Books for Adults About Raising Strong Girls

Studies have shown that as girls approach adolescence, their brave, forthright child selves disappear, to be replaced by young women who are unsure of themselves and who hesitate to take the lead.

For example, one of the first studies, Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America, was done by the American Association of University Women:

"A nationwide poll of students ages 9-15, Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America (1991) examines the impact of gender on self-esteem, career aspirations, educational experiences, and interest in math and science. The study found that as girls reach adolescence, they experience a significantly greater drop in self-esteem than boys experience. The poll also confirms a growing body of research that indicates girls are systematically, if unintentionally, discouraged from a wide range of academic pursuits--particularly in math and science. This gap in self-esteem and drop in girls' interest in math and science have devastating consequences for the future of girls and the future of the nation." (quoted from the AAUW web site:

The following list of books gives information about this alarming trend, as well as suggestions for what parents and teachers can do to help girls maintain their self-esteem.

You can buy these books directly from this site. Just click on the title of your choice and put the book in your shopping cart. Then click the "back" button on your browser to get back to this page and continue shopping. When you've selected your final title, follow the instructions to pay for your books and have them shipped to you (or to a gift address).

The AAUW Report: How Schools Shortchange Girls by the American Association of University Women

Gender Gaps: Where Schools Still Fail Our Children by the American Association of University Women

Girls Will be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters by JoAnn Deak

Surviving Ophelia: Mothers Share Their Wisdom in Navigating the Tumultuous Teenage Years by Cheryl Dellasega

The Mother-Daughter Book Club: How Ten Busy Mothers and Daughters Came Together to Talk, Laugh and Learn Through Their Love of Reading by Shireen Dodson and Teresa Barker

Raising Strong Daughters by Jeanette Gadeberg

Brave New Girls: Creative Ideas to Help Girls be Confident, Healthy and Happy by Jeanette Gadeberg

200 Ways to Raise a Girl's Self-Esteem by Will Glennon

How to Say it to Girls: Communicating with your Growing Daughter by Nancy Gruver

Raising Confident Girls: 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers by Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer

Dads and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand and Support Your Daughter When She's Growing Up So Fast by Joe Kelly

Against the Tide: Pro-Feminist Men in the United States, 1776-1990, a Documentary History, by Kimmel and Mosmiller
A great book for learning about men who supported women's rights throughout U.S. history.

Everyday Ways to Raise Smart, Strong, Confident Girls: Successful Teens Tell Us What Works by Barbara Littman

Growing a Girl: Seven Strategies for Raising a Strong, Spirited Daughter by Barbara Mackoff

Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher
The best-seller, written by a psychologist, about girls' unique problems and solutions.

Failing at Fairness: How America's Schools Cheat Girls, by Myra and David Sadker
Written by two educators who spent years researching how schools and teachers inadvertently send the message that girls are less important than boys, this book is a must-read for teachers and parents.

Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman

This list was compiled by Jyotsna Sreenivasan -- jyotsna64 [at], to whom you can send questions, comments, suggestions, etc.

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