Saturday 13 October 2012

287. Secret Girls' Business by Maggie Hamilton

Secret Girls’ Business by Maggie Hamilton
Published September 2012 Viking

From the publisher:
Secret Girls' Business will put the individuality and creative spark back into your life. Craft, stories, fashion tips, recipes and helpful advice will inspire you to develop your artistry, discover different cultures, experiment with style and revel in the joys of friends and family. 

I have said more than once this year, that I wasn't the intended audience for the book I was reading.  This is another such book.  What I will say is that I wish I had read something like this when I was a teenage girl.  In fact, even as an adult, there are things in this book that I found interesting and inspiring.

What I liked most is the way that its not full of the things you will often find in this type of girly book.  It's not full of manicure and makeup hints, or tips on how to make a boy like you.  This book is about being happy with yourself, and finding your 'style'. 

Being a ‘judge a book by its cover person’ I loved this book before I opened it.  Luckily I wasn’t disappointed when I did open it and read it.  This book is like a scrap book, put together by your Nan, Mum, Cool Aunties and friends.  The book is not set out with designated chapters, at the front there is a ‘key to contents’ which shows the different areas that are covered in the book.  There’s Career’s and Volunteering, Food, Grandma Magic, Life & Love, Fashion and Craft & Creativity.

The careers and volunteering pages show young girls telling their stories about where and why they have volunteered and also older women with interesting jobs (police detectives, pilots and even a deception researcher!), sharing their experiences.

The food pages have great recipes, including impossible quiche, perfect egg sandwiches and ‘the best hot chocolate in the world’.  The Grandma Magic bits are probably my favourite because they include all manner of tit bits, from Stain Removal (candle wax, nail polish, pen) to how to deal with wet shoes and how to look after your woollens.

Life & Love covers a lot of the more serious stuff.  There’s advice on bullying, bad boys, family break-ups, friendship, manner, sexual assault, Internet safety, to name just a few.  I am not sure what teenage girls will make of the tone of these pages, but I think they come across well, not to preachy.  As I said earlier, it sounds like your Mum or Auntie giving you advice.

The Fashion and Craft & Creativity pages are all about the joys of vintage, the ultimate in re-use and recycle.  There is fashion advice on how to best dress for your body type, and lots of interviews with girls and young women, talking about their style inspirations.  There’s crafty things to make for your bedroom, brooches and necklaces to wear, invitations and great gift wrapping ideas, there’s even instructions on how to turn an old long sleeved t-shirt into a skirt and a scarf.

I think this book is great, and I think most teenage girls would love it, as there really is something in it for everyone.  The index in the back of the book is broken down into the separate sections, so it’s easy to go straight whichever bit takes your fancy.

Who will like this book: Girls age 14+
Read it if you like: all things vintage

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