Friday, June 15, 2018

Fact Friday: Double feature audio review: Girling Up and Boying Up by Maiyam Bialik

Fact Friday presents a double feature:

Girling Up: how to be smart, strong and spectacular by Mayim Bialik, PhD. Unabridged audiobook on three compact discs. 3 hours, 44 minutes. Read by the author. Listening Library, 9781524780388. (Review from audiobook borrowed from public library.)

Boying Up: How to be Brave, Bold and Brilliant by Mayim Bialik, PhD. Unabridged e-audiobook. Read by the author. Listening Library, 2018. 978052551982. (Review of e-audio borrowed from public library.)

There is not a lot of difference in content between these two chatty, informative audiobooks. Bialik provides information on the opposite sex in each. I felt like I was listening to the same book. That's fine. The experience was pleasant, positive and earnest, sort of like listening to your friend's cool mom. Listening without the book deprives the reader of the line drawings, but it did add that human, "mom" dimension. The science of puberty is presented in easily understandable, straightforward language with lots of reassurances that most everyone's experience is "perfectly normal." There is a lot of talk of acceptance with a discussion about gender roles and ideals of masculinity and femininity, which leads into talk about gender fluidity. There is little to no conversation about same sex attraction in Boying Up and none that I can remember in Girling Up.

Boying Up had snippets of unattributed "He Said" additions to compensate for the fact that the author isn't a total expert on the male experience. Neither volume breaks new ground with the content, but the author's name recognition and encouraging tone should make this easy for tween and teen readers to relate to.

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