DISCLAIMER: The Double-Daring Book for Girls is a sequel to the original Daring Book for Girls, published in 2007, by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. I have reviewed this book in an effort to provide parents with enough information to help them decide if this book is appropriate for their daughter.
I have to admit, I was a bit trepadacious when I saw the title of this book. Bold and courageous are similar words with positive connotations, but the word “daring” has a hint of rebelliousness to it. I definitely don’t want to encourage my children to be rebellious, so you can see why I proceeded with caution.
According to the publicity materials for this book, “Double-Daring builds on the first volume with chapters on Friendship and Courage, Great Women in Math and Science, and even a chapter with suggestions on How to Become President of the United States! In a less ambitious vein, there are also chapters on How to Paint a Room, or Start a Mother-Daughter Book Club, and tips on How to Practice Anything.”
“As always,” say Peskowitz and Buchanan, “we want to take the pressure out of girlhood and childhood, and help kids have low-tech, inexpensive fun.”
Well, that”s something I DO want to encourage for my children, so I cracked open the black and pink harcover book and started reading. What I found was mostly good, some questionable elements, but a lot of fun information to inspire girls to be creative and learn something new.
First off, I have to say that this is the type of book that I probably would have enjoyed when I was a child. It has chapters on really interesting topics, as well as “cheat sheets” (so to speak) on things such as How to Say Hello and Thank You Around the World, Sailing Phrases, Words to Impress, Commonly Confused Words, the Greek Alphabet, and Collective Nouns About Animals. Then there are the artsy-crafty topics that sound fascinating: Fun Things to Do With Paper, Batik, Quilling, Whittling, Calligraphy, and Making Antique Paper. Other topics center on the practical and useful “survival” type skills: How to Build a Raft, Turning Your Backyard into a Farm, How to Catch Fish, How to Organize a Tournament, Swimming, How to Debate, Practical Life, and Windsowsill Garden.
For the homeschooling family, this book covers a lot of educational topics, but nothing you can’t get anywhere else. Besides what I mentioned above there are at least 20 more chapters on specific sports, classic science and math, historical biographies of notable women, games and tricks to amaze your friends with, and more.
Without going into too much detail, as I mentioned before, the bulk of this book is seemingly fine for young ladies. However, there are a couple of chapters I just want to make parents aware of, and you can judge for yourself if this concerns you enough to question bringing the book into your home or not:
How to Run Away and Join the Circus
How to Make a Rope Ladder
Being a Private Eye
How to Say No/How to Say Yes
The Chinese New Year
How to Dye Your Hair Using Kool Aid
The Double-Daring Girl’s Guide to Getting Out of Trouble
I have to be honest, with all the news these days of teenagers and younger kids running away from home, I think we all could do WITHOUT a book that encourages children to “run away” – regardless of whether they join a circus or not. Also, “how to make a rope ladder” kind of goes hand in hand with running away, and although a rope ladder could come in handy, I wouldn’t really want my girls to learn how to do that. I mean it just screams “sneak out of the house in the middle of the night.” (I admit – I did that and boy was it a dumb move)
Dream Catchers, worry dolls and the Chinese New Year – now what’s so questionable about that? Well, all of those things are pagan practices and if you have anything to do with following the Messiah or keeping Torah, you will find many places in the Holy Scriptures that forbid such things. Being a firm believer myself I just recommend staying away from all that stuff – it’s all vanity and idolatry.
I think that perhaps with discernment and parental involvement this book can be entertaining for your daughters, but truthfully the topics featured are not exclusive info, and some things are touched upon very briefly. Click on the link below to read other reviews, or to purchase it online at Amazon.com: