Girling Up by Mayim Bialik

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Girling Up by Mayim Bialik

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A teen growing-up book that is a bit different from any others out there, this is an easy read worth a look to support (or avoid!) some of those difficult conversations.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 192 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Philomel Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0399548604

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This book arrived on my desk to cries of Amy Farrah Fowler's written a book? or No, that's Blossom depending on your generation. Mayim Bialik is or was both, of course, but in addition to being a well-known sitcom actress she is also a neuroscientist (and the only PhD on The Big Bang Theory, except for the characters). Aimed at teenagers, this book focuses on growing up as a girl, or Girling up if you will, and what it means to transition from school girl to grown up, via that hideous detour of teenage years.

There are many books on how your body works, and I had a great Usborne one which I knew by heart when I was about 11, but this is different because although it includes the physical and biological changes, it goes beyond that and also encompasses topics such as how the brain works and how we learn, the pros and cons of university and post-grad education, how we fall in love, how we cope with stress and challenges and why what we do matters. There are of course some of the more standard superficial views too, but they are given a scientific wrap around so when the book talks about diets and body image, it also talks about eating disorders and healthy eating, and what it means to be vegetarian or vegan (as the author is) for example.

It's a very easy to read book for the pre-teen to teen audience and there's nothing too scary or out there. Bialik talks about how, as a child, her parents refused to let her watch certain shows or films because they deemed them inappropriate. In the same way, I doubt parents would object to the content of this book because it is sensible and factual and unlikely to rile in the way Teen Vogue's recent article on Anal Sex did.

The book is peppered with anecdotes from the author's life including her experience growing up on television, but although she often talks about how she did things, it's made painstakingly clear that you might choose to do things in a different way, and that's ok too. There's a slight American focus to the book – it talks about Community Colleges for example – but nothing that any self-respecting teen absorbed with American TV shows or novels will struggle to understand.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review. It is as good, if not better, than any other growing up book I've come across, and adds a different slant which made it fresh and interesting. If you think your girls aren't quite old enough for this one, Think Pink by Lisa Clark and the other books in the Lola Love series are also worth a look.

Buy Girling Up by Mayim Bialik at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Girling Up by Mayim Bialik at

Buy Girling Up by Mayim Bialik at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Girling Up by Mayim Bialik at


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