What happened to my baby girl? It only seemed like yesterday I was frantically chasing my toddler tornado around shopping centres and parks. Today, I’m looking at a young lady who is hurtling towards the pre-teen years.
The questions have begun. We’ve had THE talk. She’s navigating the world of primary school friendships. She’s growing up. As much as I’m not ready to be the mum of a pre-teen, I know there’s no escaping it. I’m keen to learn as much as I can in preparation.
I purchased a copy of Girl Stuff 8 – 12 recently and it’s a great start. Girl Stuff 8 – 12 is billed as “your real guide to the pre-teen years”. This book is not written for adults. It’s target audience is pre-teens although it’s also a handy read for parents. The book is like a friend and talks about all the things that a girl might feel embarrassed to talk to anyone else about. Girls reading this won’t get ambushed with anything too technical or boring. It’s a funny and extremely informative read, complete with cartoons and quotes from real girls (more than 4000 girls filled out a quiz for the author).
The fact it was written by Australian author Kaz Cooke was a major factor in my decision to buy this book. If you’re a mum you may be familiar with Kaz as the author of Up The Duff, the real and hilarious guide to pregnancy. I love Kaz’s writing style. It’s not at all pretentious, completely relatable, funny, easy to read and educational. In the same way that Up The Duff spoke to soon-to-be nervous parents, Girl Stuff 8 – 12 speaks to girls just like a big sister or cool Aunty would.
Girl Stuff 8 – 12 doesn’t force anything on its reader and acknowledges that, despite some changes which may be happening, the reader is “…still a kid. And that’s exactly what you’re supposed to be.”
Written with the help of medical and other experts, feature sections include The New You (body changes, getting your period, hair and skin), Being Healthy, Family, Friends (beating the bullies, phones, apps and being online), and Feeling Good (confidence, moods and emotions). There’s also a selection of fun lists featuring age appropriate films, books, book series, heroines and inspiring women leaders in science, technology, maths and engineering.
Rather than reading this from cover to cover, Girl Stuff 8 – 12 is a fantastic reference which girls can refer to again and again. This is the kind of book I wish I had when I was a pre-teen.
Some girls may not be ready for this book until they are 10 or 11 while others will be ready at 8. Some sections will be suitable at different times too. I could sit and read the Being Healthy and Friends sections with Miss T now, which would encourage discussions about bullying, kindness and being happy with your own true self. It’s important stuff and I love how books like this can help open up discussions around these topics and experiences. For the moment, I’ll keep Girl Stuff 8 – 12 as a reference that I can turn to (as well as for my nervous Handy Hubby to read in preparation). I’ll know when the time is right to give it to Miss T to discover on her own.
And when she is past the pre-teen stage and moves into the teen years (*deep breath*), I’ll be buying Kaz’s follow up book Girl Stuff: Your Full-on Guide to the Teen Years.
Until then, I’ll enjoy Miss T being a kid and hope that my little girl doesn’t grow up too quickly.
Do you have a pre-teen?
Have you read any Kaz Cooke books? Was Up The Duff a pregnancy bible for you too?
You can find Girl Stuff 8 – 12 online at Gift Grapevine’s Booktopia affiliate. You won’t pay any more however I will receive a small commission which goes towards the running of this blog. As with every item I feature on Gift Grapevine, this book is something I love and would love to give!