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One Girl Can Change the World (book, journal, and leader's guide) Review by Donna Campos

By Claudia Mitchell and Kim Goad
Standard Publishing
8805 Governor's Hill Drive, Suite 400
Cincinnati, OH 45249

One Girl Can Change the World is a study to help teen girls and young women discover their passions and leadership styles, while encouraging them to carry our their God-given purpose in life. The journal is to be used in tandem with the book. The Leader's Guide is for use by adults desiring to organize One Girl camps, retreats, events, or small groups. Each item is available separately. (A simple notebook could replace the One Girl journal, and the book describes how to do so.) The 192-page Journal has a unique hardcover with a wrap-around magnetized front flap. It is organized by chapter, with room for notes, answering questions, and commenting on the material contained in the book. There are also sections in the Journal for recording "My Life Mission," "My Plan," "What's God Saying to Me?" and more. At the very back of the book is a built-in envelope containing a sheet of One Girl themed stickers for use as desired. The Leader's Guide is a soft-cover book of 144 pages. It follows the format of the One Girl book but does not include the text of the book. 

At the heart of the study is the One Girl Can Change the World book, which has 204 pages. Following an Introduction, the book is divided into the following sections:

• Do I Know Who I Am?
• Do I Know Where I'm Going?
• How Do I Keep Going?
• Conclusion--Get Your Shoes On!

Plenty of quotes and Scriptures are included throughout the text. The book is definitely written to reach teenagers and young women. It is clear the authors have many years of experience working with this age group. With the use of a Journal, the authors guide the reader toward discovering a personal mission for her life. A mother and daughter working through the material together may find it draws them closer, and I would urge users to use it in this fashion. I would recommend the study for mature middle school girls and high school girls. It would also be appropriate for the "college and career" age group. 

The book uses Biblical examples of real-life "princesses" as well as women like Joan of Arc, Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton, and Mother Teresa. However, I didn't care for the following comment: "Amazing women like these aren't only found in the Bible--we see them in the pages of history." Isn't the Bible history? I want to be sure my children understand the Bible is history, not merely a book of "stories." Thankfully, the bulk of the focus is on biblical women. There is plenty of good to be found within One Girl Can Change the World. Borrowing from a popular movie, the authors quote, "If you refuse to accept the throne, then the kingdom will cease to exist as we know it." They clarify that, of course, God's Kingdom is not going to cease to exist, but without our following God's lead it will not be what it could be. Be aware that some questions refer to winning the lottery, but the context relates to finding true desires and having financial needs met. Still, some people may find the references disagreeable.

I found myself drawn into One Girl Can Change the World and believe it is appropriate for women of all ages, as we have not missed our opportunity to serve God simply because we age. The book stresses that the Bible is the living Word of God and that God talks to us through His Word. The authors tactfully use the physical preparation many young women perform before a date as a lead-in to preparing for God's purpose for one's life. Quotes from popular movies are used quite often in the book, including one from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" which states that a man is the head of a household but the woman is the neck and has the ability to turn the man in any direction. From there, the authors discuss the influence a woman can have and the responsibility to use it in Godly ways. They also deal with gossip, even in the midst of a Bible study group, and they explain how to use Matthew 18 in dealing with it. I especially appreciated how the authors encouraged girls to respect parental authority if they are underage and/or living under their parents' roof you are under their authority. 

The Leader's Guide is very well set up. It includes options for a 10-week small group study, a weekend retreat or workshop, or a weeklong camp. Suggested schedules are included. At the back of the guide, there are Volunteer Leader forms that can be reproduced as needed. 

One Girl Can Change the World brought tears to my eyes. I encourage moms to use this excellent study along with their daughters. God has a plan for our lives, and He desires that we find it.

Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2010