It can be hard to talk about puberty, bodies, and sex with our children. Not only are we uncomfortable and hope we are picking the right words and tone, but no kids want to think about their parents in the framework of anything sexual. Heck, most of us adults do not want to think about our parents or kids in that framework either. However, discussions need to be had, and information shared. If you have seen my previous post, “Is Time to Talk About Bodies with Younger Children?“, you might have already looked at some of the books I suggested for parents. Most of those books include discussion aids for children of all ages, and might make you feel more prepared for the discussion.
If your children are approaching puberty, or well on their way, they will have much different concerns and questions than a five year old wondering about the differences between boys and girls and how babies come about. So I have listed books here for the eight and older crowd, and then the tween and teen crowd that might have much more difficult questions to answer. I would suggest reading some of the books before handing them off to your curious child in order for you to gauge its appropriateness for your particular child, and to help you to handle any of the resulting conversations.
Eight and Up:
1. The Boy’s Body Guide: a Health and Hygiene Book by Frank C. Hawkins with Greta L.B. Laube ; illustrated by J.C. Hawkins
2. Ready, Set, Grow!: a What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Younger Girls by Lynda Madaras; illustrations by Linda Davick.
3. On your Mark, Get Set, Grow!: a “what’s happening to my body?” Book for Younger Boys by Lynda Madaras ; illustrations by Paul Gilligan
4. The Care & Keeping of You: the Body Book for Younger Girls by Valorie Schaefer; Cara Natterson, MD, medical consultant ; illustrated by Josee Masse
5. The Body Book for Boys by Jonathan Mar and Grace Norwich
6. Changing You!: a Guide to Body Changes and Sexuality by Gail Saltz; illustrated by Lynne Avril Cravath
7. Asking about Sex & Growing Up: a Question-and-Answer Book for Kids by Joanna Cole; illustrated by Bill Thomas.
Preteens and Teens:
1. Will Puberty Last My Whole Life?: Real Answers to Real Questions from Preteens about Body Changes, Sex, and Other Growing-up Stuff by Julie Giesy Metzger and Robert Lehman; illustrated by Lia Cerizo
2. Girl to Girl: Honest Talk about Growing up and your Changing Body by Sarah O’Leary Burningham
3. The Care & Keeping of You 2: the Body Book for Older Girls by Dr. Cara Natterson ; illustrated by Josee Masse
4. My Body, My Self for Boys by Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras.
5. The What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls by Lynda Madaras, with Area Madaras; drawings by Simon Sullivan
6. The What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras; with Area Madaras; drawings by Simon Sullivan
7. On the Spot: Real Girls on Periods, Growing up, and Finding your Groove by Karle Dickerson
8. What’s Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask by Karen Gravelle, with Nick and Chava Castro; illustrations by Robert Leighton.
9. Girl in the Know: Your Inside-and-Out Guide to Growing Up by Anne Katz; illustrated by Monika Melnychuk
10. Sex, Puberty and All that Stuff: a Guide to Growing Up by Jacqui Bailey
11. Is This Normal?: Girls’ Questions Answered by the editors of The Care & Keeping of You illustrations by Norm Bendell
12. Girl Stuff: a Survival Guide to Growing Up by Margaret Blackstone and Elissa Haden Guest; with illustrations by Barbara Pollak
If you are still looking for more book, swing by the children’s room or the reference desk and the librarian on duty will be glad to help you out!