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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*The Big Book of Girl Stuff* by Bart King, illustrated by Jennifer Kalis- young readers fantasy book review
Also by Bart King:

The Pocket Guide to Mischief

The Big Book of Boy Stuff
The Big Book of Girl Stuff
by Bart King, illustrated by Jennifer Kalis
Ages 9-12 320 pages Gibbs Smith September 2006 Paperback    

Want to celebrate all things girl-related? It would be hard to think of a better way to do that and learn more about girls and their likes and dislikes than by reading The Big Book of Girl Stuff by Bart King and his five sisters. This book, by the author of the bestselling and also highly entertaining and informative The Big Book of Boy Stuff is a must-read for all girls. Teen boys might be interested in it, as well, in order to discover more about the fairer sex. Thereís information that has appeared in other sources on girls that shows up here, but some redundancy is to be expected. As the saying goes, ďThereís nothing new under the sun.Ē But there are some things here that I hadnít know before, and the information is presented in a humorous way that should find great appeal with a broad audience of readers, including parents of girls.

Want to know how to spot a liar? How about what to do about a killer crush, or why your lips are a different color than the rest of you? Ever wondered how to make a friendship bracelet, or what phrases such as ďburning the pom-pomsĒ means? Look no further than this book! In it is useful information about such topics as babysitting tips and tricks, making a ring from a dollar bill, common questions girls ask about boys (with answers supplied), planning for sleepovers and slumber parties, makeup, career choices, and much, much more. All of it is written in a way that doesnít condescend or talk down to girls.

One aspect I liked about the approach the book takes is that you can open it to any page and find something genuinely interesting and/or funny, and often useful to know. For instance, thereís this gem of knowledge about a Southeast Asian fruit called durian, thatís so vil-smelling itís ďillegal to have in SingaporeĒ:
If you break open the 12-pound fruit and survive the aroma, youíre ready to eat the pudding-like pulp. It stinks so much that eating the durian has been compared to ďeating ice cream in an outhouse.Ē
Iíve actually heard about this fruit before, on the television show No Reservations. It is one of the only times Iíve known the host, Anthony Bourdain, to turn down food - it was too nasty even for him.

I personally learned about something called bezoars. Iíd read about these mysterious things in many books, including in the Harry Potter series, so I surmised they were believed to have magical properties. However, Iíd never looked up before what exactly they were, or why some people thought they were magical. It turns out that bezoars are, basically, human hairballs! Yeah, pretty nasty, but itís true - they result when girls or women chew on the ends of their hair. It canít be digested and becomes like a rock in oneís stomach, as King writes:
Because the hairball has been soaking in stomach acid for a long time, when it finally shows up, the hairball can be rock-hard. As a matter of fact, people used to think that bezoars were rocks. Since large rocks donít normally come out of flesh-and- blood girls, bezoars were believed to be magical. They were supposed to cure poisoning and even baldness!
I hear you, leave it to a guy (myself) to point out some gross examples to quote, but youíve got to admit, the examples are interesting ones!

King, with the help of his five sisters and other sources, has put together a compendium of useful information in The Big Book of Girl Stuff that girls of all ages will want to read. As a parent of a teenage daughter, I found out a lot about the opposite sex I hadnít known before. It was fun to share some of the funny parts of the book with my daughter, also. The boys got their book already--now, itís the girlsí chance to shine in a book that encourages and supports sisterhood and self-esteem. I recommend it and think it would be a useful and fun addition to any girlís bookshelf.

Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Douglas R. Cobb/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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