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The Facts of Life

Here is a list of books for you to consult when your son/daughter begins to ask questions. As these books deal with sensitive matters, we suggest previewing the books for mature content before sharing them with your son/daughter. It is a common experience to be surprised about what is or isn’t included in books like these. We have included materials across the scope of this topic.

If you need assistance, please come to the ASK ME Desk in the Youth Services Department.

Young Children (Ages 3 & up)

J PARENT COLLECTION

Mommy Laid an Egg! Or, Where Do Babies Come From?
by Babette Cole  J PARENT 612.6 COL 
After their parents give them nonsensical explanations for where babies come from, two children use their own graphic illustrations to convey the real reproductive facts to their parents.

Who Has What?: All about Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies
by Robie H. Harris  J PARENT 612.6 HAR
This guide for parents to share with preschool and early elementary children talks about the differences between girls and boys and the names of their body parts. The guide does not refer to reproductive functions.

Amazing You! Getting Smart About Your Private Parts
by Gail Saltz  J PARENT 612.6 SAL
This title targeted to a young audience discusses what birth and reproduction are and the difference between male and female bodies in simple terms.

What Makes a Baby
by Cory Silverberg  J PARENT 612.6 SIL
This title explains about how sperms and eggs make babies in a way that allows for parents who may or may not have conceived traditionally to tailor their explanations to their own reproductive experiences.

When You Were Inside Mommy
by Joanna Cole  J PARENT 612.63 COL 
Young children are introduced to the concepts of pregnancy and childbirth.

How Are Babies Made?
by Alastair Smith  J PARENT 612.63 SMI   
This simple, lift-the-flap book answers basic questions young children may have about how babies are formed and develop inside their mothers until birth.

My Mom’s Having a Baby
by Dori Hillestad Butler  J PARENT 618.2 BUT 
A child learns all about a baby's development, including a simple but specific answer to her question about how the sperm and egg got together. She traces her new sibling’s growth month by month.

What to Expect When Mommy’s Having a Baby
by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff  J PARENT 618.24 MUR
Questions about how a baby is created, how it grows and how it comes out to join the family are answered.

It’s NOT the Stork! A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends
by Robie H. Harris  J PARENT 649.65 HAR
By the author of It’s So Amazing, this book explains the differences between boys and girls as well as where babies really come from. This title is also available in e-book format.

J NONFICTION

What’s in There?: All about You before You Were Born
by Robie H. Harris  J 612.6 HAR
In this book, a sister and brother awaiting the birth of their family’s new baby learn basic facts about pregnancy.

Preteens (Ages 9 & Up)

J PARENT COLLECTION

It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families
by Robie H. Harris  J PARENT 612.6 HAR
Using bird and bee cartoons, Harris presents straightforward explanations of sexual development, love, reproduction, adoption, sexually transmitted diseases and more. This title is also available in e-book format.

“Where Did I Come From?” The Facts of Life Without Any Nonsense and with Illustrations
by Peter Mayle  J PARENT 612.63 MAY 
The differences between men and women, as well as intercourse, pregnancy and childbirth are explained. 

What’s Going on Down There? Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask
by Karen Gravelle  J PARENT 612.661 GRA
The physical and emotional changes that occur in boys (and, to a lesser extent, girls) during puberty are described including a discussion of sexual activity, homosexuality, AIDS and other related topics. 

Growing Up: It’s a Girl Thing: Straight Talk About First Bras, First Periods, and Your Changing Body
by Mavis Jukes  J PARENT 612.661 JUK 
Pre-adolescent girls are given an explanation of the changes that puberty brings to their bodies, including information about menstruation. 

It’s A Girl Thing: How to Stay Healthy, Safe and in Charge
by Mavis Jukes  J PARENT 612.661 JUK 
This is a candid discussion about female development and sexuality in a conversational style covering topics ranging from body changes and drug abuse to sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.

Let’s Talk Puberty: Boys  J PARENT DVD 612.661 LET 
Let’s Talk Puberty: Girls  J PARENT DVD 612.661 LET 
These DVDs contain an overview of the physical and emotional changes of puberty, maturation and the importance of good hygiene and healthy habits.

Managing Puberty, Social Challenges, and (Almost) Everything
by Sarah Barnhardt  J PARENT DVD 612.661 MAN
This title created for girls on the autism spectrum is also suitable for a more general audience and addresses menstruation, conception, the reproductive systems of both boys and girls, and the social challenges of puberty like friendships, dating and staying safe. 

