A few years ago, my sister gave my son The Dangerous Book for Boys as a birthday present. Its contents are full of rough and adventurous activities for growing boys such as making a battery, fishing, skipping stones, and hunting and cooking a rabbit. Needless to say, I was excited to find out there was a companion book, The Daring Book for Girls. Now my daughters could have some ideas for adventures of their own.
That is, until I recently realized all that is included in the Book for Girls. While the book does include fun things to do such as how to whistle with two fingers, making daisy chains, and first aid tips, it also contains detailed directions for activities I don’t want my girls having any part of.
Early in the book, you’ll find a chapter entitled “Palm Reading” which includes its history and how to do it. Even more disturbing was the “Slumber Party Games” chapter, which describes a game called “Bloody Mary.” A history of the name Bloody Mary is presented; perhaps it’s the nickname of a queen of England who had many Protestants burned at the stake, of a woman who was killed in the Salem witchcraft trials, of a countess who murdered young girls and bathed in their blood, or of a woman who was killed in an automobile accident and returns as a disfigured spirit. The girls are to stand in a dark bathroom with a flashlight, look in the mirror, and chant until the ghost of Mary comes to get them. Another sleepover game with explicit directions involves levitating someone, again through chants.
While some people may look at these activities as a group of girls having some harmless fun, parents should be aware that any games that deal with fortune telling, calling up spirits, and levitating have ties to the occult. But whether or not you’re concerned if your child participates in such activities, they clearly don’t belong in an adventure book. It was a poor choice on the part of the editors to include them, and one which makes it a book our household won’t be reading.