Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Finding Your Girl Squad by Dr Angharad Rudkin and Ruth Fitzgerald Review by Shirley-Anne McMillan

I've just finished reading this lovely book by Dr Angharad Rudkin and Ruth Fitzgerald and I wanted to say a few words about it. My first thought on the title (which is, in full, 'Finding Your Girl Squad - Making and Keeping Friends Who Love You for You') was that we need an adult version of this book. Loneliness seems to be an increasingly problem in society generally. I don't know very many people who haven't struggled, in this age of hyper-connectivity, to, well, connect. There is so much talk about gangs and 'finding your tribe', so why is it so difficult to do?

Anyway, this book isn't for old people like me, it's for young girls, probably aged around 9 to early teens. It's written in a style which is very familiar to me as I'm really fond of Ruth Fitzgerald's hilariously knowing Emily Sparkes series for the same age of reader. Finding Your Girl Squad is similarly funny and written in a style which expertly spans that difficult period between Primary and Secondary school where you don't want a book that's too 'childish' or to too difficult to understand. It has elements of cartoon/comic book, but also agony-aunt style case studies which tackle issues like how to deal with changes in your friendship group as you get older, and what we mean by our 'real selves'.

I liked the emphasis on individuality as well as acknowledging the need for belonging and I loved how the writers addressed the unifying factor of  everyone's weirdness, promising the 'super psychology secrets!'  which can help young people cope with the intricacies of relationships which they will encounter but might have trouble processing.

I can see this book being helpful for use by parents and teachers as well as directly helping young people, but I think it will also have adult readers who are sneaking a peek for themselves as well, and there's nothing wrong with that.

This auld woman approves.

1 comment:

Moira Butterfield said...

This sounds great! I've recommended it instantly to people I think will benefit!