Girls Speak Out: Finding Your True Self

Andrea Johnston, Author, Gloria Steinem, Introduction by
Andrea Johnston, Author, Gloria Steinem, Introduction by Scholastic $17.95 (210p) ISBN 978-0-590-89795-2
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Hardcover - 208 pages - 978-0-590-13402-6
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-590-89796-9
Prebound-Other - 210 pages - 978-0-606-16591-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-16941-7
Prebound-Sewn - 230 pages - 978-1-4177-0049-3
Paperback - 230 pages - 978-1-58761-241-1
Prebound-Glued - 230 pages - 978-0-606-33701-4
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Transposing her nationwide series of girls' personal growth workshops to book form, activist educator Johnston aims for the casual, questioning tone of an adult who really listens to children. Sojourner Truth and bell hooks changed their names to reflect who they were inside, she tells her group participants; ""What new name would you choose?"" On the page, this and other attempts to duplicate workshop interactions lose their force. More inspiring are excerpts from feminist fiction by Alice Walker, Kyoko Mori and Sandra Cisneros, among others. Writings by workshop participants are interspersed throughout, but their sincere self-affirmations often read like repetitive cliches: ""You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else."" Johnston's girls improvise a talk show, examine prehistoric artifacts representing women and play a game called ""Tunnels"" which simulates rebirth, but the exuberance that must infuse the workshops is sadly lacking in print. This book is probably best reserved for feminist adults who wish to learn techniques for conducting workshops of their own. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 10-up. (Feb.)
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