“A solid resource for parents and educators” (Kirkus Reviews), Brave Girls is an empowering guide to cultivating confident, passionate, and powerful young leaders during the most formative stage of life: the middle school years.
After years of research as a psychologist and consultant for women struggling in the professional world, Stacey Radin made a groundbreaking realization: women who become successful leaders learn how to do so in the middle grades—the most formative stage in a girl’s development and self-identification. Drawing on her own experience with Unleashed, an after-school program dedicated to empowering girls through puppy rescue, Radin has written Brave Girls—the ultimate guidebook for anyone who wants to help girls become confident, passionate, and powerful leaders.
At a pivotal time in their lives, girls learn to advocate for others, think critically, and, most importantly, gain confidence in their ability to create change. Perfect for “anyone concerned with girls and women’s lives” (New York Times bestselling author Michael Gurian), Brave Girls shows how contributing to one cause can shape a leader for life while reducing the hazards of middle school—bullying, excessive competition, fear of speaking out—and identifying the patterns that truly make a difference. If we take initiative early enough, we can inspire today’s girls to become the next generation of strong, enthusiastic, and fulfilled leaders in all areas of society.
Psychologist Radin's vision for equipping young women with leadership skills amounts to an extended promotional brochure for Unleashed, her 12-week after-school program that teaches middle school girls "social justice via animal rights." Building on the central insight that cultivating bravery in preadolescents means teaching them to identify and voice their own values, opinions, and personal strengths, the book aims to alleviate the "psychological distress" accompanying a time of rapid emotional and physical maturation. Throughout the book, Radin provides short testimonials from former Unleashed members testifying to the program's success in "tapping into girls' passion at a formative age profoundly shape their experiences of power and leadership." The articulation of precisely how to achieve Radin's worthy goals, however, is diffused by broad generalizations about "gender norms and stereotypes" and language imbued with the cheerfully ambitious yet vague tone of the life coach and leadership consultant. Meanwhile, transferable advice for parents, teachers, and coaches appears only in the small "power boosts" concluding each chapter. Readers may be inspired by Radin's desire to aid women in "reshaping their world into one that is just, humane, and mindful," even if the suggestions she offers add up to only a partial solution.