Girls Only: How to Survive Anything!

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Girls Only: How to Survive Anything!
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 01, 2012
ISBN
978-0545430951
Buy This Book
      
A new graphic novel from the team that brought you the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Best at Everything series!

Unlike those other books for girls that are a little too daring, GIRLS ONLY: HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING is the perfect guide. In addition to the mix of humor and helpfulness, the fresh graphic style of art makes this book stand out from all the others. With practical, funny, and sometimes ridiculous how-tos (like how to deal with a clothes crisis, teach your cat to sit, and spot an alien in your family) girls are going to love getting prepared for just about anything!

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Missed the Mark
(Updated: June 22, 2012)
Overall rating
 
1.7
Writing Style
 
1.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
3.0
Learning Value
 
1.0
Nevermind the picture on the cover that shows an intrepid girl swinging through a jungle on a vine. The real message lying inside the book is that girls are shy, fashion-conscious, non-adventurous types. I guess when Scholastic said in the book’s description that this is "unlike those other books for girls that are a little too daring ..." that should be all the red flag a reader needs to know better than to buy this book. It's insulting. The boy's book has chapters on surviving quicksand and other outdoor things. The girl's book has chapters on how to pick the perfect pair of sunglasses and how to teach your cat to sit.

Mix it up, Scholastic. Not every boy wants to take on an avalanche. Not every girl worries about the perfect accessory to her outfit. Do you think Amelia Earhart spent time teaching her cat to sit as she was planning to fly around the world? Was Nellie Bly worried about the perfect fashion accessories when in the Victorian age she traveled around the world in less than 80 days? I’m betting Joan of Arc, Mother Theresa, and Rosa Parks were all spectacularly unconcerned with how to spot a “frenemy” as they stepped forward to change the course of history.

Do you REALLY want teach a girl how to survive anything? Show her that being confident in herself and the interests and skills that are uniquely hers is the best ticket to a fulfilled life. Encourage her to set her goals high and then go for it. Introduce her to the amazing line up of brave, talented, incredible women who’ve dared to put their own stamp on the world. If she chooses to approach her destiny wearing the perfect pair of sunglasses, that’s up to her. But at least respect the female gender enough to communicate that the only limits to what we can do are those we impose on ourselves.

As a note, Scholastic noted the controversy over this title and said it would pull all copies of the books. As of today, however, the book is still being sold on Amazon.
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Drama!
(Updated: June 13, 2012)
Overall rating
 
1.7
Writing Style
 
2.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
2.0
Learning Value
 
1.0
I heard about the drama surrounding this book before actually getting to read it. Google to your heart's content, but the gist is that Scholastic published the "How To Survive Anything" series targeted separately towards boys and girls. I bet you can guess which sex got chapters entitled, "How to Survive Quicksand," "How to Survive a Polar Bear Attack," and "How to Survive an Avalanche," as opposed to who got "How to Teach Your Cat to Sit" and "How to Pick the Perfect Sunglasses." Yeah, this doesn't look, Scholastic.

There are some skills that would be useful to both sexes, such as speech making, surviving shyness, and showing you're sorry. Unfortunately, it is assumed that only females need to survive these things. It's insulting and sexist to both boys and girls.

Scholastic has written a tepid response, stating, "Many readers have expressed concerns about our How to Survive Anything titles, and we want to thank you for your passionate responses. The two titles have had very limited distribution to date, and no further copies will be made available." Both books are still being sold on the Scholastic website.
Good Points
The illustrations feature diverse characters
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