Hot on the heels of the best-selling "The Dangerous Book for Boys" that showed boys how to get off the couch and skip stones and make water bombs comes an equivalent for girls, with tips on how to jump rope, be a spy and change a tire.
U.S. authors Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, who wrote "The Daring Book for Girls" being released in the United States this week and Britain next February, said girls were becoming adults too fast, be it the fault of iPods, cell phones, online networking, or pressure at school."
"Girlhood lasts such a short time now and has become high-pressured and competitive, from school to dieting. We wanted to interrupt that and say girlhood can be fun and last longer," Peskowitz, who has two daughters, told Reuters.
"Really, 13 is not the new 25. We should nourish girlhood."
The handbook, with a turquoise cover and silver lettering, was designed to look similar and be a companion book to the popular boy’s book by Conn and Hal Iggulden.
But Buchanan said they chose to go for daring rather than dangerous in the title and took a more modern approach rather than just focusing on age-old pastimes.
"Daring is an attitude, a feeling of fun, following your dreams and getting into the game," said Buchanan, a former concert pianist who has a son and a daughter.
"It brings up the old traditions of girlhood but is also forward thinking and speaks to girls now," said Peskowitz. a professor who also wrote "The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars."
The authors said advice in the book ranges from how to do five powerhouse karate moves and how to paddle a canoe to how to negotiate a salary, but the overriding message is to encourage the spirit of exploration and adventure.
"It’s not a red state and blue state book. It is not about politics or ideology. It is about the girls," said Buchanan.
Peskowitz said so many books for girls in the 8 to 14 year old age group focused on their bodies, sexuality and puberty when girls were really craving something smart and interesting, and stories about real women who were successful.
Of the 100 topics selected for the 280-page book, one was saved to address the topic of boys — but on one page only.
Their main advice is to treat boys like any friend and not as a different species — or one option is to "ignore them until you (and them) are 19. Or 20. Or 25."
"Girls get so many mixed messages about how to be girl, how to relate to boys, when to relate to boys, that to leave it out would be to ignore something that is on their minds so we wrote what we would tell our daughters," said Peskowitz.