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Good Reads: Off the Shelf: The Confidence Code for Girls

By Stacie Berdan | Published: May 22, 2018

The Cover of The Confidence Code for Girls

It’s tough being a tween girl today. High academic standards, more pressure than ever to fit in, the stress to look perfect and act perfect (but while pretending it all comes naturally) while being under the intense scrutiny of social media is pretty stressful. So when the book The Confidence Code for Girls, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, recently crossed my desk, I decided to dive in over the weekend.

Drawing from their title for adults, The Confidence Code, TV news anchors and co-authors Kay and Shipman offer a guide for girls to “close the confidence gap” that begins to open up between girls and boys during those ‘tween years of 12 and 14. Beginning with a clear definition of confidence—“confidence is what turns our thoughts into action”—the book tackles a lot of real-life problems that girls are facing and presents them in a relatable and respectful way. It encourages girls to be themselves by taking action despite doubts and negative thoughts, embracing failure, and challenging the worries that hold so many girls back. 

It’s also designed for today’s young person. Through substantive yet bite-size pieces of information, this easy-to-read book includes real-life confidence stories from girls, fun activities and enticing quizzes designed to boost confidence, and true situations that require readers to start thinking through some potential confidence-crushing moments. Just reading about “girls of action” and “confidence close ups” made me want to shout “Girl power!” and start spreading the word to girls everywhere that you can do this.

Although the book includes research and examples on how women and men are portrayed differently in society through films, TV shows, magazine covers and the like, it does not address the fact that our young girls are learning gender roles from their parents and mimicking female stereotypes embraced by their mothers. And so while the book is recommended by many to give to young girls in their lives, it’s also important for parents—moms and dads—to read it and understand how what they say and do has a significant impact on their children as well. Parents play an important role in laying the foundation for boosting confidence in their daughters simply by how they live their own lives.

About the Author


Stacie Nevadomski Berdan is a seasoned global executive and the mother of twins who spent two summers as villagers at El Lago del Bosque. She is the author of six books on the intersection of globalization and careers, including the best-selling A Parent Guide to Study Abroad (IIE 2015) and award-winning Raising Global Children (ACTFL 2013).

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