The Beauty Book by Nancy Rue is a non-fiction book that addresses questions and concerns that pre-teen girls often have. This book has been added to The Lily Series and speaks as if fictional Lily is talking to the reader. There are Q & A, quizzes, illustrations, scripture, journaling, and activities in every chapter. The book discusses general beauty information like how to clean your face to prevent pimples, how to give yourself a manicure & pedicure, when should you wear makeup, should you get piercings or tattoos, what if you are too tall or have to wear glasses, etc. The focus is to embrace the way God sees us and how he created us instead of focusing on what the world portrays as beautiful.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and think that it would be good for a pre-teen who is starting to deal with issues relating to her body and her concept of what beauty is. I’m not sure that the publisher’s suggestion of ages 7-11 is appropriate. My oldest girl is 5 and I just don’t see the information in this book being relevant to her in only 2 years. I would suggest an age group that is slightly older like in the middle school ages.
On a side note that has more to do with Biblical context instead of Beauty issues… There was one thing that stood out to me as being negative and that was in the discussion of tattoos (which is a touchy subject to a lot of people so I will try to explain my point as best as I can without getting into the debate of right or wrong). The author’s advice to girls when it comes to things like tattoos, piercings, makeup, etc. is talking to parents and respecting their decision on the subject. I do agree with this advice! The issue that I have with her discussion of tattoos is how she quoted scripture without giving explanation. Here is the Q & A I am referring too. This comes after several Q & A’s relating to piercings and tattoos that addressed appearance, pain, danger etc (which were all answered to my satisfaction):
Q: Would it be all right to get the kind you just stick on?
A: Is it all right with-you guessed it- your parents? They might not like even the idea of a tattoo, real or fake. Leviticus 19:28 does say, “Do not…put tattoo marks on yourselves.” Of course, Leviticus 19:27 also says, “Do not… clip the edges of your beard.”
…and she leaves it at that. To a pre-teen or anyone who has not studied scripture, this statement could cause a lot of questions. People often refer to Leviticus 19:28 as why Christians shouldn’t have tattoos but the same people do trim their beards, cut their hair, eat pork, or do other things listed as forbidden in the old testament. She fails to explain the old law versus the new law and how there is a difference between ceremonial requirements (which are no longer binding under the new law–such as cutting hair) and moral requirements (which are binding–like do not worship other Gods or do not commit adultery). I realize that my issue with this goes far beyond what was probably intended by the author and that it is a subject that can easily be talked about and researched with parental guidance. I just felt that I should caution that the way it was worded could cause more questions (which is a good thing if the parents are willing to have deeper discussions!)
In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Thomas Nelson provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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By Nancy Rue / Thomas Nelson