You won’t want to miss these two titles for girls! One a re-telling of the Ugly Duckling story and the other a book to help preteen and adolescent girls work through anxiety.
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
A Mixed Bag of Books for Your Favorite Teen Girl
With graduations happening all over the country, you might need a gift idea for your favorite teen girl. You won’t want to miss these three titles from two of my favorite authors and a new favorite author. The fiction books have protagonists who model resourcefulness and strong values. The non-fiction book, a self-help book for anxious girls, is written by a Christian counselor.
By Melanie Dickerson, Thomas Nelson, June 2021, 336 pages, 12+
Compared to her older sister, Audrey has always been plain. Deep down, she wants to do something remarkable, but her older sister Maris assures her over and over again she will never amount to much. As Audrey matures, she starts to wonder if Maris speaks the truth.
As the daughter of a fourteenth-century English viscount, her chances of accomplishing something remarkable are slim—regardless of what her sister says. Girls of her status grow up and marry to solidify alliances and relationships.
When her father enters negotiations to marry her to a handsome page, Maris intentionally trips Audrey, forcing her to fall into a fire on the hearth. As her burns heal, Audrey realizes no handsome young man will ever want her hand in marriage now. Her father sends Maris away to a convent, and Audrey starts healing on the inside, too.
But when her father enters negotiations to marry Audrey to an older widower and brings Maris back from the convent, Audrey feels she has no option but to leave the safety of her father’s estate.
Edwin, Lord Dericott, has returned to his estate after narrowly escaping with his life when his stepmother caused Edwin and his six brothers to face trial for treason in London. While escaping from the Tower of London, he loses his arm. Edwin struggles with his new identity. No longer a knight and no longer able to do all he could do with two arms he struggles to make the right decisions for his tenants and his estates.
When a mysterious young woman shows up seeking refuge, he feels an instant friendship with her. As their friendship deepens, they must learn to trust each other with their brokenness in order to heal completely.
Why I Loved This Book
This Ugly Duckling retelling helped me understand the thoughts of someone who experiences emotional abuse. Dickerson treats her subjects (even the villain) with kindness and understanding. Edwin models how to come alongside someone who suffers the effects of emotional abuse.
My junior-high and high-school students love Melanie Dickerson’s books.
By Carrie Turansky, Multnomah, June 8, 2021, 368 pages, 12+
At the tender age of eight, Grace McAlister and two of her siblings get put on an orphan ship in 1909 and end up in Canada. The youngest of her family, Grace finds herself separated from her twin siblings and adopted by a wealthy family.
Ten years later, she feels unsettled by the trajectory her parents have in mind for her life. Vague longings for home and the family she remembers plague her life. She doesn’t feel ready to settle down, especially with the questions about her birth family. But her adopted parents refuse to answer her questions. When Grace stumbles upon an old trunk in the attic, memories come flooding back. When two young men find their way to her parlor, Grace makes a move no one expects.
Garth McAlister survived his apprenticeship on a farm under a harsh master. The friendship with fellow Home Orphan Emma Lafferty helped make his years endurable. After serving for Canada in the Great War, Garth can’t wait to return to Canada and reunite with Emma—the girl he’s promised his heart to. But Emma’s letter mysteriously stopped, and no one knows her whereabouts.
In this gripping sequel to No Ocean Too Wide, readers find out what happened to the youngest McAlister sibling and catch up on Laura and Katie’s stories.
What I Loved About this Book
Turansky fills her books with history, mystery, and well-rounded characters readers will fall in love with. The author explores the stigma attached to British Home Children (and adopted children in general) during the time period and brings up themes of where our true identity lies.
Brave: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety
By Sissy Goff, Bethany House Publishers, February 2021, 192 pages.
This is the book I wish I could have bought when my girls struggled through their teen years. Aimed at girls 13-18, Brave walks girls through worry and anxiety in a practical, no-nonsense way.
Sissy Goff, a licensed professional counselor with training to act as a mental health provider, sets a warm and confiding tone from the first page. She makes sure to explain any big terms or words she uses through the book and shows her respect for the intelligence of her audience by never speaking down to the reader.
If you have a daughter, especially one who seems like a worrier, you need to gift her this book. Purchasing the companion book (also by Goff), Raising Worry-Free Girls, would help, too.
Goff guides readers through the scientific reasons why we worry and what happens when we don’t learn to handle our worries in a productive way. She helps teens understand their emotions and gives strategies for processing them. Goff, a Christian, also explores how faith can play an important part in overcoming worry and anxiety.
Her practical advice and persistent cheerleading leave the reader feeling as if she can, indeed, learn the important skills to handle worry and anxiety before they take over her life.
Brave includes workbook pages for girls to record their feelings and answers to important questions, as well as practical exercises based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). If you have a high-achieving, anxious daughter, you won’t want to miss this title.New releases teen girls will love from @melanieauthor, @carrieturansky, and Sissy Goff. #amreading #bookreviews Click To Tweet