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- author Jackie French

Monday 13 August 2012

Review: Waiting For It

When the boys at school put up a list of the hottest girls in her year, Hazel is ranked halfway down. It figures. Even on something as stupid as a hot list, Hazel is stuck in the middle.

Hazel feels like she’s constantly playing catch-up with her friends. She feels like a kid while they seem to be smoothly moving into the world of teenagers. She doesn’t even have her period yet. Why does she have to always be a step behind everyone else?
Waiting For It is part of the Girl V The World series, books aiming to raise topics relevant to pre-teen girls. The novels feature girls in Year 7 dealing with friendships, family, first steps into the dating world, the onset of puberty, peer pressure and a variety of other relevant issues for girls moving from childhood into teen years.

The friendships in the book ring true. Mostly supportive but unintentionally insensitive at times, Hazel and her friends are adjusting to high school life with the new awareness of social pressures and the added challenge of trying to make sense of changing boy/girl dynamics.

Hazel’s frustration and anxiety that she is being left behind her friends physically is compounded by hassles at home, where her mother is busy with a new relationship. With her friends and her mother distracted by their own relationships, Hazel feels like no-one is taking her problems and worries seriously.

Waiting For It and other books in the Girl V The World series are ideal for girls aged 11 – 13. Waiting For It particularly focuses on the confusion and anxiety that can accompany the onset of puberty for girls as they compare their physical changes (or lack of them) with their friends. The books highlight the power of friendships, both as sources of encouragement and negative pressure, and all the confusion, uncertainty and excitement that comes from the new awareness between boys and girls.

There is a strong message throughout the Girl V The World books about resisting peer pressure, even as they acknowledge how powerful it is. There is a mixture of thoughtful and light-hearted moments in the dialogue and story and the characters are very relatable.

My 11-year-old daughter has read three Girl V The World books and has enjoyed them all. I’m glad that I’ve read them as well, as there are some themes and scenes in the books that it has been handy for me to be able to discuss with her. I’m really looking forward to seeing what issues future titles raise.

Title:  Waiting For It (Girl V The World)
Author:  Chrissie Keighery
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, $12.95 RRP
Publication Date:  August 2012
Format: Paperback
ISBN:  9781742971810
For ages:  11 - 13 years
Type: Middle Fiction