Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The Girls' Guide to Conquering Life by Erica and Jonathan Catherman

From Amazon: 
There's a lot a girl needs to know as she grows up and makes her way in the world. Having a reference guide of practical how-to life skills and character traits can empower her to become a confident and capable woman. Coauthors Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer this collection of step-by-step instructions on 100 things girls need to succeed, including how to
- introduce yourself
- change a flat tire
- respectfully break up with a guy
- leave a tip
- apply for a job
- ask for a promotion
- behave during a police stop
- create a personal budget
- calculate square footage
- wash your face
- clear a clogged drain
- iron a shirt
- wear a scarf
- shoot a basketball
- sharpen kitchen knives
- and much more

In fact, if it's in here, it's an important skill or character trait practiced by capable and confident women. With great illustrations and sidebars of advice from world-class experts, this all-in-one reference tool for young women in the making is the perfect gift for birthdays, graduations, or any occasion.

I remember requesting this book while waiting in the barn at the farm where I work. I thought it would be neat to see how an author would break down different life skills into smaller steps. The Catherman husband and wife team cover many aspects of life in their chapters. Each chapter begins with a page long introduction on the topic. The authors are straight-forward and encouraging in their approaches to varying life skills, and while I loved their honesty, I was a bit bothered by the fact that their guidelines and points of view were merely backed by the idea of "being a strong woman". While I am completely for the equality of value in men and woman as humans created in the image of God, I can't seem to find a biblical backing for some of the statements Erica and Jonathan present. I love how they desire to instill leadership skills and empower the next generation to live well, but they do seem to root much of their thinking in feminism. (While I understand that non-Christian authors will write from a non-biblical point of view, I was quite surprised to see it published under a typically Christian publisher. I do not necessarily takes issues with reading specifically non-Christian material in and of itself.)

Some of their relationship styles may not be to everyone's taste, but I believe the underlying principles are generally helpful. Whether or not you'd invite a guy on a "date" or choose to use a credit card or decide to swing a golf club in your free time is up to you. Either way the basic instructions for a variety of life skills is laid out step by step. Some of these instructions could have greatly benefited from picture illustrations (ie: gift wrapping, budgeting, ironing a shirt, etc.). While detailed writing instructions are good, there were times when the task itself was quite a bit easier than attempting to understand the picture-less directions.

All that said, I think this book would be helpful for pre-teens and young teenagers. I think most of the topics in this book are covered by many families when raising their children (and most are simply common sense), but it's always good to hear a review of them and have a list of directions nearby. Plus you might learn a couple new things as well.

*I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. 

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