The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self

KAY, Katty & with JillEllyn Riley. illus. by Nan Lawson. 320p. further reading. notes. websites. HarperCollins/Harper. Apr. 2018. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780062796981.
Gr 5–8—A book for self-effacing readers who have ever doubted their capabilities. Filled with playful illustrations, comic panels, and confidence-boosting stories, this how-to title is accessible and comprehensive. The book is broken down into three main sections: "Risk More," "Think Less," and "Be Yourself." Each segment addresses why girls, specifically, can feel unsure of themselves, how they can break out of habits that hold them back, take healthy risks, and build confidence. This is not one big pep talk. Readers will enjoy discovering more about their brains and how to handle real-life situations, from fall-outs with friends to bombing a big test, with different strategies for confidently tackling each issue. Kay, Shipman, and Riley touch on ways race, gender, culture, personal experiences, and more impact ideas about girlhood. However, not every entry is successful. A scenario where a girl named Farrah, who wears a hijab, "tries to show them [her classmates] that she is really just like they are" fails to unpack the dynamics of the situation and places the onus of healing on the person who is being marginalized rather than the students exhibiting prejudiced behavior. That said, there is much within these pages for tweens to take on big challenges with the inner resources they need.
VERDICT Consider for middle school collections where guides and self-improvement titles are popular.—Ashley Fetterolf, Indian Creek Upper School, Crownsville, MD

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing