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This Mother's Daughter
By Nelvia M. Brady
Griffin Trade Paperback
"What's good to you may not be what's good for you." "The Lord gave you five senses. Use all six of them." And a personal favorite: "A hard head makes a soft behind." Sound familiar? "This Mother's Daughter," by counselor and columnist Nelvia Brady, is a collection of those funny, sentimental, intense, bittersweet lessons and stories imparted to generations of African American girls by their mothers. The book also takes a moving, honest look at these special mother-daughter relationships and their lifelong effects.

Embracing Persephone
By Virginia Beane Rutter
Conari Press
The basic advice that Rutter, a Jungian psychotherapist, offers in a follow-up to her "Celebrating Girls" makes sense for parents of children of any age or sex: Before diving into our children's particular sets of frustrations and needs, it's a good idea to acquaint ourselves with our own. But as your daughter heads into the whirlwind of adolescence, this intelligent, hands-on guide to handling topics like identity, the body's transformation, boys, and friendship and school will come in handy. A mother/daughter relationship, says Rutter, moves in cycles, just as Persephone, daughter of the Greek fertility goddess Demeter, descended each winter to the underworld only to return each spring to her mother. Rutter reminds moms that separating successfully as your daughter grows up depends as much on how you handle this ebb and flow as how they do.

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My Mother,
My Friend

By Mary Marcdante
Most of us grow up with unfinished business concerning our mothers, a curiosity about their lives, and a need to know them as full human beings beyond the role of "just mom." For Mary Marcdante, a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul, this impulse became a poignant race against time when her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. For daughters seeking a closer, more loving relationship with their moms, this book offers a useful framework for asking the important questions that may have been avoided until now, questions on crucial issues such as sex, health, money, family secrets, and spiritual beliefs. Marcdante's belief is that if we don't know our mothers, we can't really know ourselves. Drawing on stories of real mothers and daughters, as well as her own, the author offers a sure guide toward healing this most complex of relationships.

Celebrating Your New Jewish Daughter
By Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Jewish Lights
Jewish boys have a bris (a mixed blessing, if you ask their mothers); but no similarly important religious ritual welcomes baby girls into the Jewish community and covenant. The grassroots "simchat bat" (celebration of a daughter) movement of the past 30 years has sought to remedy that inequity, as individual families came up with their own rituals. Now journalist and mother Debra Nussbaum Cohen has created a complete guide to every aspect of daughter-welcoming ceremonies, including readings, poems, songs, blessings, and rituals, both traditional and innovative (for example, there's acknowledgement of cross-cultural adoption, intermarriage, and gay and lesbian parenthood). A much-needed, female-affirming resource.

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