Savvy girls will love the Smart Girl’s Guide series from American Girl. Everything connected to American Girl is top quality, and the Smart Girl’s Guides are no exception. I highly recommend them for classroom use and feel they would be excellent for the school psychologists and social worker’s lending library.
Titles abound, but the first one I read was A Smart Girl’s Guide to Knowing What to Say: Finding the Words to Fit Any Situation.
The books are really fun, with lots of pictures and whitespace, but ample content. The books are easy on the eyes and relaxing to read.
…Knowing What to Say really does cover any situation. Here are the subsections:
Small Talk (I love “25 things to say after ’hi’”)
Asking for What You Want
Making It Right
Saying the Right Thing
Illustrations show students the importance of posture, body language, and facial expressions in communication. That way, girls can make sure their nonverbal signals are on par their newfound conversational prowess. The book is full of quizzes, simple exercises, and demonstrations.
The American Girl books are excellent, and I encourage my boys to read the fiction series. However, these Smart Girl’s books are way too girly for boys to read with any dignity during class. Even reading them at home is risky–the wrong kid finds out, and the boy’s rep takes a dive.
Not to worry: as a teacher, you can read the books, then teach students these tips. (Just don’t mention your source.) If you’re like me, you will find the books relaxing and fun to read. You will be positively itching to share the information with students.
There are many books in the series. Enjoy Smart Girl’s Guides to…
Liking Herself, Even on the Bad Days
Her Parents’ Divorce: How to Land on Your Feet When Your World Turns Upside Down (American Girl)
Knowing What to Say
Starting Middle School
Staying Home Alone
Surviving Tricky, Sticky, Icky Situations
Understanding Her Family
The books retail for $9.95 each*. A smart teacher will try to get the school library fund to pay for the series, or apply for a grant—from an outside source or from the PTSO. I really think many schools would be better for owning these books.
*They run a little cheaper at bookstores: most are about $8.95 on Amazon