Ahhh…fresh off of Winter Break and my lucky tail gets an extended weekend for Snooooooowwwmagedddddooooonnnnn 2017! I know, I know, we’ll have to make it up, but I am a big fan of enjoying it while it lasts and paying the piper later. And enjoy I have. Lucky ducky me, I got some books from Free Spirit Publishing, my favoritest place to get books for work and inspiration, right at the end of last week! As part of the Advisory Board, Free Publishing periodically thanks us with book choices and I cannot get enough (their blog is also awesome with so much info and insight they will win you over with just that)! Anywho, I received the books below and have not been able to put them down!
I recommend each and every book I get from Free Spirit, so I suppose this is overkill, but I recommend all three of these as necessities of a Middle School counselor’s box of tricks. The Respect: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Respect and Dealing When Your Line is Crossed book is ridiculously amazing, and I would marry it if it were legal and I was not already married. For real. It really speaks to young woman and is incredibly empowering in a super low-key classy way.
I started to think about how I wanted all of my babies to be able to read this book. In particular, how great it would be to have a girl’s group (girls’ group?) using the book as a guide to each session. I have seen some really great girl’s groups that are centered around confidence and character building, but I find that they are often created for the girl who needs a confidence boost and place to exercise socialization and meeting friends. Though there’s definately a place for that, sometimes it starts to feel marginalizing, as if all girls are broken and need to recognize how pretty, smart, and valuable they are. But what about girls who are confident (quiet does not equal a lack of confidence), but don’t know how to use that confidence? What about teaching strong young women how to use their stories and their amazing characters to walk around and own the place, and become power-house communicators and mountain-movers? This book seriously does just that. Though there is some reflection on experiences past, it avoids revictimizing them, but instead uses those barriers to further empower themselves. It tackles media, social perceptions, body image, relationships (WITHOUT the whole “mean girls” stereotype that my girls know they ARE NOT allowed to say in my office), and so much more in such a real way. There is a short chapter on sex (I think it’s super tastefully done) which I think is a valuable message for girls, but borders on taking over where parents have the right to keep at their own pace. But paper is made to be paper-clipped, so I don’t think it’s a problem with sharing the book.
My initial thought was to buy 15 copies of the book to have at the school to run groups with. Then I remembered I work for a middle school and this would blow our entire budget for the year that was already half-way spent. Impossibility. And then I remembered the awesome websites one of my besties has had great success with: Donor’s Choose! I decided to make a page and put it out there to see if I could get some books this way. I was WWWAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY easier than I thought it would be, and I am bummed I haven’t used it sooner (as she points out all the time). So here it is, check it out after you’ve spent hours dreaming on the Free Spirit catalog!