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Bibliography – Books for Young People

SIECUS has pulled together this list of books for young people of from pre-school through high school.  They are listed by the age of the readers they for which they are intended, however, kids are different some may be ready for certain material younger ages than others. Parents and educators might want to screen these books to make sure they are age-appropriate for their children or students.

Pre-School | Early Elementary School | Late Elementary School | Middle School | High School

 

Pre-School   

Bellybuttons Are Navels

Mark Schoen

1990, Prometheus Books

This book is intended to help parents create a relaxed environment for the discussion of sexuality.  It will help parents initiate and guide matter-of-fact, accurate discussions about sexual anatomy with their young children.


Heather Has Two Mommies

Leslea Newman

1989, Alyson Publications

This book, for children ages 3–8, talks about Heather and her two lesbian mothers. Written in simple language and supplemented with charcoal illustrations, the book emphasizes that each family is special and love is what is important.


How You Were Born

Joanna Cole

1993, HarperCollins Publishers

This book is designed to tell children about birth in a simple way. Using colorful photographs, it can be read to children or used as a picture book to spark discussion.  


It’s Not the Stork: A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends

Robie H. Harris, Illustrated by Michael Emberley

2006, Candlewick Press

Written for children ages 4+, this book focuses on providing age-appropriate and scientifically accurate information aimed at helping children feel proud of, knowledgeable about, and comfortable with their bodies, how they were born, and the family they are part of.  


So That’s How I Was Born!

Dr. Robert Brooks, Illustrated by Susan Perl

1983, Simon & Schuster

In this book for children ages 4–8, Joey’s parents explain reproduction.  It can be used by parents to help articulate and answer questions that young children frequently ask or for children to read on their own.


What’s the Big Secret? Talking About Sex with Girls and Boys

Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

1997, Little, Brown and Company

This colorful, illustrated book for young children addresses how boys and girls differ, anatomy, reproduction, pregnancy, and birth. It also discusses feelings, touching, and privacy.

 

Early Elementary School

Daddy’s Roommate

Michael Willhoite

1991, Alyson Publications

Written for children ages 5–10, this book uses simple language and color illustrations. The main character and narrator is a young boy who talks about his Daddy and his Daddy’s roommate Frank. He mentions all the fun activities they do together including going to the beach and the zoo.  The book concludes with the statement, “being gay is just one more kind of love.  And love is the best kind of happiness.”


How Was I Born?

Lennart Nilsson and Lena Katarina Swanber

1996, Random House

This book uses color photographs to illustrate the miracle of birth. It provides a story for younger children as well as more detailed information for older children.


My Dad Has HIV

Earl Alexander, Sheila Rudin, and Pam Sejkora

1996, Fairview Press

In this book, seven-year-old Linsey relates the facts about HIV and AIDS.  It has color illustrations, and uses clear, sensitive language that young children can easily understand.


Late Elementary School

Changes in You and Me: A Book About Puberty Mostly for Boys

Paulette Bourgeois and Martin Wolfish, M.D.

1994, Andrews McMeel Publishers

This is a reference book for boys about the body and some of the changes and feelings that go along with growing up. Topics include: anatomy, puberty, birth control, pregnancy, masturbation, what happens to girls, decision making, STDs, sexual abuse, sexual orientation, and where to go for help. Transparent overlays, a glossary, and an index are included.


Changes in You and Me: A Book About Puberty Mostly for Girls

Paulette Bourgeois and Martin Wolfish, M.D.

1994, Andrews McMeel Publishers

This is a reference book for girls about the body and some of the changes and feelings that go along with growing up. Topics include: anatomy, puberty, birth control, pregnancy, masturbation, what happens to boys, decision making, STDs, sexual abuse, sexual orientation, and where to go for help. Transparent overlays, a glossary, and an index are included.


It’s So Amazing: A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies And Families

Robie H. Harris, Illustrated by Michael Emberley

1999, Candlewick Press

Intended for children ages 7–12, this book provides accurate information about sexuality that is presented in a reader-friendly style. Age-appropriate illustrations and humor are used to address conception, pregnancy, birth, anatomy, sexual orientation, HIV, love, sex, gender, and families.


My Body, My Self For Boys

Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras

2007; Newmarket Press

This journal/activity book for boys ages 8–15 is a companion to What's Happening to My Body? Book For Boys. It includes exercises, quizzes, and personal stories to help boys learn about the changes that take place in their bodies during puberty.


