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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 about seeds, tubes, and eggs for where babies come from, two children use their own illustrations to show the real reproductive facts to their parents. The graphic illustrations convey the act of intimacy between mommy and daddy.  30 pgs.

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.  Unpaged.

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.  Unpaged.

What Makes a Baby
by Cory Silverberg  J PARENT 612.6 SIL
This book explains how sperm 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. The birth process is also described with illustrations showing a vaginal birth and a caesarean section.  Unpaged.

When You Were Inside Mommy
by Joanna Cole  J PARENT 612.63 COL 
Young children are introduced to the concepts of pregnancy and childbirth. This book shows how babies grow inside a mommy and then go through the birthing process.  Unpaged.

How Are Babies Made?
by Alastair Smith  J PARENT 612.63 SMI
This lift-the-flap book answers basic questions young children may have about how babies are formed and develop inside their mothers. The birthing process is also described in simple terms.  Unpaged.

My Mom’s Having a Baby!
by Dori Hillestad Butler  J PARENT 618.2 BUT 
A child learns all about her baby brother’s development, including a simple but specific description of how the sperm and egg came together. Month by month, the child follows her sibling’s growth and then the birth process.  Unpaged.

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

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 physical differences between boys and girls as well as where babies really come from. The process of a baby’s growth from conception to birth is described.  59 pgs. 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, birth and the growth of their baby brother.  Unpaged.

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
This book provides clear descriptions of physical development, reproduction, pregnancy, adoption, sexually transmitted diseases and other topics. This title is also available in e-book format.  Unpaged.

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

What’s Happening To Me?
by Alex Frith  J PARENT 612.661 FRI
The mental and physical changes that boys experience during puberty are discussed as well as topics like hygiene and a healthy diet.  Unpaged.

What’s Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask
by Karen Gravelle  J PARENT 612.661 GRA
This book offers a frank discussion of what puberty is like for boys and answers questions. Sexual activity, homosexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS and other topics are included. There is also a brief description of the changes that girls experience.  150 pgs. 

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 
This special edition of It’s a Girl Thing has been revised for pre-adolescent girls. The changes starting to happen to their bodies are described including a discussion of menstruation.  Unpaged.

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 birth control, sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.  135 pgs.

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.  Unpaged.

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

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. Menstruation, healthy diet, hygiene and other topics are covered.  48 pgs.

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. Straightforward, conversational advice covers topics including sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.  122 pgs. 

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

The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask (But Need to Know)
by Karen Gravelle  J PARENT 612.662 GRA 
This book answers questions that girls ask about menstruation and the changes happening to their bodies. Information about going to the gynecologist is also included.  117 pgs.

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 covering topics like acne, menstruation, fitting bras, hair care and healthy eating.  104 pgs.

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 about their developing bodies to tougher subjects like sexually-transmitted diseases, intercourse, pregnancy, sexual orientation and staying safe in the information age.  93 pgs. 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 topics like puberty, sex and childbirth to preteens.

J NONFICTION

It’s Your Rite: Girls’ Coming of Age Stories
compiled by Nora Coon  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.  120 pgs. 

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 topics surrounding sex and sexuality. This book includes information about pregnancy, intercourse, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases.  176 pgs.

101 Questions about Reproduction: Or How 1+1=3 or 4 or More
by Faith Hickman Brynie  J 612.6 BRY 
This book uses a question-and-answer format to present information about human reproduction and includes topics like pregnancy, childbirth and birth control.  176 pgs. 

The Reproductive System
by Kerri O’Donnell  J 612.6 ODO 
Puberty, the reproductive system, pregnancy and birth control are all discussed.  48 pgs.

The Female Reproductive System
by Sophie Waters  J 612.62 WAT 
This title includes information on reproduction, pregnancy and birth control.  48 pgs.

On the Spot: Real Girls on Periods, Growing up, and Finding Your Groove
by Karle Dickerson  J 612.661 DIC 
This book discusses the changes that girls experience during puberty in a conversational style. Topics include PMS, first bras and hormonal mood swings.  146 pgs. 

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 describe the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty in a conversational style. Topics discussed include dating, physical development, hygiene and peer pressure.

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, and 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 mature are discussed, including an understanding of puberty, weight and height changes and menstruation.  127 pgs. 

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 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 kids asked them about issues related to puberty, sexuality and body changes.  90 pgs.

Girl Talk: A Survival Guide for Growing Up
by Caroline Plaisted  J 612.661 PLA

Boy Talk: A Survival Guide for Growing Up
by Caroline Plaisted  J 612.661 PLA
These books discuss the changes that boys and girls experience during puberty in a conversational style. Advice about hygiene, nutrition, exercise and family relationships is also offered.  

Straight Talk about Puberty. For Boys
by Bob Walkenhorst  J DVD 612.661 STR

Straight Talk about Puberty. For Girls
by Bob Walkenhorst  J DVD 612.661 STR
Targeted to gender-specific audiences, these videos cover topics including the reproductive system, 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.  48 pgs. 

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.  123 pgs. 

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.  64 pgs.

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.  128 pgs.

Girl to Girl: Honest Talk about Growing Up and Your Changing Body
by Sarah O’Leary Burningham  J 613.04242 BUR
A real-life big sister presents a conversational guide for girls from ages 8-12. Topics covered include menstruation, health, hygiene and choosing a first bra.  130 pgs.

Is This Normal?: Girls’ Questions
by Norm Bendell  J 613.04242 IS 
Real girls ask questions about their changing bodies and receive direct, sensible advice. The book includes tips to help girls talk to their parents and other adults about their questions.  110 pgs. 

Girl in the Know: Your Inside-and-Out Guide to Growing Up
by Anne Katz  J 613.04242 KAT 
This candid, conversational book for girls is about health and hygiene with life skills guides for puberty.  111 pgs. 

The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls
by Valorie Lee Schaefer J 613.04242 SCH 
This preteen girl’s guide to basic health and hygiene covers topics including healthy eating, hair care, menstruation, braces and acne.  102 pgs. 

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.  102 pgs.

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.  128 pgs.

Don’t Sweat It!: Every Body’s Answers to Questions You Don’t Want to Ask
by Marguerite Crump  J 613.0433 CRU 
The physical changes that accompany puberty are discussed in this book along with advice about health and hygiene for both boys and girls.  118 pgs. 

JH FICTION

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
by Judy Blume  JH BLUME
Margaret struggles with the challenges that come with being almost twelve years old, so she talks through her problems with her own private God.  149 pgs. This title is also available in large print, audiobook, 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 physically faster than everyone else around her. What should she do?  201 pgs. 

The Amazing Life of Birds: (The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech)
by Gary Paulsen  JH PAULSEN
Twelve-year-old Duane keeps a journal where he records his thoughts about the confusing and embarrassing aspects of puberty. Duane also watches a newly-hatched bird grow and become more independent.  84 pgs. This title is also available in Playaway and e-book formats.

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, sexually transmitted diseases, medical care, cancer, date rape and other sensitive topics.  430 pgs.

J NONFICTION

Is This Really My Body?: Embracing Physical Changes
by Holly Saari  J 613.04243 SAA 
The physical changes that girls experience during puberty are discussed.  Advice about how to deal with issues ranging from acne to menstruation is written by a child and adolescent development specialist.  112 pgs.  

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 staying safe.  331 pgs.

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.  214 pgs. 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 M. 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.  281 pgs.

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 1/15 MSP