BOOK: "The Girlo Travel Survival Kit," by Anthea Paul (Allen & Unwin, $19.95)
TARGET AUDIENCE: Teenage girls with wanderlust.
"The Girlo Travel Survival Kit" is a book only a teenage girl could love. While some might find inspiration in the New Age-y writing ("Traveling puts all preconceived outcomes in the hands of destiny"), it can get pretty gag-worthy, especially in the first few chapters. There are lots of color-saturated photos of people and places from around the world, but few of the pictures have identifying information, making them merely decorative. And some may find the writing confusing, with Paul's Australian references to "besties" (best friends), "singlets" (tank tops) and "things go[ing] pear-shaped" (catastrophes).
Eventually, though, Paul gets to the nuts-and-bolts advice, some of which is detailed and helpful, including safety tips for female travelers ("Make sure you always take both keys to the room when you go out for the day"). Info like that makes the photo-filled, compact paperback worth checking out -- as long as you skip the mushy stuff.
-- Christina Talcott