My Body, My Self For Girls  

Lynda Madaras and Area Madaras

2007; Newmarket Press

This journal/activity book for girls ages 8–15 is a companion to What's Happening to My Body? Book For Girls. It includes exercises, quizzes, and personal stories to help girls learn about the changes that take place in their bodies during puberty.


On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow!: A "What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Younger Boys

Lynda Madaras

2008, Newmarket

This book fills the need for puberty education books for younger children (ages 8 and up).  Responding to real-life questions and concerns from younger boys about their changing bodies, this book covers a wide range of topics including the growth of sex organs, body hair, and facial hair; weight and height spurts; the unwelcome appearance of acne and body odor; shaving; circumcision; erections and ejaculation; feelings about puberty; and bullying.


Ready, Set, Grow!: A What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Younger Girls

Lynda Madaras

2003, Newmarket Press

With girls reaching puberty at younger and younger ages, this book is directed to the youngest girls who are anticipating or undergoing the body's first changes.  In an encouraging tone, the book reassures preadolescents that the changes they know are approaching or they are beginning to experience are normal, natural, and cause for celebration.


The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book For Girls

Valorie Lee Schaefer, Illustrated by Norm Bendell

1998, American Girl

Part of the American Girl Library, this book for girls is a “head-to-toe” guide discussing puberty, self-esteem, hygiene, nutrition, eating disorders, fitness, sleep, and emotions.


What’s Happening to My Body? Book For Boys: A Growing Up Guide for Parents and Sons New Expanded, Revised Third Edition

Lynda Madaras

2007, Newmarket Press

This book covers the physical changes of puberty for boys. Chapters include: “Puberty,” “Beginning Changes and the Stages of Puberty,” “An Owner’s Guide to the Sex Organs: What’s Normal? What’s Not?,” “The Puberty Growth Spurt,” “Pimples, Perspiration, Body Hair, Shaving, and Other Changes,” “Changes in the Male Reproductive Organs: Erections, Sperm, and Ejaculations,” “Spontaneous Erections, Orgasms, Masturbation, and Wet Dreams,” “Girls and Puberty,” and “Romantic and Sexual Feelings.” A resource section is also included.


What's Happening to My Body? Book For Girls: A Growing Up Guide for Parents and Daughters New Expanded, Revised Third Edition

Lynda Madaras

2007, Newmarket Press

This book provides basic information to girls about their bodies as they go through puberty. Chapters include: “Puberty,” “Your Breasts: An Owner’s Manual,” “Pubic Hair and Other Changes ‘Down There,’” “The Puberty Growth Spurt,” “Body Hair, Perspiration, Pimples, and Other Changes,” “The Reproductive Organs and the Menstrual Cycle,” “All About Having Periods,” “Boys and Puberty,” and “Romantic and Sexual Feelings.” A resource section is also included.


Where Did I Come From? The Facts of Life Without Any Nonsense and with Illustrations

Peter Mayle

2000, Lyle Stuart Publishers

This book uses humor and bright illustrations to explain to children anatomy, intercourse, orgasm, fertilization, pregnancy, and birth.


Middle School

Deal with It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a gURL

Esther Drill, Heather McDonald, and Rebecca Odes

1999, Simon & Schuster

This book is intended to help teenage girls learn and laugh as they go through adolescence.  Divided into four sections—Body, Sexuality, Brain, and Life—it includes information as well as excerpts from the gURL.com website.  Chapters include “Boobs,” “What’s Up Down There,” “Body Image,” “Sexual Feelings,” “What Is Sex,” “To Do It or Not To Do It,” “Protection,” “Psychology,” “Family,” “Romance,” and “Being Yourself.”


It’s A Girl Thing: How To Stay Healthy, Safe, And In Charge

Mavis Jukes

1996, Random House

This book for girls presents general information about puberty, crushes, kissing, intercourse, pregnancy, STDs, birth control, boys and puberty, and health.  A list of resources is included.


It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Sex and Sexual Health

Robie H. Harris

1996, Candlewick Press

Accurate information about sexuality is presented in a reader-friendly style that includes age-appropriate illustrations and humor. From conception and puberty to contraception and HIV/AIDS, it covers both the biological and psychological aspects of sexuality.


