Cover image for Girls against girls : why we are mean to each other and how we can change
Girls against girls : why we are mean to each other and how we can change
Publication Information:
San Francisco, CA : Zest Books, 2009.
Physical Description:
128 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
General Note:
Statement of responsibility from cover.
Reading Level:
1120 L Lexile
This guide for teenage girls explains why girls can sometimes be mean to each other, what to do if you are a victim of bullying, and the importance of treating other girls with respect.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 371.58 BUR 1 1
Book 371.58 BUR 1 1
Book 371.58 BUR 1 1

On Order



Girls Against Girls is a must-read for today's strong, smart, and capable generation of young women. Now, more than ever, young women need to stand together and not tear each other down, and this book provides guidance on how to break the cycle. This informative read includes real scientific theories about why girls are cruel to each other, girls' war tactics, steps to take when things get out of hand, and positive advice for girls on how to unite and become more empowered. There's also advice from female artists and athletes, inspiring movie quotes, and an excellent resource section of empowering organizations to discover.

Author Notes

Bonnie Burton is a regular contributor to Bust, Geek Monthly, Star Wars Insider , and Wired magazines, and contributed to the comic anthology The Girls' Guide to Guys' Stuff.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-Burton's accessible text is a guide for girls who are caught up in the malicious gossiping, jealousy, and social shunning that affect so many adolescents. The author neatly outlines the issues and provides common-sense approaches to breaking the cycle of meanness, envy, and passive-aggressive behaviors, and she addresses both the victims and the mean girls themselves. The balance of narrative, white space, and illustration makes this self-help tool easy to comprehend. The well-researched text is punctuated with quotes from female artists and athletes and also includes a good resource guide to finding empowering organizations. The real challenge will be getting the book into readers' hands at the right time. Solid advice presented in an easy-to-read format.-Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Burton, the voice behind, explains in five chapters the psychology behind "mean girl" behavior, how to deal with it and what can be done to stop it. First, readers learn why girls bully the way they do, with an acknowledgement that such feminine traits as strong written and verbal communication make girls' bullying intrinsically different from that of boys. Then comes advice on verbal self-defense and stopping the cycle. Confident women, usually artists and writers, give advice and confessions in eye-catching bubbles between paragraphs. The advice generally takes a sage, pacifist tone. Girls are encouraged not to seek revenge or start ostracizing the one who wronged them but to take the high road, confront with words and try to understand where their enemies are coming from. The author also acknowledges that all girls can be prone to bouts of mean behavior. Will this book find an audience with those who need it the most? It may with those on the receiving end of bullying, but most likely not with those who are dishing it out. (empowerment resources) (Nonfiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

We girls can be cruel, asserts Burton, who, with a direct tone and solid advice, puts the responsibility for change directly on the shoulders of girls themselves, asking them to look closely at their own behavior. Divided into six succinct chapters, the book begins by examining theories of why girls act the way they do, various types of common cruel behaviors, and excellent coping techniques. Later sections provide resources for addressing more serious problems and offer concrete suggestions for how to stop the cycle of female cruelty. Burton never talks down to her readers, nor does she pull her punches. Readers will respond to the author's clear respect for the painful nature of the problem, while breezy language, such as the sections entitled Why It Sucks will draw girls into the practical advice. Quotes from female celebrities scattered throughout reinforce the central idea that girls need to change the mean-girl culture. A great addition for teen collections.--Rutan, Lynn Copyright 2009 Booklist



TOC Chapter 1: Why We Hurt Each OtherChapter 2: Methods of Our MeannessChapter 3: Bearing the Brunt of ItChapter 4: Calling in ReinforcementsChapter 5: Stopping the CycleChapter 6: Teaming Up Instead of Tearing Each Other DownChapter 7: Resources Chapter 6: Teaming Up Instead of Tearing Each Other Down So, OK, we know we're not perfect. But to say all girls have no choice but to be catty and mean isn't true. We're not inherently a wicked mob of fashion zombies who can't tell right from wrong.In fact, a lot of the cruel things we do are just a result of us using our best traits in the wrong ways. Girls are typically great speakers and writers, and we can use that advantage to advocate for people less fortunate than us or to make great works of art instead of gossiping and spreading rumors. We love forming communities, and we can use that to draw all people together instead of creating exclusive cliques. We are the more emotionally tuned-in gender, and we can use that to spread love instead of anger. We can also learn to be more direct with our emotions, keep less bottled up, and choose better influences in our lives. Everyone can change, even you .The first step to stopping the fighting is finding common ground. We are all girls, and we face many of the same challenges. If we can find better ways to share our troubles, communicate, and work together, there is no limit to what we can do. "We have to look at each other as allies, not enemies, and rise above the media's messaging to us that says we have to hate other girls and women. What we need in this world right now is more unity and less cattiness. The only way we can change this is if we, each in our own way, begin to look at this issue and take action!" --Jessica Weiner, author and advice columnist WORKING TOGETHER When was the first time you saw girls join forces? Maybe when the girls in fifth-grade gym class played the boys in a fierce game of dodge ball? It didn't matter that 10 minutes before you lined up in the gym, Jennifer told you that you smelled, or that Rebecca glared at you from across class that morning after you screeched the chalk against the blackboard. You shoved your grudges and alliances aside, and worked as a team for one great cause -- to pummel the boys!You can do that now (work collectively, not pummel boys, that is). There are way too many important causes that could seriously use your help -- like animal rights, school reform, environmental issues, domestic violence, and human rights. When girls form bonds instead of fissures, all of us not only stop fighting with each other, but also create positive change together . WHO, ME, A FEMINIST? Do you believe that women deserve to be treated as equals to men? Do you have love and respect for yourself and your fellow "sisters"? Are you strong and smart and ready to take on the world? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are, indeed, a feminist. Most girls do not view themselves as feminists, because they think that the term implies that they are not feminine (even though the two words are practically the same) or that they can't have a boyfriend (so wrong -- guys love strong women). Feminists are just people who support women and help to empower them. That pretty much makes all of us girls feminists.Why does it matter? Because feminism is based on banding together. Feminists come in all shapes and colors, from your best friend, who wants to be a gynecologist because she cares about women's health; to your grandma, who decades ago demanded the same pay as the men she was working alongside; to your little cousin who is planning to take over the world with her Barbie; to your boyfriend's stay-at-home mom who successfully raised four children and loved every minute of it. Feminists can even be guys who support the women in their lives (like your boyfriend, though he may never admit it). "I was lucky enough to find friends who were interested in feminism, and they taught me a lot about self-respect and caring for other girls and women. Every time I found myself thinking 'what a bitch,' I tried to remember that by using that word I was not respecting myself or other women of the world, and that this kind of thinking and speaking keeps women low on the food chain, so to speak. "If women and girls don't look out for one another, no one else will! By constantly tearing one another down, we are participating in a system that is set up to keep women out of positions of power. And, power aside, hating on girls feels terrible for both the hater and the hated." --Emily Moeller, program director, Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls Excerpted from Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change by Bonnie Burton All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.