|I will start by saying that I do not have children and am not planning to have children anytime soon. However, I think this is a very helpful and beneficial way of understanding teen culture and how to empower young girls.
From what I have gathered from the negative reviews this book has received, I can basically tell you who would not like this book. If you are a parent who wants to control your daughter and tell her all the things she can't do because you said so, this is not the book for you, unless you are open to changing that viewpoint.
Wiseman's technique is to help young women develop the necessary confidence and decision-making skills needed in order to maneuver through adolescence and become a successful adult. This involves being open and understanding to your daughter's world in a way that is accepting and non-judgmental. Obviously, if you think parenting is all about having control over your daughter, this will not work for you, but I think that this technique is critical to raising young girls who feel confident in making decisions based on their own system of values, a skill I myself wish I had developed more as a teenager.
The book covers many topics such as cliques, fights, sex, alcohol, and parties, and tips for how to understand what your daughter is going through and the approach to take in order to provide your daughter will a support system she can trust. While some of the information may be outdated (references to pagers and beepers), the overall technique is still applicable.
Included are quotes from young women and girls that Wiseman has worked with to demonstrate how some teenagers view their world as well as what daughters wish their parents knew and wish their parents had done.
There are also some discussions of race, religion, and sexual orientation and how these interconnections can affect girls, although most of the information appears geared toward heterosexual, middle-class girls from two-parent households.
Some reviewers have suggested to just watch the movie, Mean Girls, which is a great movie, but doesn't really give you much insight of what to do as a parent or educator. So if the perspective seems like something you would want to learn more about, I suggest checking out the book. I think Wiseman gives useful information on how to support and teach girls to build up the skills they need to become confident individuals.