________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 9 . . . . January 4, 2002

cover Hey Girl! A Journal of My Life.

Jane Billinghurst. Illustrated by Rose Cowles.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2001.
128 pp., spiral bound, $16.95.
ISBN 1-55037-684-5.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Sheila Alexander.

***1/2 /4


This is your private journal. It is a place to record your innermost thoughts. It is a place where you are free to dream. Your journal will keep your secrets and listen to what you have to say. It won't talk back to you. It won't tell you what to do. It will be a record of who you are and who you hope to be. You are its central character because this is the story of your life ...

Hey Girl! A Journal of My Life will become a keepsake for any girl who enjoys finding out more about herself, and recording both the events of her life, and her thoughts and opinions. This spiral-bound, durable journal is full of variety in design, layout, and content. Potential journal writers are given numerous short topics to ponder, concerning self, family, friends, home, activities, favourites, emotions, desires, and future plans. Many prompts invite short answers, such as "A book that taught me stuff I never knew," and "My favourite place to go when I feel stressed out is ...." In other cases, the writer is invited to respond at greater length, as for example in "What dreams are you going to keep on dreaming, no matter what?" The short personality quiz creates further interest while other pages suggest drawing or sticking in photographs. The journalist can also make a family tree and sketch a map of places important to the family. A cipher wheel can be completed and used to code entries thereby addressing this age group's desire for privacy.


     The numerous, appealing illustrations most often take the form of small clips scattered across the pages. Colour is used effectively, not only in illustrations, but also in page colour and in highlighting prompts and responses.

     Some eager writers might regret that the space provided for responses is limited. Recognizing this potential pitfall, the author suggests continuing in a blank notebook if desired. Other journalists would welcome the opportunity to make only short and simple records of their ideas. Many girls who receive this journal will complete it with much enjoyment and will likely ask for another copy to work through again at a later date.


Sheila Alexander is a Middle Years Teacher Candidate in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364