Girls' Studies by Elline Lipkin was a great little read. I don't mean to be flip about this book. It's well written and chock full of information about the fledgling field of girls' studies. It's just that I've read enough about girls' studies that I actually knew most of the information in it.
That said, Girls' Studies is in the Seal Press Seal Studies line and I do believe that this would make an excellent addition to a women's studies course or even the basis for an entire course on girls itself.
It's also a great summation of the research on gender roles and how they impact our girls (and boys) as they grow. It's not pro-girl as much as it is anti-gender stereotypes/gender roles. I'll say it again, if we can smash the box girls are put into with stereotypes, we can also free our boys from the patriarchy box too. There is a lot of discussion about 'standard behavior' and how it has swung from boys to girls and how neither is appropriate.
The other sections that I really appreciated were discussions on the lack of girls of color in young adult literature and how as the realm of possibility is growing for girls, they still splinter into groups (girly girls, kick ass girls, etc). This last one is hitting home big time right now. It's hard raising a girl in this culture that tells her she has to choose what kind of girl she has to be.
I would recommend this book to every mom and dad out there with a girl. Want to know the real insanity that they are living under? How much they are targets of marketing and advertising? Why they hear you tell them that they are fine just the way they are, but still want to diet at age 8? Read this book. It's all in here. You think you know, but it's only the tip of the iceberg.
Get yourself an early holiday present and grab a copy thru an indie bookstore or Powells.com.
Disclaimer: The only payment I received for this review was the copy of the book. Elline and I both also write at Girl with Pen. But I received the book thru my relationship with Seal Press not Elline.