FICTION

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

photos by Kate T. Parker. 248p. photos. Workman. Mar. 2017. Tr $30. ISBN 9781523500680; pap. $18.95. ISBN 9780761189138.
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Gr 3–6—What began as Parker's photography project portraying girls has blossomed into a lovely exploration filled with exquisite images of girls and quotes about what makes them strong, beautiful, and confident. (The text emphasizes that beauty has nothing to do with looks; it's what is on the inside that counts.) The book stresses traits such as resilience, creativity, kindness, and independence. Much of the message driving the work is to embrace different and alternative versions of girlhood and to escape the cultural expectations of what girls should aspire to be (pretty, thin, etc.). The photographs are stunning and range from close-up portraits to action shots. Each picture includes a thoughtful quote from the subject ("Strong girls never lose. They only learn, and come back stronger.").
VERDICT The large photos invite browsers to linger and contemplate the girl-positive messages. Recommended.

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