Read It: The Good, The Bad, And The Barbie

She's been a politician, a cheerleader, an aerobic instructor, an astronaut, a veterinarian, a dentist and a rock star. Who is this accomplished lady? Well, she's Barbie! Most girls (and some boys) have owned a Barbie at some point. My favorite Barbie was aerobic Barbie, because I was a tomboy and thereby into "fitness." But other than that, Barbie is a complete mystery to me; I know nothing about her!

That's where Tanya Lee Stone's book comes in handy. The Good, The Bad, And The Barbie A Doll's History And Her Impact On Us (Viking) is an informative and fun journey through Barbie's "genealogy." From the origins of her birth at Mattel, Stone covers all the topics: fashion, controversy, personal anecdotes and sexuality (admit it, we've all examined Barbie's nipple-less breasts).It's amazing to really understand the huge impact Barbie -- a doll -- has had on our culture.

The best parts of this book are all the personal stories from girls and women. For instance, Megan says, "I'm a high-school senior but I really miss my Barbies. I loved those dolls so much, but I sure tortured them. Once I got older (like 5th or 6th grade) I reenacted the Salem witch trails with the doll."


PS-It's Teen Read Week, so here's one more piece of inspiring book news!