Period. A Girl’s Guide

JoAnn Loulan and Bonnie Worthen

2001, The Book Peddlers

This book thoroughly covers questions about puberty and menstruation. The authors emphasize the positive and use diagrams to familiarize girls with the inner workings of their bodies, including what happens during menstruation.  A question-and-answer format in the last three chapters allows girls to easily locate the information they might be looking for.  A parents’ guide is included.


The Guy Book:  An Owner’s Manual

Mavis Jukes

2002, Crown Books for Young Readers

Written in a friendly tone, this book for preteen and teen boys provides information about puberty, personal hygiene, dating, sex, tips on respectful behavior, and discussions about homosexuality and homophobia.  


The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask (But Need to Know)

Karen Gravelle and Jennifer Gravelle

1996, Walker Books for Young Readers

This is a positive, down-to-earth book illustrated with funny and sympathetic cartoons. It answers the many questions that young women may have about their “period.”  Most important, it will help guide young women through physical, emotional, and social changes.


What’s Going on Down There? Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask

Karen Gravelle with Nick and Chava Castro, Illustrations by Robert Leighton

1998, Walker Books for Younger Readers

The author of this book teamed up with two teenage consultants to provide a factual and readable guide to puberty for boys. It reassures readers that there are a lot of different ways to describe normal when discussing puberty, and that each person will experience changes on his own timetable. The book balances information about being a sexual person with that of being a responsible person.


High School

Caution: Do Not Open Until Puberty!: An Introduction to Sexuality for Young Adults with Disabilities

Rick Enright, B.A., M.S.W.

1995, Devinjer House

This book is intended as an icebreaker for an open discussion of sexuality between disabled adolescents and their families.  Using illustrations and clear, informative text, this book addresses decision making, anatomy, sexual response, physical disability, and sexual functioning, as well as suggestions for further learning.


Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies

Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufman

1996, HarperCollins Publishers

Written for gay, lesbian, or bisexual teens and their allies, this book provides practical information, validation, reassurance, and advice. The book’s six sections address: self-discovery and coming out, dealing with friends and first love, dealing with family, defending and asserting oneself in school, finding solace in spirituality, and locating community support. Integrated throughout the book are chapters for parents, educators, clergy, counselors, and members of the community.  A resource list and index are included.


GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer & Questioning Teens

Kelly Huegel

2003, Free Spirit Publishing

This book is for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth and their allies. Chapters include: “GLBTQ 101,” “Homophobia,” “Coming Out,” “Life at School,” “GLBTQ Friends,” “Dating and Relationships,” “Sex and Sexuality,” “Staying Healthy,” “Religion and Culture,” “Transgender Teens,” and ‘Work, College, and Beyond.” A glossary and a list of resources are also included.


In Your Face: Stories from the Lives of Queer Youth

Mary L. Gray

1999, Haworth Press

This book consists of personal narratives from 15 gay, lesbian, and bisexual young people ages 14–18.  The stories provide insight into the experiences of LGBTQ in the United States. Chapters include “You’re What? Coming Out to the Family,” “Condemned or Redeemed? What Does Your God Think of All This?” “Kids in the Hall: What Is It Like at School?” “CyberQueer: Finding Community on the Internet,” and “Getting Involved: Extracurriculars in the Community.”


The Go Ask Alice Book of Answers: A Guide to Good Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Health

Columbia University’s Health Education Program

1998, VHPS

This book provides youth with knowledge and advice on a variety of frequently asked questions from the "Go Ask Alice!" website at Columbia University.  Topics include relationships; sexuality; sexual health; emotional health, fitness and nutrition, alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs; and general health questions.


The Teenage Guy’s Survival Guide: The Real Deal on Girls, Growing Up, And other Guy Stuff

Jeremy Daldry

1999, Little, Brown Young Readers

Irreverent and slightly sarcastic in tone, this book for young men discusses basic information about sexuality. Topics include love, dating, sexual orientation, relationships, intimacy, puberty, emotions, confidence, and peer pressure.


The Underground Guide to Teenage Sexuality: An Essential Handbook for Today's Teens and Parents

Michael J. Basso

2003, Fairview Press

Using a question-and-answer format, this easy-to-read handbook answers teenagers’ questions about health and sexuality.  Chapters address the basics of sexuality including anatomy, relationships, sexual health topics, setting limits, drugs, alcohol, and sex, being gay, and dealing with sadness, depression, and tough times.  A chapter for parents, educators, and other adults is included.

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