What’s Happening to Me?
by Susan Meredith  J PARENT 612.661 MER 
This book provides a discussion of the mental and physical changes that take place during puberty in girls.

Puberty Boy
by Geoff Price  J PARENT 612.661 PRI 
This book offers a concise overview of puberty and its effects on a boy's body. 

Changing You! A Guide to Body Changes and Sexuality
by Gail Saltz  J PARENT 612.661 SAL 
This picture book guides curious youngsters through information about anatomy, body changes for boys and girls, sexual intercourse, reproduction and emerging sexuality. 

The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask (But Need to Know)
by Karen Gravelle  J PARENT 612.662 GRA 
This book explains what happens at the onset of menstruation, information about going to the gynecologist and how to handle various problems.

The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls
by Valorie Lee Schaefer  J PARENT 613.04242 SCH 
This is a preteen girl’s guide to basic health and hygiene from braces to bras, pimples to periods and hair care to healthy eating. 

It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book About Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health
by Robie H. Harris  J PARENT 613.907 HAR
This book covers a broad spectrum of questions children might have from topics like their developing bodies to tougher subjects like sexually-transmitted diseases and staying safe in the information age. This book is also available in e-book format.

The Birds, the Bees, and Me for Girls  J PARENT DVD 649.65 BIR 
The Birds, the Bees, and Me for Boys  J PARENT DVD 649.65 BIR 
These videos introduce puberty, sex and childbirth to kids.

J NONFICTION

It’s Your Rite: Girls’ Coming of Age Stories 
J 305.235 ITS 
Beginning with “The Bra” and including “PMS and Other Girl Things,” girls ages 11 – 18 share their own coming-of-age stories. 

101 Questions about Sex and Sexuality: With Answers for the Curious, Cautious, and Confused
by Faith Hickman Brynie  J 306.7 BRY 
A question-and-answer format is used to present information about the physical, emotional and social topics surrounding sex and sexuality. 

101 Questions about Reproduction: Or How 1+1=3 or 4 or More
by Faith Hickman Brynie  J 612.6 BRY 
This title uses a question-and-answer format to present information about physical, medical and social issues surrounding human reproduction, including birth control, pregnancy and childbirth. 

The Reproductive System
by Kerri O’Donnell  J 612.6 ODO 
The issues of puberty, the reproductive system, pregnancy and birth control are discussed.

The Female Reproductive System
by Sophie Waters  J 612.62 WAT 
This title includes information on reproduction, pregnancy and birth control.

On the Spot: Real Girls on Periods, Growing up, and Finding Your Groove
by Karle Dickerson  J 612.661 DIC 
From PMS to first bras to fluctuating feelings, this book reaches out to girls in their own words, helping them to understand the changes happening in their bodies. 

The Boy’s Body Book
by Kelli S. Dunham  J 612.661 DUN 
The Girl’s Body Book
by Kelli S. Dunham  J 612.661 DUN
These books discuss the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty, including growth spurts, sexual development, peer pressure, dating and new relationships within the family, and suggests ways to ease the adjustment to these changes. 

Just around the Corner -- For Boys
by Jack W. Hayhow  J DVD 612.661 JUS
Just around the Corner -- For Girls
by Jack W. Hayhow  J DVD 612.661 JUS
These two videos designed for male and female audiences include topics such as puberty, the reproductive system, health and hygiene.

Ready, Set, Grow! A “What’s Happening to My Body?” Book for Younger Girls
by Lynda Madaras  J 612.661 MAD 
The changes in younger girls’ bodies as they grow older are discussed, including an understanding of puberty, weight and height changes and menstruation. 

Will Puberty Last My Whole Life?: Real Answers to Real Questions from Preteens about Body Changes, Sex, and Other Growing-up Stuff
by Julie Metzger and Robert Lehman  J 612.661 MET
Designed for girls and boys ages 9 to 12 with separate sections by gender, a doctor and nurse answer real questions about issues of puberty and growing up from kids who have attended their educational seminars.

Straight Talk about Puberty. For Boys
by Chris Anderson  J DVD 612.661 STR
Straight Talk about Puberty. For Girls
by Erin McGrane  J DVD 612.661 STR
Targeted to gender-specific audiences, these videos cover topics including the reproductive system, changes that accompany puberty, the dangers of drinking and drug use, hygiene, nutrition and exercise.

