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Author Archive: "Miriam Peskowitz and Andi Buchanan"

Rules of the Game: Darts

One of the recurring chapter titles in The Daring Book For Girls is "Rules of the Game." In these chapters we tackle everything from sports like basketball to kid recess games, the idea being that once you know the rules and a little bit of history of the game, you have some measure of confidence (and daring, of course) when the occasion arises to play it. Here's a bit of guidance about playing darts. (And check out the vocab list of darts lingo — tools for at least talking a good game!)

Rules of the Game: Darts

Playing darts takes some practice, and some math skills, but mostly it's just fun to throw something across the room. Make sure annoying siblings and small animals give you a wide berth.

Setting up the board
A regulation board has a diameter of 18 inches and is divided by thin metal wire into 22 sections. Mount your dart board so that the bullseye is 5 feet 8 inches from the floor. Mark the toeline, called the oche (rhymes with "hockey"), 7 feet 9 and a quarter inches from the face of the board.

Basic rules
To determine shooting order, each ...

The Daring Book For Girls NPR Slumber Party

I spent most of yesterday afternoon at a slumber party.

Actually, I didn't: I spent most of yesterday afternoon taping an interview for NPR's Weekend Edition, slated to run this Saturday, December 1. But it sure felt like a slumber party. I had the pleasure of talking about The Daring Book For Girls not only with host John Ydstie, but with five girls, ages 8 to 11. I think it's probably safe to say that this may be the most giggly segment ever aired on NPR.

We started out the session with the girls introducing themselves, getting used to the microphone, and testing the sound levels, and then quickly delved into the book. The girls each had a copy, and most of them had marked their favorite pages with colorful, sticky notes. The first item on the agenda was hand-clap games. I think the idea was that I might talk a bit about the chapter and maybe teach the girls some of the hand-clap techniques or rhymes, but it was immediately obvious that these girls were hand-clap pros. They not only knew the rhymes from the book, they knew the ...

Everyone Has Something to Say About Girlhood

The Daring Book for Girls has been out for all of four weeks now, and over and again, the question comes up of whether it is a feminist book. We admit that the few critics we've had have been feminists (as well as a few folks who have taken our party games like Bloody Mary and Palm Reading too seriously and denounced them as demonic venture). And, feminists have loved our book, too. That makes sense, because feminism includes so many ways of being in the world. We've seen some women wince because we dared to remind the world of seeming female trivialities like handclap games and jacks, things we believe have their place as valid parts of American folk culture. We've seen other women thank us for helping them reclaim their memories of girlhood as part of the stories of their adult lives.

We didn't write the book as a statement on feminism, though. In fact, we didn't write it to conform to any kind of political ideology. We wrote The Daring Book for Girls because The Dangerous Book for Boys was a fast bestseller in ...

Introducing The Daring Book for Girls!

Andi Buchanan and I are the co-authors of The Daring Book for Girls, and we've been waiting excitedly ever since we learned in late September that we'd be guest bloggers here at Our new book is The Daring Book for Girls, and it's the quintessential manual for being a girl, a 7- to 14-year-old girl. Its vision is one that sidesteps all the hi-tech gadgets our girls have now, and that sidesteps the avalanche of girlhood-destroying media our young ones get buried in at such young ages. We'll be blogging here all week, and will also report on an NPR segment about the book that's being made this week.

Nine, it seems, is the new seventeen. Girls of younger and younger age succumb to the pressure of acting and dressing like much older girls and women. In the process, they lose the chance to figure out their own dreams, their own selves, and their own way to be in this world. The path from girlhood to womanhood seems so narrow these days, and we hope that The Daring Book for Girls, and books like it, might help widen that path.

At my own ...

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