Book Review - Queen Bees and Wannabes — Encourage PlayRate this book. Buy This Book. Welcome to the wonderful world of your daughter's adolescence. Ten seconds ago she was a sweet, confident, world-beating little girl who looked up to you. On a good day, she's teary and threatening to run away.
Queen Bees & Wannabees
It's been fifteen years since the first edition of educator Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes was published; now in its third edition -- updated with current, timely material about social media and other fast-moving subjects, as well as reflections from girls who were raised on the techniques in the previous editions -- the book is a compassionate, aware, and intensely practical guide to navigating the toxic, gendered lives of young girls in a diverse, politicized world. Wiseman starts from the observation that girls form cliques for many reasons, and many of them are healthy and supportive, but that these cliques can also be a hazard to the mental health, happiness, physical and sexual safety and educations of the girls at all levels of the social pecking order. The book begins with a theory that tries to explain why girls form these groups -- the need to fit in, or reject, or at least navigate, the feminine "ideals" that are imposed on them and that they perpetuate. This theory runs through the book and is used as a tool to unpick the complex and difficult situations that arise when girls pressure each other into mean behavior, or exclude one another, or get in over their heads it's also a tool that Wiseman uses to analyze the best of the intense friendships girls often form. Wiseman also applies a corollary of this theory to explain the way that boys interact with one another and with girls, but I get the impression that if you're interested in how this stuff applies to boys, you should read her book on the subject, Masterminds and Wingmen. But Queen Bees isn't a why book so much as it's a what and how book: as in "OK, my kid is inconsolable, or in trouble, or acting really viciously -- what do I do about it and how do I do it?