Review of Raising a Princess by John Croyle

Leah Courtney
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Although I often read Christian fiction most often, I do enjoy reading nonfiction also. I especially like a book that makes me think, that convicts me, or that inspires me. I recently had the opportunity to review Raising a Princess by John Croyle, and it did all three.

About John Croyle: 

John Croyle was an All-American defensive end at the University of Alabama during a renowned title run under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Croyle declined a career in the National Football League and instead went on to found and develop the Big Oak Ranch for Boys. Over the next few decades they worked to start the Girls’ Ranch as well as the Westbrook Christian School. He and his wife, Tee, together have raised hundreds of young men and women, including their daughter and Big Oak child care director, Reagan Croyle Phillips, as well as their son and former NFL quarterback Brodie Croyle. For more information, please visit

Because of his years spent working with boys and girls at the Big Oak Ranch and because of his experience parenting his own children, John writes with knowledge about the subject of teaching your daughter how to be a real princess. 

Many of the comments in the book were aimed at dads, but the information was also very relevant to me as a mom. And I think that it can be beneficial for me as a mom to think about these virtues that John is describing and question whether or not I truly display that virtue myself. Was I taught that this was important. And do I communicate its importance to my daughters. 

About the Book: 
The Bible defines godly womanhood in the frequently referenced chapter of Proverbs 31. John Croyle is one of today’s most respected child advocates. In his new book, Raising A Princess, Croyle asks, “How do you equip your daughter to become the kind of woman described in Proverbs 31? After all, a woman like that doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Somebody taught her to become the woman she was designed to be.”
Based on Croyle’s life and experience parenting more than 1,900 abused and neglected children at Big Oak Ranch, alongside his two biological children, this book is organized around eight essential virtues a parent can build in his or her princess:
- Praiseworthiness
- Righteousness
- Initiative
- Nurture
- Character
- Empowerment
- Servant-Heartedness
- Stability

In each of the book's chapters John examines one of these virtues. He describes what that virtue will look like and gives practical suggestions for instilling those virtues in your daughter. Throughout the book he weaves stories from the Ranch and from his own children to illustrate.

I was encouraged and inspired by Raising a Princess. I can walk away with practical ideas for my own girls. And I can definitely recommend this one as a good read.

This book can be ordered from the Big Oak Ranch website and all profits go to the running of the ranch.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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