One of the Secret Keeper Girls’ book, A Girl’s Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls, teaches preteens how to manage relationships with other girls.
This is a great guide to teach our young girls how to interact with others and find those important friendships.
“Friends not only reflect who we are, but they also say a lot about who we are becoming,” Dannah Gresh and Suzy Weibel write.
In part 1, the book discusses discernment when it comes to friends, particularly with the “queen bee” or popular girl.
Using The Gospels, Gresh and Weibel teach the young readers what Jesus looked for in a friend and how he handled his friendships.
“He looked for people who were simple, quiet, loyal, steady and in need of friends.”
While it says it is okay to have unbelieving friends, young Christians are advised to handle them with caution.
“If a girl wants nothing to do with truth, she’s not going to make great friend material yet.”
I think this is some great advice to our preteens. They should be careful when engaging with those who do not follow Biblical standards.
The book also encourages girls to inject their friendships with prayer by praying for each other and with each other. Doing so can strengthen friendships.
I was disappointed with the section on how humans were built for relationships. In it, the authors referred to a Harvard study of baby monkeys to support their claim. However, there are differences between humans and animals.
In my view, to teach children that research done on animals can apply to humans is problematic as it implies that we have a shared nature with animals. There are those who believe that we are only driven by our instincts, which goes against Christian belief.
In part II the book looks at how to be friends with Jesus and what he can teach us about how we should behave towards our friends.
Gresh and Weibel teach girls that getting close to God involves an equal share of praying and reading his word.
One of the most beautiful lessons in the book was how Jesus defined friendship. For Jesus, laying down one’s life for friends was what true friendship meant. The book also reflects that Jesus’ friends laid down their life for him as those closest to Jesus died proclaiming His resurrection.
Drawing on Biblical stories of how Jesus reacted when James and John asked for seats of honour or when Peter denied him, the authors show girls how they, in turn, should act towards friends when they are jealous or betrayed.
Overall, I recommend this book for preteen girls, aged 8-12. The Biblical principles that are laid out for young readers are worth it.