Do you ever have questions about life and growing up that you are afraid or embarrassed to ask? Does the teen in your life? Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You is an excellent resource for today's teens to find advice and direction. Carol Weston is a columnist for Girl's Life magazine, and has insider knowledge of the topics and issues that appeal to young women of the twenty-first century. In fact, Girltalk is now in its fourth edition; it has been helping girls for almost twenty years.
Chapters include Body, Friendship, Love, Sex, Family, Education, Money, and Smoking, Drinking, and Drugs. In each chapter common questions are answered, such as, Do Guys Worry About Their Bodies? or Why Should You Learn All That Irrelevant Stuff Anyway? (talking about school subjects). Topics are also explored in depth and helpful information is provided - how to eat in a healthy way, avoiding skin cancer, dealing with the death of a loved one, and what to expect in a job interview.
At the end of each chapter is a selection of "Dear Carol..." letters that the author has received and answered over the years. These letters and their responses give an intimate look into other teens' lives and will help readers to know that they are not alone in dealing with difficult or frustrating situations. The final section of Girltalk is a group of quizzes - you know how much girls like to take quizzes. From "Are You Too Nice?" to "Are You and He a Good Match?" teens will enjoy analyzing their lives in a fun way.
Although Girltalk is recommended for girls eleven to eighteen, I would hesitate to just hand it over to an eleven-year-old. The chapters discussing love and sex are quite frank and straightforward and may not be appropriate for the younger end of the age range. The best offense in this case would be for parents to read the book first and determine what their child is old enough to handle. These "difficult-to-approach" topics could also be handled by reading the chapters together, using the book as a springboard for discussion.
Many fascinating questions are dealt with in Girltalk, quite a few of which, even had my teenage daughter asked me, I would not have known the answer to! For instance, information about the SAT I: how to sign up, how to study for it, and what to do if you don't like the score you receive. Girltalk is a great resource to have on hand.
The cover of Girltalk promises No Lectures, No Sermons, No Nonsense. This proves to be true. If you are looking for a book for your teen that provides moral guidance, Girltalk is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for clear cut answers to difficult questions, a starting point for family discussions, or you just don't know how to talk to your teen, Girltalk may be the ideal book.