Normally I don't do self-help books. I also have a hard time with motivational books as well. But when I was offered the chance to review a motivational book for young women by Queen Latifah, I said, "Oh, hell yes!" Put on Your Crown: Life-Changing Moments on the Path to Queendom by Queen Latifah, Samantha Marshall is an age-appropriate, perhaps too much, book of advice for the young women in our lives.
First, being that Queen Latifah, or Dana as she refers to herself in the book by her given name, grew up in an urban setting and a lot of the things she references are urban in nature, I'm not sure how well a teen from a small rural town might identify with the book. Then again, a lot of the advice is quite universal. But I can imagine that a jaded teen might think, "Well, oh yeah, you weren't stuck in a one-horse town!"
That said I thought that Queen Latifah was quite forthright in the challenges she faced growing up, the missteps she took, how she let her early money be misspent and yes, a lot of body love.
About that body love...I understand that Queen Latifah decided to lose some weight to get healthy. That's cool. But the company that helped her lose the weight is mentioned a lot. As are a lot of big companies.
One of the things that I believe is hurting our kids from growing up with a true sense of self is this competition to have things. To hear a celebrity mention a brand and the instant need to get it. So if there is one thing I wish Queen Latifah had done differently in this book would had been to tone down the brand names.
Overall, I think this would be a good book to gift to a young woman in your life. I suggest that you read it first or get yourself a copy, so you can start a conversation about the book. As always, please buy yourself a copy at an indie bookstore or Powells.com.
Disclaimer: The only payment I received was the copy of the book.
To celebrate, I'm giving away three books to one reader. To enter, just comment on any May 2010 post by May 31, 2010. I'm too busy to make you jump thru hoops. Comment!