How to Be a Difficult Bitch
Claim Your Power, Ditch the Haters, and Feel Good Doing It
by Halley Bondy; Mary C. Fernandez; Zara Hanawalt; Sharon Lynn Pruitt-Young
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Pub Date 05 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2022
Lerner Publishing Group, Zest Books ™
A Note From the Publisher
Title also available as library bound for $37.32 (ISBN 9781541586741).
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 33 members
Book reviewed through Netgalley <3
Where was this book when I was a young Difficult B? I would have loved it then and I do love it now!
Very visually appealing with real world practical advice.
The section on boundaries is VITALLLLLLLLL
This will be a personal purchase for my daughters and I am pretty sure my library staff will also love it.
With sporadically added notes from the inclusive co-authors and beautiful chapter introduction images, this book was easy to navigate while steering clear of cis/hetero-normative stereotyping. Although intended for a younger audience (high school situations are frequently used as examples), this book has advice and information that could be useful for "bitches" of all ages and types.
OMG I wish this book had existed when I was entering high school. As it is, even it's 30 years later, I still found this an incredibly emotional read.
Teens, read this. Parents, read this too. The term "bitch" is used in its most empowered and empowering form, and there's a discussion early on about the different uses (disparaging and not) of the term. I admit I'm not a huge fan of the word "bitch," but there's power in coopting disparaging terms to defang them. In the end, it all serves young people's drive to advocate for themselves in areas of life where they may not feel like they have a ton of control. This includes school, friendships, extra-curriculars, work/money, relationships, etc. There's a primer on money management, a checklist of manipulative relationships, a great how-to on setting good boundaries with friends who may or may not realize they're stepping on your toes, and so on.
I clicked the "children" tag because I don't think it's too mature for more precocious 8th graders. At least, back in my day we were shedding our innocence as quickly as we could. OTOH, I read Cujo when I was 12, so ymmv.
Appropriate for girls, boys, trans kids, kids with disabilities, able bodied kids, queer kids, straight kids, athletic kids, theatre kids, math kids, economics kids, gifted/talented kids, regular-class kids, and older humans of all types. If you're a human who will ever have to live in society and deal with other humans, this is worth a read.
Pros: The title of this book grabbed my attention immediately—I love how it gives power to a word that is often an insult and instead in this book means “powerhouse”! Being a powerhouse is a fantastic thing to aspire to (and achieve)!
Although I do not have any girls in my life, I do serve as a mentor to college-aged women and think many of the lessons in this book apply to them (and really to girls and women of all ages). I’m in my mid-30s and found this book full of reminders that I need when navigating the world (e.g., don’t apologize all the time). I love that this book includes chapters on finances, health, and activism—not just about school, appearance, and friends—and that it assumes girls are well-rounded. I also appreciate that this book discusses safety in many forms (bodily, mental, online), mental health, rights in public schools, leadership, and privilege. In short, this book is wonderfully practical and progressive.
After writing that paragraph, I realized that I focused entirely on girls and women when this book is inclusive of all genders and pronouns. I loved that in the introduction, the four authors introduced themselves to the readers so that readers know who is giving them advice. Knowing that a cis white woman wasn’t the only author but that she was joined by women of different nationalities, races, abilities, educations, etc added so much to this book. The illustrations in this book are also wonderfully inclusive.
I think this book would make a fantastic book club book for teenagers. The hypotheticals and “shoulda coulda woulda” sections throughout would be great conversation starters.
Cons: The only con I can think of is that I hope the title does not keep this book out of school libraries because I want to see girls reading books like this!
Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group, Zest Books for the opportunity to read this book.
THIS BOOK WAS PERFECT/ are you kinding ? best feminist non-fic ever. from the title to the very last words. i wish every teens could read it to learn to shield themselves like they deserves. I really really love the tone of this book!
This book is AWESOME!!! I would have LOVED to have this on my shelf growing up to keep coming back to. Will request this at my local library for sure!
Thank you to NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.