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Authors dare girls to be young, have fun

/ Source: TODAY

Hot on the heels of the best-selling “The Dangerous Book for Boys,” which showed boys how to get off the couch and enjoy their youth, comes a companion book for girls, with tips on how to be active, healthy and adventurous. Two mothers, Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, wrote “The Daring Book for Girls.” Here's an excerpt:

The Daring Girls Guide to Danger
Facing your fears can be a rewarding experience, and pushing yourself to new heights will inspire you to face challenges throughout life. Here in no particular order is a checklist of danger and daring. Some you should be able to do right away, but a few you might need to work up to:

Ride a roller coaster. The biggest roller-coaster drops in America include the Kingdom Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey at 418 feet; the Top Thrill Dragster in Ohio at 400 feet; and Superman: The Escape in California at 328 feet. But the scariest coaster ride in America is still the Cyclone in Coney Island. Built in the 1920s, this comparably small metal and wooden ride packs an unbelievable punch with sudden drops and hairpin turns.

Ride a zip line across the canopy of a rain forest. A trip to Costa Rica offers incredible adventures, including “flying” across the roof of the world 200 feet off the ground with distances between trees of up to 1,200 feet. Many outdoor centers around the country also offer zip line courses. Go white-water rafting. Most people think looking at the Grand Canyon from the rim down is scary, but a true act of daring is to take a white-water rafting trip down the stretch of Colorado River that cuts through it. Some trips even include a helicopter ride for an extra dose of danger!

Have a scary movie festival in your living room. Some good ones are “The Exorcist,” “Jaws,” “Alien,” “The Shining” and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic but still frightening “Psycho.” But don’t blame us if you can’t go sleep without wondering what’s under the bed. Wear high heels. This may not sound so dangerous, but without practice you can fall or twist an ankle. For your first time in heels, borrow someone else’s, and make sure to start on a hard surface like wood. Once you’re feeling steady on your feet, give carpeting a try. If you can wear heels on a thick carpet, you can do anything. Eventually, if it’s a skill you want to learn, you’ll be able to run, jump, and do karate in three-inch heels.

Stand up for yourself — or someone else. It’s scary to feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t agree, but when something’s wrong, a daring girl speaks up, for herself or someone who needs an ally. Summon your courage and raise your voice — real bravery is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Try sushi or another exotic food. California rolls do not count. For the true daring girl, try some natto (fermented soy beans) or escargot (snails). Dye your hair purple. Sometimes the scariest thing is just being a little bit different, even for a day. There are many hair dyes that wash out after a few weeks — so you can experience what it would be like to have a lime-green ponytail without having to wait for all your hair to grow out to change it again. Excerpted from “The Daring Book For Girls” by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. Copyright 2007 Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins. All rights reserved.