A terribly earnest collection of advice that ranges from preachy to peachy. Bolden (And Not Afraid to Dare, p. 54, etc.) has chosen her contributors well in this assembly of essays, short fiction, poems, and comics: It includes pieces by such contemporary figures as Natalie Merchant, Tabitha Soren, Wendy Wasserstein, and teen diarist Latoya Hunter. Most of them resemble commencement addresses more than words intended for print, and in fact, Sigourney Weaver's piece is just such an address. Some pieces are moving and empowering: Lynda Barry's comic ""Mean Girls Are Real"" is painfully hilarious but very strong; basketball star Rebecca Lobo's ""Get a Game Plan!"" is unvarnished but heartfelt; linguist Deborah Tannen offers wisdom about the different ways boys and girls communicate. The whole, however, is a little wearing, as if a favorite, well-intentioned aunt is nattering on too long. Bolden mentions in the introduction her wish that a book similar to this one had existed when she was 12; of the few available now, Mavis Jukes's It's a Girl Thing (1996, not reviewed) and Judith Harlan's Girl Talk (1997) offer more.