When Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz saw that HarperCollins published an "old-fashioned" and "politically incorrect" tome called The Dangerous Book For Boys, the ladies contacted the publishing company and asked whether a version for girls was in the works. There wasn't; the women pitched one, and the Daring Book For Girls was born. (The book was first published in October.) But unlike the boy version, which is full of outdoorsy stuff like chipping flint arrowheads and skinning rabbits, Philadelphia magazine's Sandy Hingston notes that the Girls book has pages on knotting friendship bracelets, a diagram of how to do a cartwheel, and recipes for shortbread and fudge. Uh, is that what one calls daring?
It's not all slumber-party games and cootie-catchers, however. There are lists of female inventors, pirates and "modern women leaders." But Buchanan and Peskowitz acknowledge that their book is different from the Boys book, beginning with the title. "'Dangerous,'" Peskowitz says, "has a different connotation for girls. You think of 13-year-olds going off in cars with boys." Notes Hingston: "If girls were buying this book for themselves, I'd be worried. I'd feel that 50 years of rabble-rousing and bouncing off glass ceilings has been in vain." Instead, she realizes, "Well-meaning adults will hand it to girls" and the books will "wind up as relics, sitting on dusty shelves." But why is it that while boys are encouraged to make a bow and arrow, play soccer and build a treehouse, girls are learning how to put their hair up with a pencil? Why aren't girls allowed to be dangerous? And why does danger immediately bring sex to the mind of the author (a mom)?
Society: A Dangerous Book for Girls [Philadelphia]