encouraging the usage of it is fine, but the step-by-step was simply too much. I would actually be willing to say that it’s the same for any of the other “step-by-step directions” shared throughout. There were a lot of basic life-skills that should be second nature by the time they enter middle school (ex: how to wash your hands).
Many of the details shared on different topics had explanations that were far too drawn out. For example, the only explanation needed for homework is really “do it,” but the book takes an entire paragraph to say the same thing. There’s an entire page dedicated to “hand raising,” which should be learned by the early elementary years. Many of the advice shared in the book is for topics better taught to younger children.
As a youth leader for middle schoolers in my church, I was hopeful that this would be a useful resource to share with the girls, but I honestly feel that they would be offended by the level of simplicity. Middle school is a time of big changes and challenges for girls, but I don’t feel that this book speaks to any of the real issues. I had high hopes for this book that unfortunately were not met.
*I received a free copy of this book from Revell Publishers. I was not required to share a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.