5 Minutes for Books: Taking Care of Your Girls

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It’s that time again. In October of each year the color is pink and we think about our girls a lot more than we usually do.

Because I have a pre-pubescent tween daughter in my house, I’ve actually been thinking a lot more about them in general. This summer we shopped for bras. They are much less bra-like than I remember my training bras being (Does anyone else remember those triangles covered with the lace mesh type material with the pink rosette in the middle?). They are really just like a smaller more bra-like cami. She needed these for an extra layer of coverage and for the social necessity of changing for gym in her new intermediate school, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that before too long, we might be moving towards cups.

I say that to say that when I got a copy of Taking Care of Your Girls: A Guide to Breast Health for Girls, Teens, and In-Betweens, I was interested. I wanted to learn about what I should tell her, what she might want to know, and honestly, I thought that I might learn some stuff about breast health, too, which is more on my mind as I near forty.

It didn’t really teach me much that I need to know at my age. It’s not that kind of book. This book is formatted in the way that I believe is best for non-fiction books for or about tweens and teens: It is full of quotes and questions from the target group, and it is written by a mother-daughter team — breast-health doctor Marisa C. Weiss and her college daughter Isabel Friedman. It’s the perfect combination. Weiss gives the facts straight and Weiss fills them in with a real girl’s reaction to the facts by sharing her own stories, those of her younger cousin, or those of the many girls who were interviewed for this book.

Topics covered include

  • breast development
  • breast size and shape (diagrams included!)
  • noticing and checking from breast changes
  • stretch marks, breakouts, and rashes
  • self-image and teasing
  • bras
  • dress to express
  • and even padded bras and surgery to change your size

In reading this book, you won’t learn about the best diet to ward off breast cancer (although a general diet and lifestyle facts that reduce the risk), or when exactly you should get that baseline mammogram, but if you have a daughter from age eight or nine on up through young adult, you will find out what she is wondering about her breasts. After reading it yourself, you can pass it on to her to read, or share with her in bits and chunks.

We have 5 copies of Taking Care of Your Girls, to give away to U.S. or Canadian residents. Leave a comment here to enter. I’ll announce the winners in next week’s column.

The winners of last week’s book The Vegan Lunch Box are #45 Mia J. and #55 Diane G.

And since the Harry Potter 10th anniversary giveaway is now over, I can announce those winners as well:

The grand prize winner of a complete set of the Harry Potter books in hardcover along with the 10th anniversary edition of the Sorcerer’s Stone is #11 Darla Kidder.

And the four winners of the 10th anniversary edition of the Sorcerer’s Stone are
#160 Cythia Mccoy
#199 Mama Zen
#243 Sylvia
#32 Debbie


  1. says

    I would love to give this book to my teen daughter. I think it’ll be good for her to read for herself and for her beginning knowledge for her preparation as a pediatrician… she’ll have something to recommend to her patients! :)

  2. says

    Hi! Fabulous idea for a book. I could use all the helpful information possible… I have two daughters. My 8 YO is just beginning to ask more questions about bras. I’ve still got a bit of time with my 3 YO though!

  3. zukppr says

    :::sigh::: the timing of this one couldn’t be more appropriate for us. We’ve entered the stage where the girls are emerging. Where has the time gone?

  4. Mary Marlatt says

    This would be a great resource for our church “Day of Beauty” (inside & out) for tween and teen girls.

  5. Martha C says

    I would have loved this book a few years ago. I am sad to say that she has caught up with my cup size already at 13! That’s just my luck!

  6. Tanya Moyer says

    This would be a great book to read with my oldest daughter. Great giveaway – thanks for offering!

  7. Angie P. says

    I’ve got a daughter just at that age, so I’d love to get an idea of what’s going through her mind about these body changes. She’s not sharing when I ask!

  8. Virginia Murr says

    This is such a good idea for a book! Kudos to the authors — and to you (the owners of the site) for pointing it out. Breasts are an integral part of growing up, and it is so important that our young girls know how to take care of them. I have two girls myself, and sometimes it is better for “someone else” (a book) to tell them the details that they may be too shy to ask about, or details that us moms may not think to include.

  9. Shaun Davis says

    I have a fifteen-year-old daughter. My wife and I really could use the help in talking to her about these things. Glad I discovered this book! Great prize!!!

  10. Julie W. says

    I’d love to win. With 3 girls right in a row I am a little worried about how to get this all out in the open comfortably.

  11. Becky Grayson says

    I would love to win this for my son and DIL who have two girls. I only raised boys but we raised them to ask any and all questions no matter if they thought it was a dumb question or not because no question is dumb.

    Thanks for the great contest.

  12. Amy says

    I’ve got 5 wonderful girls ranging in ages from 15 yrs to 5 weeks and this would be a great book to share with each of them. I actually had a guy come up to me the other day while I was sitting on a bench nursing the 5 week old and I swear his eyes never made it past the boobs. He stopped just briefly, said “Nice girls” and walked away! In today’s day and age, nothing surprises me anymore but this stunned me at first and then absolutely made me laugh.

  13. Jennifer C says

    What a great book! I would love to win a copy for my daughter – no “girls” yet, but time goes so quickly…

  14. Karen Everrett says

    Being the mom/stepmom of 4 girls ages, this book would be a way to ease into talks with the stepdaughters.


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