Bible studies for teens have their work cut out for them; young people between the ages of 12 and 20 vary greatly in their attention spans, understanding of Bible basics, and ability to retain what they read and discuss. The Girl in the Mirror is one of those rare books that really does strike a good balance between retaining high interest for the age group that it's written for and speaking intelligently about the subject matter (in this case, Biblical womanhood).
The book is divided into 12 lessons that look at seven categories of the life of a woman and compare and contrast the differences between "problematic" and "praiseworthy," as defined (mostly) by the book of Proverbs. Each lesson contains verses that support the premise, some questions for the reader, a few charts to fill in, memory verses, and the occasional personal anecdote from the author. At the back of the book, there is a section titled "Polishing Your Reflection" that is an overview of the basic tools and methods used in expanding one's understanding of the Scriptures. I felt that this "mini-primer"' on Bible study was not only a good complement to the book itself but also a clear, concise introduction for any young person looking to make the most of her devotion time.
Another thing that I liked about The Girl in the Mirror was the language; rather than trying to sound like a teenage girl, Ms. Grover addresses the reader intelligently, using words like "dissimulation" and "hypocrisy." It was refreshing that the focus was on the model of godly womanhood (the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31) and that the message was deeper than the simple "Resist peer pressure!" that seems to permeate so many studies directed toward teens. At its core, this is an honest-to-goodness Bible study, and a girl who is seriously pursuing a deeper knowledge of God's Word will probably appreciate being addressed in such a mature manner.
The only real hesitation I had about the book was the length of the lessons; each one contains eight sections ("Opener," "Focus Passage," "Facing the Facts," "A Closer Look," "A Time to Reflect," "Additional Study," and "Memory Verse"). All of them are worthwhile and add dimension to what is being taught, but I think that either extending the format to allow a week for each lesson or shortening the amount of work done in a single chapter would have made it a little easier for the reader to retain. If a young girl is interested in using this Bible study but is overwhelmed at the amount of material in each chapter, my advice would be to break up each lesson across a few days, doing two or three sections per day. For a group setting, I'd recommend covering a lesson per week.
But on the whole, The Girl in the Mirror impressed me, and I think that it's a well-written, thoughtfully crafted Bible study that would be a great tool for helping a young girl prepare herself for godly womanhood.
Product review by Jill Hardy, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June 2006