Living the Confidence Code


MG & Up



Historical Figures

Current-day trailblazers

Katty Kay, Claire Shipman, & Jillellyn Riley

Cover Art: Lucia Picerno

Hand Lettering: Nan Lawson


This follow-up book tells stories about real girls that have embodied their inner confidence and self-esteem to take on projects that changed the world. Collected on a global scale, the reader gets personal narratives of girls who struggled and ultimately prevailed.

The importance of including the struggles faced cannot be understated here, it’s extremely important to teach perseverance as well as the fact that we can never please everyone. The reader learns about girls like Yekaba, who refused to be married when she was 12, and Balinese sisters Melati and Isabel, who work to reduce plastic waste on their island. Amika works for equitable access to menstrual products. These particular stories were the ones that stuck with me long after reading, because of the work these girls do for and on behalf of their community.

This is a hefty book, but there are really neat Q&A’s with each girl, graphics, and comic strips. In the back is also sources and places for the reader to visit if a particular story has struck their interest. The personal narratives show that everyone arrives to confidence and self-esteem in different (and equally important) ways. The variety of stories kept me interested until the very last page, and I loved that photographs of each girl is in the beginning of their chapter.

This book was kindly sent by Harper Kids, but all opinions and decision to review is my own.

Katty Kay

Katty Kay is the anchor of BBC World News America, based in Washington, DC. She is also a frequent contributor to Meet the Press and Morning Joe and a regular guest host for The Diane Rehm Show on NPR. She’s the author, along with Claire Shipman, of two New York Times bestsellers, Womenomics: Work Less, Achieve More, Live Better and The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know. In addition to her work on women’s issues, Katty has covered the Clinton administration sex scandal, four presidential elections, and the wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. She was at the Pentagon just twenty minutes after a hijacked plane flew into the building on 9/11—one of her most vivid journalistic memories is of interviewing soldiers still visibly shaking from the attack. Katty grew up all over the Middle East, where her father was posted as a British diplomat. She studied modern languages at Oxford and is a fluent French and Italian speaker with some “rusty Japanese.” Katty juggles her journalism with raising four children with her husband, a consultant.

Claire Shipman

Claire Shipman is a journalist, author, and public speaker. She’s the author, along with Katty Kay, of two New York Times bestsellers, Womenomics: Work Less, Achieve More, Live Better and The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know. Before turning to writing, Claire spent almost three decades as an award-winning television journalist. For the last fourteen years, Claire was a regular contributor to Good Morning America and other national broadcasts for ABC News. Before that, she served as White House correspondent for NBC News, where she regularly reported on presidential policy and politics for NBC Nightly News and Today. Prior to that, she worked for CNN for a decade, covering the White House, and she was also posted in Moscow for five years, reporting on the fall of the Soviet Union. Claire’s coverage from Moscow helped CNN earn a National Headliners Award and a coveted Peabody Award. She received a DuPont Award and an Emmy Award for coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student uprising, as well as a DuPont Award for CNN’s coverage of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. She graduated from Columbia College and later earned a master’s degree from the School of International Affairs there. She’s now a member of Columbia’s board of trustees. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and their two children and three dogs.

Jillellyn Riley

JillEllyn Riley is a writer and editor with extensive experience in crafting and telling stories. She’s worked with bestselling, innovative children’s authors, as well as on nonfiction and fiction for adults. Her cowritten middle grade series is The Saturday Cooking Club. JillEllyn lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, two sons, and canine ally Stella

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