Summary and book reviews of The Wonder of Girls by Michael Gurian

The Wonder of Girls

Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters

by Michael Gurian

The Wonder of Girls
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2001, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2003, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Explains what is "normal" for girls each year from birth to age 20; focusing on developmental needs; how to communicate effectively with girls; and how to cope with developmental crises.

Michael Gurian, whose national bestseller The Wonder of Boys presented a radical and enlightening view of parenting sons, now offers a groundbreaking approach to raising daughters.

In The Wonder of Girls, Gurian, himself the father of two girls, provides crucial information for fully understanding the basic nature of girls: up-to-date scientific research on female biology, hormones, and brain development and how they shape girls' interests, behavior, and relationships.

He also offers insight into a culture mired in competition between traditionalism and feminism and a new vision that provides for the equal status of girls and women yet acknowledges their nature as complex and distinct from men. He explains what is "normal" for girls each year from birth to age 20; what developmental needs girls face in each stage; how to communicate effectively with girls; and how to cope with developmental crises such as early sexuality, eating disorders, parental divorce, and more.

With personal insights, practical tips, real-life anecdotes, and accessible science, The Wonder of Girls creates a new parenting paradigm. Key elements include:

  • a nature-based approach to why girls are the way they are

  • the connection between the need for profound attachment and the physical and brain development of girls

  • support for a girl's inherent need for intimacy

  • tools to protect girls' self-esteem and emotional life

  • a new approach to girls' character development and rites of passage.

With this scientifically based developmental map of girlhood, Gurian equips parents with a comprehensive guide for raising daughters. Challenging our culture to examine and embrace a crucial piece of the puzzle missing thus far, The Wonder of Girls elevates the dialogue on parenthood.

Chapter One
BEGINNING OUR SEARCH
A NEW LOGIC OF GIRLS' LIVES

"We have to look beyond patriarchy, that's for sure. But, you know, it's starting to be that we also have to look beyond feminism too. Our daughters' lives are limited by both theories."
-- Gail Reid-Gurian, mother of two girls and family therapist



On a sunny day in June, I took my daughters to Manito Park, our neighborhood play area. Gabrielle was seven and Davita four. Beyond the normal swings and slides, the girls always enjoyed a sculpture there, built from logs and shaped like a Viking ship. On this particular day, we arrived early, and the girls, who had brought some of their stuffed animals, began to play a game involving two mothers caring for children on an ocean voyage. I offered to be part of the game if they wanted me, but then, as they enjoyed their "girl world" without me, I settled into a book on a bench at the periphery.

Their play went comfortably, filled with creative ideas and adjustments, ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Gurian's trademark is examining how biology impacts behavior. ... Gurian urges parents to use a new model in raising girls .... Expect Gurian's arguments to stir controversy and inspire thought.

Author Blurb Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism?
Finally, a sensitive and scientifically knowledgeable writer has given us a book on girls. Gurian's engrossing book is important not only for parents, but for anyone who cares for, educates, or makes policy affecting the lives of girls and women.

Author Blurb Ann F. Caron, Ed.D. author of Don't Stop Loving Me
Michael Gurian has given us a gift, an exciting book that parents of daughters will consult over and over again. Gurian leads us in a new direction as he challenges parents to understand and value our daughters' desire for attachment. Women will recognize themselves, as well as their daughters, in this thought-provoking book. Bravo, Michael.

Reader Reviews

megan

i'm just a teenager myself and when i read this book it made me realize some of these things for the first time, it's a really good book. if anyone wants to know what's going on with their daughter then this is a book that people should read.

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Wonder of Girls, try these:

  • Why Gender Matters jacket

    Why Gender Matters

    by Leonard Sax

    Published 2006

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Dr. Sax explores the psychological and physiological differences between boys and girls, and the role these differences play in how children are raised, disciplined, and educated.

  • Girls Will Be Girls jacket

    Girls Will Be Girls

    by Teresa Barker, Dr. JoAnn Deak

    Published 2003

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Looks past the "scare" stories to those that enlighten parents and enable them to empower girls. Offers a comprehensive road map to the many emotional and physical challenges girls ages six to sixteen face in today's challenging world.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.