7 Books to Read If You’re Raising a Daughter

GPS Blog
If you’re raising a girl, add these books to your reading list. Each delivers tips and insights into how girls are different and how parents can best guide them. These celebrated authors know best—when we understand girls’ strengths, we can help them succeed in the classroom and in life. 

Untangled | Lisa Damour 
If you follow GPS, you’ve heard of Lisa Damour, Ph.D., an expert on girls who has shared her guidance with the GPS community on multiple occasions. In her first book dedicated to guiding parents through their girl’s adolescence, Damour shares tools and knowledge for navigating the seven transitions into adulthood, including joining a new tribe, dealing with authority, and entering the romantic world. This is an excellent guide—whether you have a young daughter, adolescent, or teen—and sheds light on understanding your girl as she develops into a young woman. 

Pink Brain, Blue Brain | Lise Eliot
Neuroscientist Lise Eliot, Ph.D., writes that behavior and differences in development, not just brain makeup, can be distinguished between boys and girls. She uncovers damaging gender stereotypes and gives parents a guide to help children go beyond their comfort zones. Eliot encourages readers to understand how gender differences emerge instead of accepting them as fixed facts.

The Wonder of Girls| Michael Gurian
In this girl-specific book, Michael Gurian, who has been a guest on campus at GPS, presents data based on characteristics of girls’ brains and bodies and addresses these differences through the lens of common adolescent challenges. Guardian describes hormonal differences, a girl’s unique biochemistry, and the “nature-based” approach to understanding women and girls. Gurian also wrote The Minds of Boys.

Nurture the Nature | Michael Gurian
Michael Gurian writes about 10 steps for nurturing the nature of your baby and how parents can best support their children through developmental stages. The author encourages parents to examine their child as an individual with a unique personality, not a blank slate to be filled. 

Same, Different, Equal | Rosemary Salomone
In her sweeping book, law professor Rosemary Salomone digs in to the history and development of single-sex schools and provides a careful analysis of arguments supporting both single-sex and mixed-sex schools, as well as the impact of gender equity related to Title IX. She presents both the potential benefits and challenges of single-sex schools and encourages educators to closely consider the educational effects of these environments. 

Why Gender Matters | Leonard Sax
Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D., makes the case for an environment where girls can thrive. In this book he explores what he interprets as key differences in female and male brains and how those differences influence children’s lives, from aggression and risk to discipline. Read Girls on the Edge for a more in-depth look at girls’ identities and obsessions.

The Confidence Code for Girls | Claire Shipman and Katty Kay
Authors and journalists Claire Shipman and Katty Kay created this book to address girls facing a self-esteem crisis. A handbook written for girls and their parents, this engaging book provides a framework for understanding confidence and how it can help girls grow. Ideal for tween girls, the text includes graphic illustrations, comics and quizzes to engage girls. With an overarching message of empowerment, authors provide insightful strategies for today’s female tweens. Read along with your tween or teen for conversation starters at home and read The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know as a parent guide.

As parents seek to know and best understand their child, development experts, scientists, and researchers can provide guidance. As a school designed around everything that’s best for girls, Girls Preparatory School and its leaders and educators remain on the forefront of knowledge and research for how girls learn and the long-term value of an all-girls education.