Menstruation
by Ann byers  J 612.662 BYE 
This is a straightforward look at the facts about menstruation including how girls may feel and how to care for themselves. 

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow! A “What’s Happening to My Body” Book for Younger Boys
by Lynda Madaras  J 613.04232 MAD 
This book discusses issues younger boys face during the onset of puberty. 

The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes During Puberty
by Terri Couwenhoven  J 613.04233 COU 
Aimed particularly at boys with special needs, but useful to all, this book uses direct language to explain the changes boys go through during puberty with an emphasis on staying safe.

Boy’s Guide to Becoming a Teen
by Kate Gruenwald Pfeifer  J 613.04233 PFE 
This book covers topics like height, self-care, the reproductive system, sexuality and relationships.

Is This Normal? Girls’ Questions
by Norm Bendell  J 613.04242 IS 
This book provides answers to letters from real girls with concerns about their changing bodies, plus tips to help readers talk with their parents about puberty and other difficult topics. 

Girl in the Know: Your Inside-and-Out Guide to Growing Up
by Anne Katz  J 613.04242 KAT 
This is a book for girls about health and hygiene with life skills guides for puberty. 

The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls
by Valorie Lee Schaefer J 613.04242 SCH 
This is a preteen girl’s guide to basic health and hygiene from braces to bras, pimples to periods, and hair care to healthy eating. 

The Care & Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls
by Cara Familian Natterson  J 613.04242 NAT
This companion to The Care & Keeping of You provides more in-depth information about topics like bras, menstruation, self-care and the social and emotional changes that come with puberty.

Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Teen
by Kate Gruenwald Pfeifer  J 613.04243 PFE 
This book covers topics like menstruation, height, self-care, the reproductive system, relationships and sexuality.

Don’t Sweat It! Every Body’s Answers to Questions You Don’t Want to Ask
by Marguerite Crump  J 613.0433 CRU 
This is an introduction to the common concerns of adolescence, such as acne, body odor and other physical changes of puberty for both boys and girls, along with hygiene suggestions.   

JH FICTION

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
by Judy Blume  JH BLUME
Faced with the difficulties of growing up, an almost twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God. This title is also available in e-book and e-audiobook formats.

Me, In Between
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted  JH BARATZ-LOGSTED
Twelve years old and in eighth grade, Lacey has developed faster than everyone else around her.  What should she do? 

The Amazing Life of Birds: (The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech)
by Gary Paulsen  JH PAULSEN
As twelve-year-old Duane endures the confusing and humiliating aspects of puberty, he watches a newborn bird in a nest on his windowsill begin to grow and become more independent, all of which he records in his journal. This title is also available in e-book format.

Teens (Many of the resources in the Preteens section may also be helpful.)

J PARENT COLLECTION

Sexual Health Information for Teens
by Sandra Augustyn Lawton  J PARENT 613.9 SEX 
This book provides a comprehensive overview of many issues in reproductive and sexual health for teens, including information about contraception, sexuality transmitted diseases, medical care, testicular cancer, date rape and other sensitive topics.  

J NONFICTION

Is This Really My Body? Embracing Physical Changes
by Holly Saari  J 613.04243 SAA 
This book discusses the physical changes that occur during puberty using true-to-life stories and advice from a child and adolescent development specialist.  

Parents

J PARENT COLLECTION

Teaching Children with Down Syndrome about Their Bodies, Boundaries, and Sexuality: A Guide for Parents and Professionals
by Terri Couwenhoven  J PARENT 618.92858842 COU 
This easy-to-read guide provides information about and teaching ideas for topics such as, personal boundaries, privacy, puberty, sexuality and abuse prevention.

A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids about Sex
by Kevin Leman  J PARENT 649.65 LEM 
Family commentator and humorist Dr. Kevin Leman and human sexuality expert Kathy Flores Bell teamed up to write a book for parents on teaching their pubescent children (ages 8 to 14) about sex. This title is also available in e-audiobook format.

Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids' Go-to Person about Sex
by Deborah Roffman  J PARENT 649.65 ROF
This guide for parents offers advice about navigating the sometimes uncomfortable territory of talking about sexual and reproductive issues with their children.

Additional titles may be found in the Library’s online catalog using the following search terms:
Childbirth
Menstruation
Puberty
Reproduction
Sex Instruction
Sexual Ethics 

1/98 DJD; revised 1/14 EMC